Come join us for an overview of the third day of Roland-Garros action, and get insight on value selections to make your betting briefing in Paris profitable!
Roland-Garros continues along, and though the weather hasn’t been the most tennis friendly, at least there hasn’t been as much rain as was forecasted. Court Philippe-Chatrier sees world No.1 Novak Djokovic take the court in his maiden Major appearance, following the historic US Open default three weeks ago. Over on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, fourth-seeded Sofia Kenin faces a tough test in Liudmila Samsonova. Our chosen matchups where our free tennis picks find value will focus on the show courts today. Let’s begin!
Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Mikael Ymer (80)
Tuesday, September 29, 2020 – 07:30 AM EDT at Stade Roland Garros
He’s got a Rome Masters 1000 title in the bag, he’s welcomed to the cold Parisian weather, and with a Rafael Nadal complaining nonstop about both the conditions and the new Wilson balls. The stage is set for world No.1 Novak Djokovic to avenge himself following the disastrous default at the US Open.
Winning his first Roland-Garros title since 2016 and dethroning the King of Clay would be a great way to do just that. In the current damp and slow conditions, it’ll be significantly tougher to hit through the Serb’s stellar defenses. Djokovic is also a flatter hitter of the ball, something that will allow him to hit through the courts with more ease than his biggest competitors, who rely on heavy topspin.
The world No.1’s first assignment in this year’s campaign will be Mikael Ymer. Last year was a major breakthrough for the young Swedish talent, winning four ATP Challenger Tour titles, along with breaking into the Top 100 on the world rankings. Similarly to Djokovic, Ymer is a player who relies on his excellent court coverage, defensive skills, and backhand to win points.
However, the 22-year old has an exploitable serve, an inconsistent forehand, and is often far too passive in baseline rallies. Mikael often settles for waiting out an error instead of taking initiative himself, which the elite usually punish. It hasn’t been the greatest of restarts for the Swede, who’s gone 2-4. Failing to even win a set in the three contests he lost as the betting underdog.
While there may be some similarities between the Djokovic and Ymer game, there is no mistaking who is completely and utterly dominant in every single aspect of the game. As a player who relies on his opposition to make unforced errors, our outlast them in baseline exchanges, this is a nightmare matchup for Ymer.
The world No.1 certainly won’t offer him much, and he cannot be outlasted. With no killer weapon to endpoints, or serve to claim freebies from, the Swede will be under pressure in every single service game. In Ymer’s two matchups against Top 10 players, he was walloped in straight sets. Expect a similar outcome in this one. The ATP tennis odds offer the Under 26.5 games at a -116 price with Bookmaker, one we will gladly throw down a unit on.
Aryna Sabalenka (12) vs. Jessica Pegula (60)
Tuesday, September 29, 2020 – 10:15 AM EDT at Stade Roland Garros
The European fall is well underway, and with it comes harsh winds, cold weather, and slow, damp clay courts. A recipe for disaster as far as Aryna Sabalenka is concerned. Clay is by far the eighth-seeded Belarusian’s worst surface, and she actually holds a losing 29-30 career record on the red dirt. On this surface, the glittering groundstrokes capable of blowing her opponents away are neutralized, leaving the 22-year old exposed and baring her Achilles heel: consistency.
Patient point construction and consistency from the baseline are the primary weaknesses in the Belarusian’s game, and when things are not going her way she grows impatient and commits unforced errors. Sabalenka did make the semifinal in Strasbourg last week, but such was also the case in 2019 when the world No.12 was then eliminated in the second round of Roland-Garros – a stage she’s never been past.
Consistent shotmaking will be a must against Jessica Pegula, who’s been in fantastic form after the restart. Coming through qualifying to make the quarterfinal, the 26-year old American produced back-to-back-to-back upsets of the US Open semifinal sensation Jennifer Brady, teenage starlet Amanda Anisimova and Aryna Sabalenka herself. Brimming with confidence, she gave world No.11 Petra Kvitova a much tougher time than the 6-4, 6-3 scoreline suggested in the third round of the US Open.
Just like her opponent, clay isn’t Pegula’s best surface. However, she has much more experience on the surface and sports a solid record on the ITF level, along with a few upsets on the main tour. The American has a game well suited to the surface, as she bases her game on consistent hitting, and the trusty backhand seldom goes missing. Jessica moves well and covers the court expertly, and combined with a gritty mentality it’s not a simple task handing her a defeat.
Readers of our tournament preview will know I highlighted Sabalenka as one of the most vulnerable big seeds and a prime candidate to exit early. The WTA odds certainly haven’t taken the Belarusian’s vulnerability on clay courts into consideration here, with books like Heritage making her the -210 favorite.
Pegula can be found at +175 or better with the best betting sites. It’s a tough matchup for Sabalenka, as her opponent will challenge the Belarusian’s movement, shotmaking, consistency, and mental fortitude in heavy conditions on her least favored surface. To claim victory would mean playing at her very best level for a sustained period of time, which seems quite unlikely given the current circumstances. Pegula is a live dog in this spot, and with BetOnline offering +177 for the upset, count us in.