The Round of 32 is set to get underway on Friday with a whole slew of matches that tennis bettors should spot. We cast are eye on a few and serve up our choice tennis picks.
Paire +700 vs. Berdych -1200
France's Benoit Paire enters his third round match with Tomas Berdych as the decided underdog on the French Open odds board trading at +700 tennis odds, but he's sure to be the crowd favorite. That's going to be a huge boost for the Frenchman, particularly as they will be playing on Court 1 rather than the intimidating arena that Philippe Chatrier can be. The intimate setting, the pro-French crowd that is sure to be vocal in their support and the importance of the occasion – a spot in the R16 and the chance to fly the French flag high could rouse Paire to the upset. Berdych doesn't always flourish under such circumstances and if it gets under his skin, he can err his way out of this match and the tournament, prematurely.
Paire is already responsible for one upset in Paris, a second round win over 28th seed Fabio Fognini in straight sets. He was truly inspired on Wednesday. He'll look to make it two upsets in a row on Friday. To date, Paire and Berdych have only played once, in Tokoyo (2012) with the Czech taking the win. Given current form, everything points to a victory by Berdych on Friday. On paper, he's a very attractive tennis pick with a solid 32-9 record on the season ahead of Paris and making the quarterfinals or better in each and every tournament he's entered this season. The newly-minted No.4 really should win, but this could be a match that goes the distance. As such, we're looking at several tennis betting markets over and above the outright match win odds.
If you're backing Berdych to the win, a four set at +275 or five set win at +750 are very good options. Of course, there's also the much better -175 tennis odds for a straight set win to consider, but given the French component, we'd be surprised if Paire didn't at least take a set off Berdych. Paire to win in straight sets is a whopping +2200 tennis bet as it does seem unlikely. But a four set win at +1800 and a five set win at +1600 cut a fine figure on the tennis odds board.
Tennis betting Verdict: Tomas Berdych should win and advance based on his form, so we're going with the Czech on our tennis picks. But we're looking at the four set or five set win at +275 pr +750, respectively, over and above his -1200 tennis odds to win outright.
Tennis Pick: Berdych to win
Rosol -163 vs. Gabashvili +120
Lukas Rosol takes on a revived Teimuraz Gabashvili in the R32 of the French Open. Gabashvili is enjoying a standout tournament to reach the third round, which belies his form ahead of the tournament that stood at 5-11. Much of the same could be said of Lukas Rosol, who boasted an 8-15 record before the first round of the French Open. Yet, somehow these two veterans defied the tennis odds to reach the third round. Chalk it to a very favorable section of the third quarter that was flanked by Feliciano Lopez and Roberto Bautista Agut. Each capitalised on this cushy corner and now stand one match win away from a potential R16 clash and a big pay day. That's motivation for the pair that have plied their trade for the better part of their career at the lower level of the men's circuit, in Challengers and the like. Rosol had the easier path with a qualifier in the first round, Elias Ymer, and a second round date with 19th seed Bautista-Agut as evinced by his straight set wins over both. Gabashvili, meanwhile, faced the sterner test in 11th seed Feliciano Lopez in the first round and clay-court guru Juan Monaco in the second round. Yet, he too advanced in convincing fashion.
Rosol has the 1-0 edge over Gabashvili, having beaten him at Kitzbuhel in 2012. But that head-to-head record doesn't include all their lower level clashes. Adding those five meetings, the pair comes through with a 3-3 head-to-head record, with Gabashvili edging Rosol on clay 3-2. This one is a tossup and appropriately tipped close on the tennis betting line. Either has a reasonable shot to advance, but we're putting our money on Gabashvili to do the job on Friday as the tempting +120 tennis pick. This could be another marathon on the day's card though, so it might be a good idea to add a four set or five set win as well.
Tennis Pick: Gabashvili at +120; in five sets at +800
Mahut +600 vs. Simon -1000
Gilles Simon is the justifiable favorite in this all-French affair with Nicolas Mahut. He has a 4-1 record against his compatriot, which underscores his whopping -1000 tennis odds to win outright. However, all their previous meetings were on hard courts. This is the first ever meeting on clay, which does change the dynamic somewhat. Both are dogged fighters, tough to beat. Mahut takes the cake – initiated tennis bettors will recall the epic, five set marathon Mahut and Isner delivered a five years ago at Wimbledon that went three days and featured the longest fifth set in the history of tennis that Isner won 70-68. All their previous matches were close and Mahut forced the issue even in defeat. If this trend continues, this is another match that could go the distance on the day's tennis betting card. We're banking on Simon to win outright, but in four or five sets at +275 or +700 tennis odds, respectively.
Tennis Picks: Simon to win at -1000 in five sets at +700