French Open Picks, Predictions, Odds: Gauff & Azarenka Overpriced in Third Round (May 27)
Aurelien Meunier/Getty. Pictured: Coco Gauff.
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Coco Gauff will square off with Kaia Kanepi while Victoria Azarenka will meet Jil Teichmann in the third round at the French Open.
While the red clay of Roland Garros is typically more rewarding to consistent players that are strong tactically and are willing to extend points, this season we’ve seen plenty of power-oriented players move onto the third round.
That holds particularly true in the women’s draw, where some of the aforementioned players fit the criteria.
Let’s look at where the value lies in these two matches.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.
Coco Gauff (-215) vs. Kaia Kanepi (+175)
6:30 a.m. ET
The match between American Gauff and veteran power-player Kanepi has the potential to be one of those “popcorn matches.”
Both possess huge serves and groundstrokes, so not even the red dirt should slow down the blistering pace of the rallies in this match.
Where Gauff does have the advantage here, would be in terms of movement. She’s more fleet of foot than her Estonian counterpart, and she should be able to move seamlessly along the baseline to track down Kanepi’s groundstrokes.
The problem for the overwhelming favorite in this match, however, is two-fold. First, while Kanepi may not be a shining example of an incredibly consistent player, Gauff has the tendency to see her groundstrokes go haywire for several games at a time.
Another other flaw that is going to be tough for Gauff to overcome is that she possesses the weakest groundstroke on the court in this match, her forehand.
It’s been well-documented that on the forehand wing, Gauff is known to leak unforced errors.
This has been magnified in the past when she comes up against power players. That’s simply because the more power behind the shots coming at her, the less time she has to set up that forehand, compounding the problem created by an already glaring weakness.
While it’s understandable that the market likes Gauff here, it’s a little too steep of a price, and Kanepi at +175 is worthy of a play.
Pick: Kanepi ML (+175 via DraftKings)
Jil Teichmann (-115) vs. Victoria Azarenka (-105)
8:30 a.m. ET
Another player who’s game is predicated on a big serve and follow-up power forehand is Azarenka.
Famous for having won a pair of Grand Slam titles down under, the former world No. 1 has struggled more at Roland Garros than at other events.
Her style and lack of real variety is the reason why. While she did attempt her fair share of drop shots last match against Andrea Petkovic, she doesn’t slice very much and her groundstrokes aren’t hit with much topspin.
Azarenka’s run to this point has been thoroughly uninspiring to boot. She had to break Ana Bogdan just to stay alive in the first round and then in the second round she was a point away from being taken to a decider by Petkovic.
Now, she’s playing an in-form Jil Teichmann, who moves extremely well, plays with variety and is an elite-level returner – negating much of the advantage that Azarenka possesses with that big serve.
Teichmann is also able to move the ball from side-to-side around the court impeccably. That could be a problem for the six-foot Belarusian, whose movement has never been her strong suit.
Finally, the ability to play with some margin for error on groundstrokes also favors the Swiss. Clay is, after all, a surface that rewards consistent play the most.
Pick: Jil Teichmann ML (-115 via FanDuel)