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French Open Thursday Odds & Picks: Krunic Will Take Kudermetova Out of Her Comfort Zone (May 26)

French Open Thursday Odds & Picks: Krunic Will Take Kudermetova Out of Her Comfort Zone (May 26) article feature image
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Shi Tang/Getty. Pictured: Veronika Kudermetova.

The second round of Roland Garros has featured incredible tennis so far and I’ve found a couple matches on Thursday’s order of play with plenty of value.

Read below to see how I’ll be betting two of Thursday’s matches at Roland Garros.

Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.

Veronika Kudermetova (-350) vs. Aleksandra Krunic (+260)

5 a.m. ET

Veronika Kudermetova snapped a three-match losing streak in her Roland Garros opener. Kudermetova defeated Lin Zhu 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to advance to the second round.

She returned well against Zhu, winning 52% of her second-serve return points and 47% of her return points overall. Kudermetova also broke Zhu’s serve six times.

Kudermetova needed to be this good on return, as she only won 55% of her own service points.

She got off to a hot start on clay this season, reaching the Istanbul final. However, Kudermetova lost that final and couldn’t pick up a victory in Madrid nor Rome. Additionally, the fact that Kudermetova couldn’t pull away from Zhu, who has won under 55% of her career matches on clay, is not encouraging.

Aleksandra Krunic added to her qualifying campaign in the first round of Roland Garros. Krunic comfortably beat Kamilla Rakhimova 6-4, 6-3 to set up this showdown with Kudermetova.

Krunic’s first serve played a huge role in her success against Rakhimova. The Serb won 74% of her first-serve points and this helped her only get broken twice all match.

On return, Krunic was all over the Rakhimova second serve. She won 69% of her second-serve returns and 51% of her return points overall.

Krunic has won her last six sets (dating back to qualifying) and  63% of her professional matches on clay overall. She has a high level of rally tolerance, great foot speed and an all-court game.

Kudermetova is the better player, but she is not playing like herself in recent matches. The Russian goes big on her groundstrokes, but Krunic should frustrate Kudermetova with her consistency.

Krunic is in-form and playing confident clay-court tennis. She did a great job of hitting her spots on her first serve against Rakhimova, while Kudermetova struggled more than I expected her to in her service games against Zhu.

Don’t expect Kudermetova to run away with this match.

Pick: Over 20.5 games (-110 via BetMGM)

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Danka Kovinic (-175) vs. Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (+135)

6:30 a.m. ET

Danka Kovinic got her Roland Garros campaign off to a strong start. She defeated Liudmilla Samsonova 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 to reach the second round.

Kovinic broke Samsonova’s serve five times, winning 58% of the points on her second delivery. And, after a rough first set, Kovinic steadier herself on her own serve. She won 72% of her service points and was only broken once in the second and third sets combined.

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova was one point away from losing in the first round of Roland Garros. However, Schmiedlova came back to beat Kristina Kucova 4-6, 7-6(1), 6-2.

Schmiedlova got past Kucova on the back of her return game. She won 49% of her return points and broke Kucova’s serve seven times. Schmiedlova did a great job of getting the return into play and then playing with great consistency from the baseline.

For a player who has won 65% of her professional clay-court matches, Schmiedlova will be disappointed with her 6-6 record on clay this year.

In too many matches, Schmiedlova’s rally tolerance has dipped. Her game is reliant on heavy forehands deep in the court and limiting unforced errors, so when the Slovak loses her rally tolerance, she loses the foundation of her game.

Kovinic is much more comfortable in attacking areas of the court and she is playing with the patience necessary to rally with Schmiedlova until there’s an opening to hit a winner.

Unlike against Kucova, putting a bunch of balls in play while waiting for Kovinic to get nervous and physically implode won’t work in this match.

Kovinic is an experienced clay-courter who will make Schmiedlova do more with her shots and force Schmiedlova to try to trade blows with her from the baseline.

Pick: Kovinic -2.5 games (-135 via BetMGM)

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