Tuesday French Open Picks | Alcaraz vs Tsitsipas, Djokovic vs Khachanov

Tuesday French Open Picks | Alcaraz vs Tsitsipas, Djokovic vs Khachanov article feature image

Eurasia Sport Images/Getty. Pictured: Novak Djokovic.

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Our first men's quarterfinal day at the French Open could be the best, with a potential blockbuster semifinal between Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic on the horizon. The pressure is on both players to get there, however.

Let's get into my Tuesday French Open picks for Djokovic vs Khachanov and Alcaraz vs Tsitsipas at Roland Garros.

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Novak Djokovic (-1100) vs Karen Khachanov (+700)

8 a.m. ET

If you're an avid fan of the game, you'll know this matchup is nothing new. We've seen these two play a total of 11 times, with Djokovic winning 10 in a row following Khachanov's stunning win in the final of the Paris Masters five years ago.

Khachanov had one of his best seasons in recent memory last year, and in the midst of that campaign he played Djokovic four times. He won just one set and covered the spread in just one of those matches — achieved only after breaking Djokovic as he was serving for the match in the second set of their Dubai meeting.

It's hard to argue Khachanov is in a better spot here considering he's on what's inarguably his worst surface. He's a very fine player on clay, but the Russian would surely prefer for this meeting to be at the US Open if it were to happen at a Slam.

With that, this is a hard match to handicap. Djokovic's level has fluctuated all tournament despite the score lines indicating he's been relatively unchallenged. He should have dropped one, if not both, of the first two sets he played with Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

I think Khachanov is playing some inspired tennis right now and despite the mental hurdle presented by this matchup has never looked discouraged in any of his recent meetings with Djokovic. Should he come in with some self-belief, I think he'll find a version of Djokovic which is just slightly worse than his best.

Khachanov should be able to negotiate a set here with Djokovic's inconsistencies throughout the tournament.

Pick: Khachanov +2.5 sets (+105 via DraftKings)

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Carlos Alcaraz (-470) vs Stefanos Tsitsipas (+360)

2:15 p.m. ET

Speaking of dominance in the head-to-head, Alcaraz has historically owned Tsitsipas. Despite bursting onto the scene in late 2021, these two have now met four times with the Spaniard taking every single match. He did drop a set against Tsitsipas in Barcelona last year, but it seems abundantly clear that Alcaraz is simply a better player than Tsitsipas.

With that being said, I don't think Tsitsipas has ever been in better form entering a match with Alcaraz. When the two met in Barcelona this year, Tsitsipas was still finding his game and even dropped a match to Taylor Fritz in Monte Carlo the week prior at a tournament where he was the two-time defending champion. Last year, some fatigue surely set in after he won Monte Carlo and battled through two tough matches in Barcelona just days later before the Alcaraz match.

It's safe to say he's found his A-game in Paris. He had some very impressive wins in Rome before a tight loss to Daniil Medvedev before turning it back on here at Roland Garros with just a set against him in four matches. Tsitsipas dusted a player in Diego Schwartzman who's given him fits for years, and he recovered from an early break against big-serving Sebastian Ofner to not only take the first set but totally diffuse his power.

Will Tsitsipas finally overcome Alcaraz? It's very tough to say that he will when you consider he's tried his damndest to beat this kid only to fall short every single time. I do think he'll take a set here at the very least, making the over a solid bet.

Alcaraz has dropped his level in each of his last three matches, but his opposition gifted him the sets right back. Denis Shapovalov poured in the double faults to donate two breaks back in the second set and Lorenzo Musetti struggled to hold his nerve in the fourth round. Tsitsipas is a far more experienced player at Grand Slams, and he's also a much better server than Musetti is. Should he secure a break lead, I think the chances of him taking the set would be very high considering how dominant he's been in that department.

Tsitsipas has the variety in his game to problem solve out there, something Musetti was unable to do in the second and third sets against Alcaraz. I think this one will be the Spaniard's toughest test yet, and while I'm not calling an outright upset I do think this will wind up being an epic clash.

Pick: Over 34.5 games (-125 via DraftKings)

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