Hooked by Tsitsipas and Marterer. Duped by whatever the fuck Cecchinato did against a guy who hasn’t won at Roland Garros in two years and doesn’t even really play singles anymore.
500/1 into the second round, with ease, never in doubt. The rest of the outrights get underway on Monday. If you haven’t checked out the podcast or the preview article, please do, @ballboyztennis and @bangthebook.
I think I learned my lesson yesterday with Tsitsipas and Hurkacz. Best maybe to leave this one alone. Hurkacz has been steadily getting better and he has competed closely with some of the best on tour - he beat Nishikori twice this year, he beat Thiem (albeit after Indian Wells) and he kept it tight with Fed (46,46). The flip side is that in five setters Hurkacz, when faced with a top talent has come up markedly short, getting trounced twice by Cilic. Djokovic, since the French Open in 2016 (a bit of a delineation mark), has gone 7-2 in covering the -8.5 spread in the first round. At the French Open alone, if you go all the way back, he is 8-4 at covering that mark in the first round over his career and 4-1 in the last five years. I have no idea what to make of all that. I would suggest Hurkacz keeps it close to start and once Djoker settles in it could get ugly. In his 23 wins this year the only people who have been able to get beyond four games in the final set are Basilashvili, Tsonga, Kohlschreiber, Chardy, Thiem Delpo and Nadal. Other than Chardy those other six are all at one time or another top 20 guys. Hurkacz is not at that level yet. So, should Djoker win the first set 64 or 75-ish, I would look at Djoker’s spread live as it might be down to -7.5 or even -6.5. Additionally, if Djoker goes up 64,63 or 63,75 or something similar, the Djoker -2.5 line in the third set would be money.
A lucky loser. They can be funny things. Martinez came through qualifying with ease, not dropping a set. It was almost two easy. Martinez was a pretty big favorite in all three (the smallest line being about -285) so it was to be expected. He has done some pretty serious damage on the Challenger tour this year, especially on clay - quarter-final in Santiago, semi-final in Marbella, final in Alicante, and a semi-final in Lisbon. What he lacks is success at the ATP level - he hasn’t won a main draw match this year and he wasn’t even overly successful in qualifying matches before this week. Laaksonen has actually Slam experience, will be extra motivated having been granted a lucky loser spot, and has much better hold/break stats than Martinez at the ATP level and similar ones at the Challenger level (108% to 107%). I’ll take Laaksonen at a cheap price.
You could argue that Munar is coming into Roland Garros on a bit of a slump, having not made a deep run at any tournament this year. But, Munar has had some incredibly tough scheduling. Consider, he has lost to Khachanov in Madrid, Thiem in Barcelona, Coric in Monte Carlo, Paire in Marrakech (which he went on to win), Garin in Sao Paolo (finals), FAA in Rio (finals), and Pella in Beunes Aires (finals). All top 15 guys or guys who were destined for the finals. Hard to make a mark against Munar’s form then. His clay court stats since coming onto the ATP full time last year far out-pace Caruso’s and Caruso, at 26, has never won a five set match. I’ll take Munar.
I don’t bet Gilles Simon matches. He is maybe the most unpredictable guy on tour. He absolutely owns Staks; if you look up the h2h you’ll see it’s 5-0 and I don’t think any of them were close. But, this line is absurd and I’ll gladly pass. Maybe I’ll get a chance to fade Simon against Munar on Wednesday.
I really wanted to bet Struff here but, I honestly thought he would open as a dog given the name recognition of Shapovalov. The stats bear out Struff being the favorite as he has better hold/break numbers in each of the last three years. He beat Shapo earlier this year at Monte Carlo and he has had some nice success on this Euro swing, beating the likes of Cilic, Goffin, Tsitsipas, Kyrgios and Dimitrov, while also keeping it tight with Nadal in Barcelona. Shapo has not excelled on clay yet and I expect Struff to win this but,I don’t like the price. Struff opened a small favorite and the number has been run up from -125 to -175. Pass.
I am done betting against Albot. I faded him on clay last week in Geneva to dire results. The hold/break statistical comparison between these two is a mish-mash and while Albot was having a career week on clay in Geneva, Sandgren was cruising through qualies, not dropping a set. I certainly don’t think Sandgren should be +240 but, I don’t want to do anything about it. I would imagine if you took Tennys, after these two split sets, you’d be able to trade out. Pass for me.
Harris is on the rise but I am not sure that rise is gong to happen on clay. Harris is 0-5 on clay in main draw matches. On the other side of the net is Rosol, who would appear to be past it but, who would still consider clay his best surface. I think this line is off and I think its Rosol or pass here.
Both Coric and Bedene would consider clay their best surface and neither guy has ever really broken through at a Slam. Coric has had much more success though. In the last two years Bedene has won one Slam match, a tight four setter with Cam Norrie on grass. Coric has made multiple runs to the four round and last year at the French he went three rounds before losing to DSS. These two have played three times before all three were tight. I expect Coric to win but, maybe not easily. That makes the Croat a decent parlay piece.
Thiem is defending his place in the game as the heir to the clay crown. Tommy Paul is a decent young clay player who has made two clay Challenger finals in the last month. The price is not bettable and I’ll pass.
Molleker has had some interesting losses in the last few weeks - RBA, Cuevas, and a tough third set tiebreak to Dennis Novak. I think he is a player on the rise, who actually performs well on clay, and his opponent is someone who is basically clay adverse. This is simply a fade of Bublik who went 1-5 on clay in 2018 and is 1-3 on it in 2019.
Cuevas is a true clay courter with a big serve. He should destroy Janvier but, he has a less than stellar record at the French Open (9-9). I’ll pass on a match priced like this.
Chardy has unfortunate clay stats and Edmund, while in the past an above average clay player, is having a terrible 2019. Edmund comes into Roland Garros on a terrible losing streak, losing five in a row. I’ll straight pass this match.
Muller surprised me in qualifying, eliminating both Giannessi and Troicki. RCB is coming off a title in Lisbon but, has never won a main draw match in Roland Garros. A Challenger title, at this point, shouldn’t distract RCB and I would expect him to get past the young Frenchman but, at this price I’ll pass.
Krajinovic is on a hot streak for the ages. Three straight finals across two separate tours (Antipolis, Budapest, Heilbronn), all on clay. Tiafoe’s worst surface, statistically, is clay. This should be a win for Krajinovic. The concern for me is that the line looks too LOW. Additionally, well, I just don’t bet on Tiafoe matches.
I don’t know how you bet this match. Kovalik is hardly an ATP level player and Stan has had three troubling losses in a row - destruction by Nadal and then tight losses to Dzumhur and Goffin. At this price Wawrinka provides no help, even in a parlay.
This price seems a tad out of whack considering Garin went from winning everything through Houston, Barcelona, and Munich to losing in his first match in Geneva to Taro Daniel. Additionally, Garin has never won a match at Roland Garros, even a qualifier. Opelka has struggled on clay this year but, this price still seems high for a guy with a weapon like his serve. Pass.
I’ve simply run out of time. Kecmanovic is the best choice of the bunch based on price and win probability.
Kecmanovic/Coric ml, -120
Munar/Molleker ml, -133
Laaksonen ml, -125