Ernests Gulbis v Matteo Berrettini: Gulbis to win – 8/11
The colourful Ernests Gulbis has shown a glimpse of the kind of form which has previously seen him ranked inside the world’s top 10, as well as reaching the semi-final at Roland-Garros back in 2014. He battled his way to the semis at the Bordeaux Challenger, before winning his three qualifiers and an impressive first round showing over the huge serving Gilles Muller here. We believe he can keep the run going and see off Berretini in this one to set up an enticing third round encounter versus either Dominic Thiem or Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Dominic Thiem v Stefanos Tsitsipas: Over 3.5 Sets – 5/6
What a slamming match this should be! Two of the in-form players battle it out for a place in the next round. Thiem loves to make things hard for himself as can be seen with four of his last five encounters (only one of them versus top 50 opposition) before the French Open going to a deciding set. Tsitsipas easily won the last meeting in April on the Barcelona clay, but Thiem has since shown glimpses of finding his level of previous years with a title in Lyon and a Masters Final appearance in recent weeks. We fancy Thiem to sneak through here, but not before a scare or two and backing over three sets is our value play.
Karolina Pliskova v Lucie Safarova: Pliskova to win 2-0 – 5/6
Despite clay arguably being her worst surface, Karolina Pliskova has shown a high level on this dirt swing reaching the semi-final of Madrid and that backed up her fine win at Stuttgart. Safarova has been struggling for form and fitness in recent times. Despite being a finalist here back in 2015, we’re backing the on-song Czech to get this done in straight sets.
Cameron Norrie v Lucas Pouille: Norrie to win a set – 8/13
We’re backing the in-form Brit to continue his fine form at ATP Lyon last week (where he took down John Isner on his way to a semi-final appearance) and win at least a set versus Lucas Pouille, who has had a very disappointing clay campaign this year – winning only one match at the four tournaments played.
* All odds correct at time of posting.