Welcome to the Day 2 preview. At present we aren’t quite sure which matches will fall on day 2 and which will fall on day 3. Once we know, we will adjust accordingly.
Nicolas Kicker vs Damir Dzumhur
4.5 units Kicker +3.5 games vs Dzumhur at $1.99 at Pinnacle
Very happy to side with Kicker at the + games handicap here. Clay has been Kicker’s friend over the last 12 months, with 604 of his 618 rankings points come from the red clay (compared to 321 from Dzumhur). Kicker put together a very solid week of tennis last week, with wins over Polansky, Brown and Kyrgios before falling to Basilashvili in the quarter final (who just knocked out Gilles Simon at the French Open). Dzumhur on the other hand has entered the French Open with 3 consecutive straight sets losses (Cilic, Bellucci and Seppi). There has not been a match on clay in 2017 that has made me feel comfortable about taking a -3.5 game handicap in this.
I have stopped short of taking the h2h on Kicker, but I am certainly confident he can cover this line against Dzumhur at close to even money.
Richel Hogenkamp vs Jelena Jankovic
4 units Hogenkamp to defeat Jankovic at $2.06 at Pinnacle
For those who read the WTA draw preview, you will know that Hogenkamp has been on a bit of a hot streak of late. She has had a very impressive run over the last couple of weeks, and her form is almost the polar opposite to that of Jankovic. Jankovic holds a 2-4 record on clay this year, with her wins coming against Alexandrova and Riske. She just seems to have lost a touch of her pace over the last couple of months, and you could say her 7-12 record on clay since the start of 2015 leaves a lot to be desired.
Hogenkamp absolutely dominated her way through qualifying, which isn’t a surprise considering she has won her last 14 matches. Although the strength of her opponents was below that of Grand Slam level, the fact that she has only dropped 2 sets through those 14 matches is an interesting stat to note. I like Hogenkamp to get the job done here on clay on form.
Stefano Napolitano vs Mischa Zverev
1.5 units Napolitano +5.5 games vs Zverev at $1.90 at Pinnacle
0.75 units Napolitano to defeat Zverev at $3.74 at Pinnacle
Bit of an interesting one here, with qualifier Napolitano coming up against Mischa Zverev, fresh off a finals appearance in Geneva (lost to Wawrinka from a set up). When you consider Zverev’s career on clay, he has won 57 matches and lost 75. He played 7 matches last week, and now must back up to play best of 5 set tennis. Zverev won 6 matches in Geneva. For perspective, Zverev won only 6 matches on clay between April 17, 2016 and May 19, 2017.
Napolitano is a solid enough claycourter, having qualified with wins over Giustino, Fucsovics and Bublik. Considering the situation that Zverev finds himself in, and that the physio was called for Zverev during the final in Geneva, I am more than comfortable making a small play on Napolitano to cover the games handicap.
Ernests Gulbis vs Marin Cilic
2 units Gulbis to defeat Cilic at $10.44 at Pinnacle
Former semi finalist Ernests Gulbis will try and recapture the form of yesteryear when he comes up against Marin Cilic here at double figure odds. This is a small hunch play on Gulbis, as I have been following Ernie for the better part of 5 years and feel this may be a value price on Gulbis. Here are some of the reasons:
- He isn’t just here for the money. He is from a very rich Latvian family, and he has never played for the money.
- Gulbis is very much a confidence player, and nothing would instil confidence like returning to the site of your career best performance (semi finalist 2014)
- Gulbis has 4th round points to defend from last year
Another thing to consider is that Marin Cilic lost in the first round here last year to Trungelliti, who was at $9+ as well. At this price, I can happy to have a go at Gulbis to cause the upset of Roland Garros.
Sara Errani vs Misaki Doi
3 units Errani -4.5 games vs Doi at $2.10 at Sportsbet ($2.03 at Pinnacle)
The form of Errani throughout qualifying was a blast from the past, dropping only 7 games across 6 sets of tennis. There isn’t anything to fault her on, and it has a very similar feel to Schiavone’s run over the last month or so. Wins over Gavrilova and Riske are decent form coming into this matchup. I really cannot think of an area where Doi is significantly stronger (outside of first serve, which is negligible on clay), so the -4.5 games vs Doi coming off a retirement last week seems very reasonable here.