In what is probably the pick of the opening round matches, Kazakhstan native Alexander Bublik takes on Russian Daniil Medvedev. On any other surface this fixture would be a forgone conclusion with Medvedev expected swat Bublik aside, but on the clay it’s a whole different story.
Daniil has been on record many times stating his dislike for the surface. Amazingly Medvedev has managed to make it to world number two only mustering 11 total wins on clay – that’s fewer match win than Rafa Nadal has French Open titles!
Bublik is in the form of life having reached two finals earlier in the year and two impressive performances in Masters events reaching Quarter Finals in both. The last on the clay in Madrid losing out to up and coming clay courter Casper Ruud. From every pre-tournament press engagement that Medvedev has attended he seems to have his sights set on the harder, faster grass and hard-court swings and another early French Open exit. I expected the betting in this match to be a lot closer so getting on Bublik anywhere around 6/4 represents great value.
Last year’s reigning champion, Iga Swiatek, starts her tournament early on Centre Court against 101 ranked Slovenian Kaja Juvan. Swiatek comes into this year’s French Open in impressive style by winning Rome facing opponents all inside the Top 50. This included a trashing of perennial Top 10 player Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 6-0.
Iga is very much a clay court type of player evidenced by an incredible 15-2 win/loss record on the surface in the last year. Juvan and Swiatek have faced each other once before, coming earlier this year in Melbourne. Juvan won the first set before Swiatek kicked into gear comfortably winning the next 2 sets 6-2, 6-1.
With Swiatek’s superiority on the clay and the imperious form she is bringing into this year’s tournament, we can easily see her brushing aside Juvan with the minimum of fuss, meaning she should win the opening set and bring in an Any Player 6-2 or 6-3 winner.
Two big-serving Americans start the day’s session on Court 14. Neither players’ game would be suited to the slower pace of play on clay, but they will rely heavily on their ability to hold serve. Isner boasts an impressive 90% service hold percentage while Querrey is still very good at 80%.
With this in mind, the match will likely turn into a slugfest, neither wanting to give up much on serve. So it is very likely that most sets will go the distance. In fact, in the eight times that the two compatriots have faced each other there has been a total of 10 sets that have had over 12.5 games. At the prices, that looks like a tasty proposition on day two.
- A Bublik v D Medvedev: Match Odds – Bublik to win
- K Juvan v I Swiatek: Set 1 Correct Score Groups – Any Player 6-2 or 6-3
- S Querrey v J Isner: Set 1 Total Games O/U 12.5 – Over
*Odds on banners are up-to-date and all odds quoted are subject to change
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