Thursday French Open Picks | Best Bets For Tsurenko vs Davis, Paolini vs Danilovic

Thursday French Open Picks | Best Bets For Tsurenko vs Davis, Paolini vs Danilovic article feature image

NurPhoto/Getty. Pictured: Olga Danilovic.

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Thursday at the French Open will see both the men's and women's fields cut down to the final 32 players, as we wrap up the second round of action.

Let's delve into a pair of matches from the women's draw, with Lesia Tsurenko taking on Lauren Davis and Jasmine Paolini squaring off with Olga Danilovic.

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Thursday French Open Picks

Lesia Tsurenko (-215) vs Lauren Davis (+170) 

11 a.m. ET

What a run it's been on the courts in 2023 for the 34-year-old from Ukraine.

Tsurenko has been able find success despite everything going on off the court in her native country, as well as injury issues that seemingly never go away. She's amassed over 25 wins to date across qualifying and main draw action.

Perhaps her most impressive win of the campaign came in her opening round match, as she took down one of the non-Iga Swiatek tournament favorites and the 2021 champion Barbora Krejcikova. For as well as she's played all year, the one knock against the record was that it seemed more about quantity of wins, rather than quality.

Wins in recent weeks against several top-50 players and Elina Svitolina. who won a title last week and is a former top-3 player in the world, are starting to make Tsurenko feel like a threat at the upper levels of the game.

One of 2023's elite returners, the Ukrainian should have a field day with a weaker Davis serve, especially on clay courts, where the American isn't at her best.

Davis finished her week looking like her thigh was an issue in her tune-up event last week, and if that's a problem against someone like Tsurenko, who moves the ball around the court with ease, she could be in trouble.

Her style is more suited to hard and grass courts, whereas Tsurenko should be more comfortable.

Davis had a fortunate draw in the opening round against an out-of-form and possibly still injured hard-courter in Lin Zhu. That's not the case here.

I have this spread a full game off where it should be and will look to capitalize.

Picks: Tsurenko -3.5 games (-110 via DraftKings)

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Jasmine Paolini (-120) vs Olga Danilovic (+102)

8:45 a.m ET

This one is a battle between two in-form players, as each has taken their momentum and turned it into a shot at reaching the third round of a grand slam.

It's hard to believe that Danilovic is still only 22 years old, considering the fact that she won her maiden WTA Tour title five years ago. The Serbian is a supremely talented player, but she has had a multitude of injury issues throughout the years and has a volatile power game. It's been really tough for her to find stretches of form where she can play consistently.

At the moment though, she has captured that lightning in a bottle. She won a W100 ITF event (the highest there is on the ITF Tour, just below the WTA 125K level) in Madrid without dropping a set, and then tore through qualifying and her first round match at Roland Garros as well. For reference, that's nine straight matches and 18 straight sets won for Danilovic.

This is also the surface she's played on most and has had the most success on in her career. Add that to the fact that she's the player with far more offensive capabilities and I love her to keep on rolling in this one against her Italian counterpart.

Paolini has found some success of late after a poor start to 2023 as well. She won a 125K event in Florence and upset Sorana Cirstea in her first match at the French Open. The latter result is one I take with a grain of salt, however, just because Cirstea has been one of the more overvalued players on the women's tour since her run in Miami.

Ultimately, she's just as error prone as Danilovic but lacks the raw power, strong serve and aggressive mindset that her opponent possesses.

I have Danilovic as the favorite here for those reasons, and will back her as a slight underdog.

Pick: Danilovic Moneyline (+102 via FanDuel)

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