French Open Picks Day 10 With Odds and Predictions
by Ricky Dimon - 6/3/2013
Ricky Dimon continues his daily French Open previews with quarterfinal action on Tuesday. He is 12-6 and up 2.55 units heading into the 10th day of the tournament.
All odds provided by BetOnline Sportsbook
Roger Federer (-165) vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (+145)
This Roland Garros quarterfinal showdown is massively-hyped, and why not? The French fans — no matter that their soft spot for Federer is softer than soft — have plenty of reasons to believe in their country’s top player. Tsonga has not dropped a set this fortnight, and he is coming off a 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 destruction of Viktor Troicki. He has defeated Federer three times in his career, and two of their last three Grand Slam encounters went to five sets (including in this year’s Australian Open quarters).
Not all bodes well, however, for the world No. 8. Federer has nine career wins over Tsonga, including a 1-0 record on clay. The third-ranked Swiss captured the French Open title in 2009, whereas his Tuesday opponent has never advanced past the quarterfinals. At 31 years old, Federer (who won his first three matches in straight sets) proved he has plenty left in the tank by coming back from two sets to one down against Gilles Simon and winning a five-setter on Sunday.
While he does have a few big-time wins here and there, Tsonga has generally fared poorly against the current Top 4 players in the world. In fact, he is at least five matches under .500 against all four; 3-9 against Federer, 5-10 against Novak Djokovic, 3-8 against Rafael Nadal, and 1-7 against Andy Murray.
Agnieszka Radwanska (-140) vs. Sara Errani (+120)
Other than an ever-so-slight advantage on paper (No. 4 seed to No. 5 seed), Radwanska has one thing going for her heading into this intriguing matchup: head-to-head history. A-Rad leads Errani in their series 6-1, including 3-0 at top-level events since 2010.
That being said, Errani will be brimming with confidence this time around. Their most recent meeting came last fall on a hard court (a surface that massively favors Radwanska) at the year-end championship, where the Italian just barely went down 6-7(8), 7-5, 6-4. Furthermore, Errani is one of the best clay-court players in the world. She went all the way to the Roland Garros final last spring before succumbing to Maria Sharapova. Prior to this fortnight, Errani’s two most recent results were semifinals in Madrid (where she extended Serena Williams to 7-5 in a set) and Rome.
Men’s Champion Futures
Nadal has not been his usual dominant self at Roland Garros, but it is not yet time to panic. If anything, you simply get better value on the Spaniard now (-125) than at the beginning of the tournament (-140). Although dropping sets to Daniel Brands and Martin Klizan is not encouraging, Brands — a huge hitter in the same mold as Robin Soderling and Lukas Rosol — was on fire early in their first-round encounter, and Klizan also played above and beyond his normal standard. Keep in mind that Nadal went to five sets in his 2011 first-rounder against John Isner before going on to win a sixth French Open title.
Djokovic, who has the only realistic shot of ousting Nadal, did not drop a set through his first three rounds. However, he saw a trainer for a shoulder issue on Saturday during a blowout of Grigor Dimitrov. It is no cause to sound the alarm just yet, but it certainly is something of which to take note. As for Federer, he is +600 to win Roland Garros for the second time in his career. With his draw, that is value worth investigating. Federer has no chance whatsoever against Nadal, but if the Spaniard loses to Djokovic in the semis, a Federer scalp of Djokovic in the final is by no means out of the question.
Pick: Rafael Nadal (-125)
Women’s Champion Futures
Williams was a -110 tournament favorite at the beginning of the fortnight. Four utterly dominant performances later, the world No. 1 is now an outrageous -300 to triumph at Roland Garros. Maybe “outrageous” is not the correct word, though, because it is still a smart play! Just how good has Serena been? En route to the quarterfinals, none of her sets was closer than 6-3. Two of the eight resulted in 6-0 bagels, three ended in 6-1 breadsticks, two went to 6-2, and the one 6-3 scoreline came on Sunday against stellar clay-court opponent and No. 15 seed Roberta Vinci.
Like the Miami Heat of the NBA, the WTA’s Big 3 is now becoming a Big 1 with two lesser stars. Formerly part of the trio, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka are on the opposite half of the draw from Serena — giving the elder Williams sister an even bigger advantage. While Sharapova and Azarenka will likely slug it out in the semifinals, Serena can feast on someone like Radwanska or Errani.
Pick: Serena Williams (-300)
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