French Open Day 1 preview and best bets: Meet the Fokina
The 2022 tennis season rolls along with its second Grand Slam, the French Open. Rafael Nadal triumphed at the Australian Open for a record 21st slam title and is now bidding for a 14th victory at Roland Garros. Novak Djokovic is trying to tie Nadal atop the all-time list with his 21st title, which would be his third in Paris. As for the women, Iga Swiatek is an absolute dominant force in the game right now.
Below are my picks for Day 1.
Before play begins on Sunday, also be sure to note my outright best bets on both the men’s and women’s sides.
For the Aussie Open, the first major of the season, I compiled a 26-13 record with my daily bets. I also nailed Nadal at +900 outright as a 3-star best bet and Ashleigh Barty (+275) was my successful pick to win the women’s title. Let’s keep the momentum going!
Donna Vekic ML over Mirjam Bjorklund (-179)
Vekic has not been at her best in 2022, but a favorable draw in Paris may be just what the doctor ordered. Bjorklund did well to qualify earlier this week and this will be her first-ever appearance in the main draw of a major. Vekic, who also has momentum from successful qualification, is a former Grand Slam quarterfinalist (2019 U.S. Open) and has reached at least the fourth round of all four majors.
Quentin Halys +3.5 games over John Isner (-120)
Even in a best-of-five match, Isner giving anyone 3.5 games is a lot. I actually have Halys (+167 on the money line) winning this one outright, so I will happily take the spread as a bonus. Isner has been borderline dominant in doubles this year, but his singles efforts have been extremely disappointing. The 37-year-old American’s record is an even 11-11. Even in his prime he wasm’t particularly adept on clay and he has never been past the fourth round at Roland Garros. Isner has not defeated a top-30 opponent at this tournament since 2014. Halys isn’t in the top 30 (he is ranked 86th), but the 25-year-old is coming off a runner-up showing at a Challenger event on the red clay of Bordeaux. French players always have raucous crowd support at Roland Garros, which will only help Halys’ upset chances.
Parlay: Alejandro Davidovich Fokina over Tallon Griekspoor and Coco Gauff over Rebecca Marino (-172)
Davidovich Fokina made a run to the French Open quarterfinals last year. Fast forward 12 months and the Spaniard is a much, much more consistent player now. He is up to No. 28 in the rankings thanks in part to a recent run to the Monte-Carlo title match. Griekspoor was red hot earlier in 2022, but he has cooled off in a big way this spring. Like ADF, Gauff should enjoy a routine day at the office. The 18-year-old American advanced to the Roland Garros quarters last spring and now has another year of experience under her belt. Thirteen years Gauff’s senior, Marino has not won a main-draw match at the French Open since 2011.
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