Bonjour! The first few days of Roland-Garros has seen sunny weather, a great atmosphere and as per usual a couple of big seeds being upset. Shockingly, the biggest one being fourth seeded Dominic Thiem who lost from two sets up to Pablo Andujar.
On the fourth day of action, we’re in for a treat, with a stacked order of play. Court Philippe-Chatrier sees 2019 finalist Marketa Vondrousova start proceedings, with Serena Williams and Daniil Medvedev as other big names in play. Our matches of betting interest will guide you through the first day in Paris and provide some free tennis picks. Allez!
Miomir Kecmanovic vs. Laslo Djere
Wednesday, June 2, 2021 – 5:00 AM EST at Court 6
Laslo Djere is a true clay court specialist and has little success on other surfaces. But on the red dirt he's a force, once ranked as high as no. 27 in the world. His last two clay campaigns have been stellar, with titles in Rio de Janeiro and Sardinia, and semifinals in Kitzbühel and Sao Paolo.
This clay court swing has been quite good for the 25-year old Serbian as well, who was within a set of his third career title in Cagliari, and also made the quarterfinal in Geneva. With his accurate serve and forehand, Djere is certainly a top 30 player on this surface.
In the first round, he played well to overcome a racuous French crowd (that left mid match due to curfew) and Corentin Moutet in four tight sets.
His opponent in this match is certainly not a clay court specialist. Though Miomir Kecmanovic grew up on "clay", it was the rapid, green kind seen in the US, where he moved at only 13 years of age. On the red dirt, the Serb routinely struggles, and outside of his 2019 title at Kitzbühel altitude, Miomir has done precious little.
The 21-year old has a massive forehand which he uses to dictate proceedings from the baseline, and also moves quite well. But he's not a natural clay courter, and can often be inconsistent.
Kecmanovic's form in the lead-up wasn't great, but he did well to come from a set down to defeat Daniel Evans in the first round, though the Briton isn't a clay court demon by any stretch.
It's certainly not a stretch to say that Djere is the vastly superior player on the red dirt, and while Kecmanovic has the game to grab a set, the older Serbian should prevail. With the top sportsbooks generally giving us Djere as only a marginal favorite, it's time to strike.
Belinda Bencic vs. Darya Kasatkina
Wednesday, June 2, 2021 - 5:00 AM EST at Court Simonne-Mathieu
Just a few years ago, Darya Kasatkina surged into the top 10 with her graceful movement, redirection and variety. She struggled massively with the weight of expecation, and had been floundering for a couple of years since.
But now, Dasha is back on track towards her best tennis. The signs were there last year, and in 2021 the 24-year old Russian has already won two WTA titles. One was the hard court Phillip Island trophy in Australia, the other indoors at home in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The clay court form hasn't been ideal for Kasatkina, however, and she made hard work of her first round contest against Doi Misaki.
On the other side of the net, we have a master of redirection in Belinda Bencic. The Swisswoman is by no means a clay court specialist, and outside of altitude actually sports a losing main level career record on the surface.
When given pace to work with the world no. 11 is lethal, and we saw just that in the first round. Though Nadia Podoroska was having a nightmare of a performance, Bencic was brilliant and dominated 6-0, 6-3 with 22 winners to 18 unforced errors.
While Bencic could enjoy her counterpunching and redirection in the first round, she won't be able to here. Kasatkina mixes up spins and speeds, and won't hit as many unforced errors as Podoroska did. The Swisswoman has hardly done well here in the past, with a lone third round appearance to show in four attempts.
Up against stellar opposition on her least favored surface, it's tough agreeing with the betting sites that give Bencic the juice. In a wrong woman favored situation, the value lies with the Russian.
Free Tennis Pick: Kasatkina (+101) with BetOnline
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.