French Open Day 5 best bets: Federer facing tougher test

Roger Federer at the French Open
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Ricky Dimon

Tennis· 3 months ago

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

Second-round action at the 2021 French Open concludes on Thursday. The men’s and women’s singles fields have already been more than sliced in half, but there remain plenty of betting opportunities on offer. Both draws are already depleted, too. The men’s bracket is without Dominic Thiem and Andrey Rublev, both first-round losers. Roberto Bautista Agut and Karen Khachanov exited on Wednesday. On the women’s side, Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova have withdrawn — for very different reasons. Garbine Muguruza and Bianca Andreescu have already lost. Roger Federer is among those hoping to avoid the upset bug on Thursday.

Throughout the two weeks in Paris, Pickswise will be offering plenty of content to help you make winning tennis picks.

We are off to an 8-3 start through four days, so the plan is to keep it rolling! Let’s continue by taking a look at some of the best bets for Thursday at Roland Garros, and be sure to also check out our best futures bets for the fortnight.

Roger Federer vs. Marin Cilic Over 38 games (+107)

Federer dominated his first-round match in straight sets, but that was against Denis Istomin–surely one of the weakest players in the field of 128. Cilic presents a huge step up in competition. And against real competition, it remains to be seen how Federer is going to play this season. After all, Federer is 39 years old. As good as he is, he is on his last legs in tennis. Clay has always been his worst surface, too. The 23-time Grand Slam champion is only playing the French Open to get some practice before the grass and hard-court swings. Cilic is past his prime, as well, but the Croat is winning his fair share of matches. A considerable underdog here, Cilic has every reason to be competitive. I expect a tight four-setter–and perhaps five. Cilic on the +220 money line is not a bad play, either.

Parlay: Taylor Fritz over Dominik Koepfer and Lorenzo Musetti over Yoshihito Nishioka (+103)

Fritz should probably cover the -4.5 game spread, but let’s take him on the money line and put him in a parlay with Musetti. The American is 2-0 lifetime against Koepfer and 5-1 in total sets during those matches. Both of his wins have come on hard courts, but clay should favor the American even more. No, he isn’t at his best on this surface; it’s just that Koepfer has struggled bigtime on the red stuff. The German is 22-25 on it over the past four seasons. Kopefer hasn’t been impressive this spring either, whereas Fritz is in great form. This should be routine for the No. 30 seed, and it should also be the same for Musetti. The 19-year-old Italian has been outstanding on clay dating back to last fall. Nishioka blows hot and cold, but even peak Nishioka probably can’t win a best-of-five match against Musetti.

Taylor Fritz

Parlay: Karolina Pliskova over Sloane Stephens and Sofia Kenin over Hailey Baptiste (-101)

Stephens ended Carla Suarez Navarro’s French Open career on Tuesday, but CSN was playing her first match in 15 months after recovering from Hodgkin’s lymphoma and the American still needed three long sets to prevail. Although Pliskova is not at her best on clay, conditions in Paris have been playing fast this week and that suits her game. As for Kenin, she made a run to the final last year. The American defeated former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the first round; Baptiste is a big step down from Ostapenko.

Pickswise is the home of free tennis picks and predictions. Make sure to check out our daily tennis tips throughout the French Open.

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