French Open Day 8 preview and best bets: Can Coco Gauff get to the quarterfinals?

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Ricky Dimon

Tennis · 4 weeks 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.

Quarterfinal spots will begin being handed out at the French Open on Sunday. When this weekend in Paris comes to an end, a blockbuster matchup between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal could be set. On the women’s side, Coco Gauff is among those in fourth-round action.

Let’s take a look at some of the best bets to be made for Day 8.

Coco Gauff vs Elise Mertens over 21 games (-115) 

The only previous encounter between Coco Gauff and Elise Mertens came last summer on the grass courts of Eastbourne, where the American survived a tight 3-setter. A total of 31 games were played — including 25 in the second and third sets alone. Asking for more than 21 on Sunday certainly isn’t too much. Gauff is a considerable favorite to win the match, but Mertens is an established veteran who will not go away quietly. Each player completely rolled through the first 3 rounds, setting the stage for what should be a competitive and high-quality contest. This is not a big number, so take the over.

Karen Khachanov +8 games over Carlos Alcaraz (-125)

Carlos Alcaraz picked up the pace in a big way by beating Sebastian Korda on Friday, but don’t forget that he needed 5 sets to get past Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the second round – and even had to save a match point. Even though he is deservedly among the top 3 favorites for the Roland Garros title, it’s not like the 19-year-old is completely invincible at this point in his career. Karen Khachanov is no slouch of an opponent, either. The world #25 is an awesome 18-5 lifetime at the French Open and this is his fifth trip to the fourth round (including a quarterfinal run in 2019). Khachanov is coming off an outstanding 4-set win over 10th seed Cameron Norrie, so he is brimming with confidence. A huge game spread of +8 is too much to pass up.

Parlay: Rafael Nadal -1.5 sets over Felix Auger-Aliassime, Novak Djokovic -1.5 sets over Diego Schwartzman and Alexander Zverev -1.5 sets over Bernabe Zapata Miralles (-123)

I’m not too worried about any of the men’s favorites today. Even Alcaraz should win outright; I just don’t see that one being a blowout. I definitely don’t see either Nadal, Djokovic or Zverev dropping more than one set. The only somewhat vulnerable member of that trio is Zverev, but he is facing the weakest opponent in Zapata Miralles. A run to the last 16 at Roland Garros has come completely out of nowhere for the Spaniard, who is ranked No. 131 in the world and had won just a single Grand Slam match in his career prior to this fortnight. Nadal and Djokovic did not drop a set in rounds one through three and Nadal did not even come close to losing one. Although Auger-Aliassime and Schwartzman are respectable opponents, the all-time greats are simply looking too good.

The Pickswise tennis handicappers are on hand throughout the entire tennis season, bringing you the best free expert Tennis Predictions and Picks from top events including the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open.

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