2023 French Open Previews: Best Bets For Draper vs Etcheverry, Krajinovic vs Tiafoe
Clive Brunskill/Getty. Pictured: Jack Draper.
The second day of the French Open promises to be a good one, but unlike day 1 I'm not loving a lot of the favorites. We've got two underpriced players here who are heading into Roland Garros with much better form than the market would indicate.
Let's get into how to bet Jack Draper vs Tomas Martin Etcheverry and Filip Krajinovic vs. Frances Tiafoe.
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French Open Odds & Picks
Jack Draper (+114) vs Tomas Martin Etcheverry (-137)
6:30 a.m. ET
Let me just say this: Jack Draper is very good at tennis. He's much better at tennis than Tomas Martin Etcheverry, and I think he's one of the 20 most talented players in the world at the moment.
Much of Draper's talent is in his serve, which is why he's been very dangerous on faster, slicker surfaces and isn't thought of as much of a threat on clay. I think his season to this point has proven otherwise.
It's true that Draper's hardly played this spring due to injury, but in the time he's been on the court he's looked very capable of tackling any sort of conditions that come his way. He went to the fourth round of Indian Wells with wins over Andy Murray and Dan Evans, which is a tournament held on courts so gritty that they mimic clay and may even be slower than the dirt.
He then came out after an injury layoff to win three of his first four matches on clay, taking out some talented players like Sebastian Baez and Miomir Kecmanovic before losing a long three-set thriller against Francisco Cerundulo.
So, I rate Draper's form much higher than the market does at the moment given he's looked pretty good in less-than-favorable conditions. On the other hand, while Etcheverry is a clay-court specialist who has racked up a ton of wins on the surface, they haven't been of high quality.
I'd rather back a player with a few wins over top-50 competition than one who has routinely been playing bad competition. Etcheverry's two big triumphs this spring have been a trip to the final in Houston — whose clay courts aren't nearly the same as those in Europe — and another final at the ATP Challenger level.
He's not playing guys who can hit the ball like Draper and when he has he's lost. I love backing the Argentine during the Golden Swing, but this is a different animal. Draper had an excellent showing at the US Open last year and is getting much better in the fitness department. The 21-year old is a special talent and could come out and hit Etcheverry off the court.
Pick: Draper ML (+114 via FanDuel)
Filip Krajinovic (+265) vs Frances Tiafoe (-340)
8:30 a.m. ET
It's about time we have a conversation about Frances Tiafoe. Yes, he's now up to No. 12 in the world, which is a tremendous accomplishment, but he's lacked any sort of form in the last few months.
Tiafoe won the title in Houston – which isn't really worth rating for reasons mentioned above – and even in that run he faced some very mediocre competition. He went on to win just two of his next five on the clay in Europe, falling to Emil Ruusuvuori, Pedro Cachin and Lorenzo Musetti. It was interesting that we didn't see Tiafoe at Monte Carlo and really didn't seem him much at all during the clay swing, and I'm definitely a little skeptical of his form heading into this tournament as a result.
I understand that form doesn't get much worse than a guy with a 7-14 record, but I do think Filip Krajinovic has had some tough-luck losses. He's done well to at least win four of 11 matches on clay in the midst of what's been one of the worst runs of his career, and in defeat he's managed to remain competitive and even led Roberto Bautista Agut by a set and a break in Monte Carlo before his three-set loss there.
There's enough here to make a case for Krajinovic at least covering the spread here against Tiafoe. The American has looked incredibly flat on clay and has never been quite as dangerous on the surface, and Krajinovic has historically been excellent on the surface.
Tiafoe has also never been able to solve Krajinovic, losing all three of encounters, not including a win by retirement in 2019. The two have met twice on clay, with Krajinovic winning a five-setter at the French Open four years ago and dusting Tiafoe in Rome last year in straight sets.
I think the value is all on the Serb here, and I don't hate a small bite on the moneyline as well.
Pick: Krajinovic +5.5 games (-105 via DraftKings), 0.5u Krajinovic ML (+265)