French Open Picks Day 6 With Odds and Predictions
by Ricky Dimon - 5/30/2013
Ricky Dimon continues his daily French Open previews with third-round action on Friday.
All odds provided by Bovada Sportsbook
Gael Monfils (-210) vs. Tommy Robredo (+160)
Make no mistake about it, Monfils has been the story of Roland Garros up to this point in the tournament. He upset world No. 6 Tomas Berdych 7-6(8), 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-7(4), 7-5 then got past a red-hot Ernests Gulbis 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-2 in round two. If you think this came completely out of nowhere for the flamboyant Frenchman, however, think again. Yes, Monfils missed part of this season and much of last due to injury. However, he won a Challenger title earlier this month and reached the Nice final only one week ago.
A lot of time on court in his first two matches won’t help Monfils, but Robredo — who is 31 years old and quite familiar with physical problems, himself — needed five sets to beat Igor Sijsling on Wednesday. While the veteran Spaniard is a tough clay-courter, the way to beat Monfils is to bludgeon balls through the court and negate his incredible defensive skills. If huge hitters like Berdych and Gulbis could not do it, it’s hard to imagine a counter-puncher like Robredo getting the job done.
Gilles Simon (-220) vs. Sam Querrey (+165)
Simon is by no means France’s best hope to win the French Open, but the widely-accepted idea that the French fans don’t like him is absurd. They were going positively wild for Simon during his five-set win over Lleyton Hewitt and again when he lost the first to Pablo Cuevas in round two before winning the next three 6-1, 6-1, 6-1.
Unlike some Americans, Querrey is not completely hopeless on clay. That being said, he had a 1-3 record on the surface in 2013 prior to his arrival in Paris, and he had been a horrendous 1-6 at Roland Garros. Querrey said after his Wednesday win over Jan Hajek that he accomplished his goal of reaching the third round. That is not exactly a lofty aim for someone ranked 20th in the world, but can you really blame him with that kind of history at the event?
Milos Raonic (-190) vs. Kevin Anderson (+150)
This is an intriguing matchup between players of similar ilk. Anderson stands at 6-foot-8 while Raonic comes in at 6-foot-5. The smaller Raonic actually wields a more dangerous serve, but Anderson has the forehand edge in terms of both power and consistency. Anderson also has superior movement at the back of the court — especially on clay.
Their only previous head-to-head meeting came last year in San Jose. Raonic won 7-5, 7-6(3), but it was contested on an indoor hard court at an event that Raonic won on three consecutive occasions. Not too surprisingly, there was just a single break of serve in the entire match. The clay courts of Roland Garros should allow for more baseline rallies, which will play into Anderson’s hands. Unless the Canadian serves brilliantly (which is certainly not out of the question), Anderson may be able to do South Africa proud with what would only be a minor upset.
Parlay: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (-525) vs. Jeremy Chardy (+335) and Nicolas Almagro (-450) vs. Andreas Seppi (+300)
Although Chardy advanced to the Australian Open quarterfinals earlier this year, this all-French showdown is mismatch central. Tsonga is surprisingly strong on clay, and he reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros last season before holding multiple match points in a five-set loss to Novak Djokovic. Neither player dropped a set in the first two rounds, but Chardy benefited from a favorable draw whereas Tsonga steamrolled into the last 32 despite facing an in-form Jarkko Nieminen on Wednesday.
Speaking of Grand Slam quarterfinals, Seppi was one set away from that stage in 2012. The Italian led Djokovic by two sets during fourth-round action at the French Open only to lose in five. Seppi, though, was in incredible form heading into that installment of the tournament. This time around, he entered in the midst of a dismal four-match losing streak. Seppi required five sets in each of his first two rounds, while Almagro — a three-time Roland Garros quarterfinalist — has eased through six consecutive sets since dropping his opening set of the fortnight to Andreas Haider-Maurer.
Pick: Tsonga and Almagro
Svetlana Kuznetsova (-250) vs. Bojana Jovanovski (+180)
Kuznetsova is not the same player she was when she peaked as high as No. 2 in the world in 2007 and more recently finished the 2009 season at No. 3. At the moment, however, the 27-year-old is enjoying a resurgence. Kuznetsova ended 2012 at 72nd in the rankings, and she is already back up to No. 39. She reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open and advanced to the third round in both Indian Wells and Miami. Furthermore, the Russian is a two-time Grand Slam champion — including this event in 2009.
Don’t overreact to Jovanovski’s second-round scalp of Caroline Wozniacki. An opening win over an ailing and error-prone Laura Robson notwithstanding, Wozniacki can hardly come out on top in any kind of tennis match these days. Jovanovski should have won, and she did. The 47th-ranked Serbian had never been past the second round of a major, and suddenly getting to a fourth round is too much to ask…especially against a much different beast of an opponent.
Pick: Kuznetsova in straight sets (-125)
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