French Open Day 7 preview and best bets: Goffin gets it done
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz have all played their way into week two at the French Open. Now it’s time for the bottom half of the men’s draw to take center stage in attempts to reach the fourth round of 2022’s second Grand Slam. On the women’s side, American Madison Keys is among those in action.
Let’s take a look at some of the best bets to be made for Day 7.
David Goffin ML over Hubert Hurkacz (+120)
Hurkacz is the oddsmakers favorite probably because he is ranked a lot higher than Goffin (No. 13 to No. 48). There are not enough other reasons to justify such a distinction. They just faced each other a couple of weeks ago in Rome and Goffin won in straight sets. There is no reason to think anything will be different in Paris, where the Belgian basically has home-court advantage. He also has a much, much more successful history than Hurkacz at Grand Slams. Goffin has reached the quarterfinals at 3 of the 4 slams (including the French Open in 2016) and at the other one (U.S. Open) he has been to the fourth round four times. Hurkacz has never been past round three of a major in his entire career. Clay is also the Pole’s least successful surface, making Goffin an even more appealing choice in this matchup.
Gilles Simon +7.5 games over Marin Cilic (-126)
The books are showing way too much confidence in Cilic, who has not been to the quarterfinals of a major since 2018. Granted, winning on Saturday would only result in a fourth-round berth — but the bottom line is that the 2014 U.S. Open champion isn’t the player he was in his prime. It’s true that Simon also isn’t the same as he once was, but announcing his retirement at the end of this season may have been just what the doctor ordered. The Frenchman is getting a ton of support from the home crowd and he has parlayed it into impressive wins over Pablo Carreno Busta and Steve Johnson. This match will be on Court Philippe Chatrier, where the crowds are obviously the biggest. I wouldn’t even hesitate to sprinkle some on a bloated +450 money line for Simon. This is a winnable match for the underdog.
Elena Rybakina ML over Madison Keys (-179)
Keys has done well to reach the third round, but the competition level in her first two matches was unspectacular in the form of Anna Kalinskaya and Caroline Garcia. The American remains unconvincing on clay, as her match record on this surface over the past three seasons stands at 6-8. Rybakina is a tough opponent, too. The 16th-ranked Kazakh is 9-4 on clay this year and she dropped just four games in her previous match. So far on European clay this spring her only losses have come to world No. 4 Paula Badosa and a red-hot Jil Teichmann, who has already booked her spot in the French Open fourth round. It takes a lot to defeat Rybakina these days, and Keys may not have the goods.
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