French Open Saturday Odds, Picks, Previews: Pegula on Upset Alert Against Zidansek (May 28)
John Berry/Getty. Pictured: Jessica Pegula.
The third round of the French Open marches on and I’ve found two matches on Saturday that should be fun to watch and are filled with value.
Read below to see two plays to think about from Saturday at Roland Garros, including one live underdog.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.
Daria Kasatkina (-250) vs. Shelby Rogers (+190)
6:30 a.m. ET
Daria Kasatkina is yet to drop a set at Roland Garros so far. In the second round, Kasatkina defeated Fernanda Contreras Gomez 6-0, 6-3.
Including Kasatkina’s first round victory over Rebecca Sramkova, Kasatkina has only dropped five games so far in the event.
She has won over 50% of both her first and second-serve return points in each of her French Open matches so far. And while serve is usually the Russian’s weakness, she’s only been broken once so far in this tournament.
Now, this was an incredible draw for Kasatkina, but she still has a 7-3 record this clay-court season coming into Roland Garros and has won 72% of her career matches on clay.
Kasatkina has excellent movement and point construction on the dirt. She also has a heavy forehand that she gets deep in the court and a high level of rally tolerance.
Shelby Rogers pulled off a big upset in the second round of Roland Garros. Rogers defeated Danielle Collins 6-4, 6-3.
She attacked the Collins serve, winning 53% of her return points, including 71% on Collins’ second serve. This was similar to Rogers’ first round match against Tereza Martincova, where Rogers won 68% of her second-serve return points.
Rogers has only won 55% of her professional matches on clay and was 0-3 on clay this season coming into Roland Garros. She has decent controlled aggression, but not overwhelming power. While Rogers moves decently, she can get outmaneuvered on the dirt.
Kasatkina has better fitness and can move better on clay, allowing her to track down more of Rogers’ groundstrokes and force the American into long rallies. She can also use her well-placed forehand to move Rogers around and not allow her to dictate play all match.
When looking at Elo ratings, Kasatkina’s overall Elo is 151.4 points better than Rogers’ and her clay-court Elo is 187.5 points better than Rogers’.
Pick: Kasatkina -3.5 games (-140 via BetMGM)
Jessica Pegula (-275) vs. Tamara Zidansek (+210)
7 a.m. ET
Jessica Pegula has put together a good clay-court season. In the second round of Roland Garros, Pegula held her nerve to defeat Anehlina Kalinina 6-1, 5-7, 6-4.
Pegula won 51% of her return points against Kalinina, breaking the Ukrainian’s serve seven times on 14 break points. The match against Kalinina was a continuation of Pegula’s first-round victory over Qiang Wang.
In that match, Pegula won 55% of her return points and generated 16 break points, breaking serve six times.
Pegula is not known for her clay-court craft, although she has won a respectable 60% of her career matches on the dirt. This season, Pegula made the final of Madrid and has gone 10-3 on clay.
While the American isn’t topspin-centric, she strikes the ball cleanly.and waits patiently for her opportunity to hit pinpoint groundstrokes.
Tamara Zidansek was fortunate that Mayar Sherf withdrew from their second round matchup. However, Zidansek played well in the first round of the French Open, beating Claire Liu 6-2, 6-2.
Zidansek did well on serve against Liu, winning 75% of her first serves and 70% of her second serves. The Slovenian also saved the one break point she faced.
On return, Zidansek won 73% of her return points and broke serve seven times. All aspects of the former Roland Garros semifinalist’s game were firing in the first round.
Zidansek has gone just 4-4 on the dirt so far in 2022, which is disappointing given that Zidansek is known for her clay-court success. The Slovenian has won 76% of her professional matches on clay, using her heavy forehand to dominate from the baseline.
She has the ability to step into the court with her forehand and wrestle control of the baseline away from Pegula, which will make the American very uncomfortable.
Pegula is playing well on clay and isn’t overhitting often. However, six of her 10 clay wins this year have occurred on the faster green clay (Charleston) or in altitude (Madrid), both of which are more suitable for her game.
Zidansek’s defensive abilities are good and the slow Parisian clay will allow her to hang in points long enough to where she can get the ball on her forehand and do damage.
Pick: Zidansek to win at least one set (-125 via BetMGM)
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