French Open Picks Day 5 With Odds and Predictions
by Ricky Dimon - 5/29/2013
Ricky Dimon continues his daily French Open previews with second-round action on Thursday. He is 4-5 and down 1.92 units after two days of handicapping.
All odds provided by Bovada Sportsbook
Fabio Fognini (-200) vs. Lukas Rosol (+155)
Almost everyone wants to see a Rosol vs. Rafael Nadal rematch in the third round, and it would take place if both players win on Thursday. Rosol, of course, stunned Nadal in five sets last summer at Wimbledon before the Spaniard was sidelined for seven months. On clay, however, it would not end well for Rosol. The big-hitting Czech won his first career title on clay last month in Bucharest, but he prefers to implement his power game on a faster surface.
Rosol would especially prefer to face Fognini on anything other than slow stuff. A clay-court specialist, Fognini has never fared poorly at the French Open. He successfully qualified in 2007 and 2009, reached the third round in 2010, made it all the way to the quarterfinals in 2011, and he had another third-round finish last year. Fognini was a semifinalist last month at the Monte-Carlo Masters, so he has all the more reason to be feeling confident heading into this one.
Victor Hanescu (-170) vs. Dmitry Tursunov (+130)
Hanescu got an ideal first-round draw against an out-of-sorts Bernard Tomic, who has been forced to focus more on off-the-court issues of late rather than on his tennis. The Romanian led Tomic by two sets (both were competitive) before the Aussie retired in the third due to injury. Clay is actually Hanescu's best surface even though he stands at 6-foot-6, but he lost in the Roland Garros second round two seasons ago and dropped his opener last spring.
Tursunov kicked off his fortnight with an extremely impressive straight-set ousting of No. 22 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov. The 30-year-old Russian is back up to No. 60 in the world after several years almost completely destroyed by physical problems. Tursunov is at his best on grass or fast hard court, but he already boasts a clay-court win this season over world No. 5 David Ferrer. The discrepancy in talent should be enough to overcome Hanescu's surface advantage when these two veterans take the court.
Parlay: John Isner (-350) vs. Ryan Harrison (+250) and Jerzy Janowicz (-325) vs. Robin Haase (+230)
Isner leads the head-to-head series with his fellow American 3-1, and Harrison's lone win cannot be taken seriously. It came at the beginning of this season in Sydney, when Isner was struggling mightily with a knee problem and was only testing it out to see if he could play the Australian Open (the big man eventually withdrew). They faced each other again last month in Houston (on clay), where Isner took care of Harrison in straight sets and went on to capture the title. The world No. 21 has to be confident after disposing of clay-court force Carlos Berlocq 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in round one.
Like Isner, Janowicz is a massive server who is surprisingly adept on the red stuff. The 23rd-ranked Pole is coming off a quarterfinal appearance in Rome, and in round one at Roland Garros he avenged a recent Barcelona loss to accomplished clay-courter Albert Ramos. Haase recently set an all-time record by losing 17 consecutive tiebreakers in the main draw of ATP events, a stretch of futility that he ended in his first-round win over Kenny De Schepper. In a match sure to feature very few breaks of serve (at least very few breaks of Janowicz), Haase will likely have to win one or two 'breakers in order to pull off an upset.
Pick: Isner and Janowicz
Jie Zheng (-190) vs. Melanie Oudin (+150)
Zheng is on a bit of a slide at 29 years old, but she is still a solid No. 43 in the world. The Chinese player advanced to the third round of this year's Australian Open, and she is coming off a quarterfinal finish in Brussels. Zheng is not at her very best on clay, but she has been as far as the fourth round at Roland Garros in the past.
Oudin is actually winning matches again. She just isn't doing it with consistency. The American lost her first three efforts on clay this season, failed to qualify in Madrid, then successfully qualified in Rome and Brussels. Oudin did well to oust No. 28 seed Tamira Paszek on Tueday, but Paszek is woefully out of form at the moment. At this point, it's hard to imagine Oudin stringing together two straight impressive performances.
Mariana Duque-Marino (-125) vs. Marion Bartoli (-105)
Yes, Bartoli is coming off a three-hour marathon against Olga Govortova (three hours and 12 minutes, to be exact), which the Frenchwoman won 7-6(8), 4-6, 7-5. That is not ideal preparation for her second-round encounter on Thursday, but Bartoli is in far better shape than she used to be, and one day of rest is enough after three sets. The world No. 13 went all the way to the French Open semifinals in 2011, so it's clear she can play some inspired tennis in front of the home crowd.
There is great value on Bartoli against an opponent of this caliber. Duque-Marino registers at No. 162 in the world, and she has spent much of this season in the minor leagues of the sport on clay in the United States. The 23-year-old Colombian did some damage at that level, but this is a whole different ballgame. Her only match on European clay prior to Roland Garros resulted in a first-round qualifying loss in Rome. Duque-Marino played three qualifying matches (one went to three sets) before her first-round win on Tuesday, so she won't exactly be 100-percent fresh, either.
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