Welcome to Day 1 of the French Open. With the first round spread out over a few days, there aren’t as many matches on offer as you would normally expected on the first day of a Grand Slam. I will be covering the whole fortnight, and if you have any questions or require any further info on any of the plays, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on here or on twitter at @Ace_TheProfits.
I hope my form matches up with yours!
Viktorija Golubic vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich
2.5 units Golubic to defeat Sasnovich at $1.95 at Pinnacle
Going to keep this one short. I feel Golubic is the stronger clay courter here. When you consider their most recent meeting in Belarus in the Fed Cup on indoor hardcourt was won by Sasnovich 7-5 in the third set, I am pretty happy to take Golubic on her stronger surface (see Gstaad title last year) where Sasnovich has struggled of late. Sasnovich has also been unable to get out of the first round of qualifying in all three clay tournaments to date this year.
Kurumi Nara vs Amanda Anisimova
3 units Anisimova to defeat Nara at $1.75 at Pinnacle ($1.82 at Unibet currently)
The 15 year old American Amanda Anisimova has qualified for her first Grand Slam, 12 months after finishing runner-up in the Roland Garros junior tournament. She managed to obtain the wildcard as the American having accumulated the most points across a 4 week period in April on clay court ITF tournaments. She has been very solid, and will be full of confidence in what is a VERY winnable first Grand Slam match.
Kurumi Nara isn’t particularly comfortable on clay, and her 36 wins and 40 losses across her career is a good indicator of this fact. She has only won 8 matches on clay since the start the start of 2015, with 13 losses along the way. Here are the 8 wins:
- Alexa Glatch
- Vivien Juhaszova
- Yuxuan Zhang
- Denisa Allertova (via retirement)
- Cagla Buyukakcay
- Oceane Dodin
- Stefanie Voegele
- Polona Hercog
Nara is vulnerable here personally. I really think if Anisimova can play like she has the last month, this is hers for the taking.
Tennys Sandgren vs Mikhail Kukushkin
3 units Sandgren +4.5 games vs Kukushkin at $1.96 Pinnacle
An interesting first round match here. Sandgren has put together a pretty solid little patch of tennis on clay since the start of April. After making the final of the Sarasota Challenger (lost to Tiafoe), and followed it up a week later with the title in the Savanah Challenger (def McDonald, Harrison, Laaksonen, Paul and Sorgi). Based on this recent form, he has been able to boost his clay court record from the beginning of 2016 to 14 wins and 8 losses.
The form of Kukushkin has been nothing to write home about. Outside of the Prostejov/Moscow Challenger titles vs lowly ranked players late last year, he recorded 9 wins and 13 losses on clay since the start of 2016, including a first round loss at the French Open last year, falling to Adrian Mannarino as a $1.60 favourite in 4 sets.
Considering the recent form of both players, I am comfortable siding with Sandgren at the +4.5 game start here. Sandgren is a decent chance of an outright win, but considering this is his first Grand Slam (see his tweets from last night), I would rather take the +4.5 game start here.
Marco Trungelliti vs Quentin Halys
4.5 units Trungelliti +1.5 games vs Halys at $1.93 at Pinnacle
Trungelliti will be known by some as the player that knocked off Marin Cilic at over $9 odds in the first round last year at Roland Garros. With those 2nd round points to defend this year, Marco put together one of the more impressive qualifying performances, beating Bemelmans from a set down, before defeating Kamke and Donati in straight sets. Although he hasn’t quite kicked on with his form from last year, Trungelliti is still putting together some very respectable claycourt tennis.
Halys was the beneficiary of a wildcard into the main draw at Roland Garros. He has a 54-46 record on clay in his career across all surfaces, however his form of late has been better than that record suggests. That being said, there aren’t many players on the list of defeats that would be better than Trungelliti on clay. De Minaur, Paul, Geens, Kudla, Otte, and Thompson (twice) are some of the players he has beaten of late. Halys is also defending second round points this week.
Unless Trungelliti is overawed by the French crowd, he should be the favourite to win here. As a result I am happy to take the +1.5 games on offer (also like h2h at a touch over $2). Halys has been shaky at times when in front, so if Trungelliti can at least split the first two sets he should be in very good shape here.
Jelena Ostapenko vs Louisa Chirico
2.5 units Total Match Games over 18.5 games at $1.92 at Pinnacle
In 25 claycourt wins since the start of 2015, 17 of Ostapenko’s wins have gone over 18.5 games. In 5 of these matches she has started at odds less than $1.40 (she is $1.13 today), and 4 of those 5 have gone over 18.5 total games. Further to this, 13 of Ostapenko’s last 14 matches have gone over the 18.5 game total on offer today. Ostapenko has been very solid on clay this year, however she hasn’t been absolutely dominating opponents. He serve lacks firepower, so her game certainly revolves around her return game.
Chirico made her return to after an injury layoff last week against Daria Gavrilova, losing 2-6 3-6. Unfortunately for Chirico she was very rusty early and could never get back in contention (except for a 2-0 lead to start the second). What Chirico does possess is the shots to be able to challenge Ostapenko at times throughout this match. With clay wins in 2016 over the likes of Gavrilova, Ivanovic, Davis and Giorgi, Chirico can certainly hold her own on clay.
Happy to make a small play here on the overs. Ostapenko should win, but it may not be as convincing as the odds suggest.