Our tennis betting expert Derek Bilton likes the look of Sloane Stephens for the French Open title, while he is also tipping Roger Federer to beat Stan Wawrinka.
It was a first week of relatively few surprises at the French Open, in the men’s event anyway, as all of the top 10 seeds eventually advanced to the last 16.
Two-time champion Stan Wawrinka caused a small shock by ousting Stefanos Tsitsipas in an absolute classic over five sets on Sunday, but it’s been business as usual for the likes of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Nadal’s win/loss record at Roland Garros is now 90-2, and he remains the 8/11 favourite for further glory in Paris.
Djokovic, aiming to win his fourth Grand Slam in a row, is also going along nicely while Dominic Thiem’s odds have drifted to 12/1 despite the fact he has looked comfortable so far (on the courts if not the press conferences!)
Juan Martin del Potro, who is in Thiem’s quarter, made short work of Jordan Thompson on Saturday, claiming a dominant 6-4 6-4 6-0 win in exactly two hours.
The Tower of Tandil, a semi-finalist in Paris last year, is on a roll again and gets Karen Khachanov next. Khachanov has been flying under the radar at this tournament somewhat. Yes, his draw hasn’t been the hardest, but he is through to the second week for the loss of just one set so far.
Then there’s the evergreen Roger Federer, who has barely put a foot wrong to this point. The Swiss has yet to drop a set and faces countrymen Wawrinka for a place in the last four. Veteran Wawrinka must be jaded after his brutal encounter in baking hot conditions against Tsitsipas, and given that Federer should be fresh it could be worth backing him to win that one 3-0.
In the women’s event the big news from the first week was the dramatic ousting of Kiki Bertens, who was picked by many – including this column – to win the title this year.
In the end the No 4 seed had no luck, having to retire five games into the first set against Viktoria Kuzmova after telling the doctors she was shaking and has no energy. Serena Williams is gone too, so it’s Simona Halep who is a clear favourite and a best price 33/20 with 888 Sport going into week two.
British No. 1 Johanna Konta has reached the quarter-finals of the French Open for the first time after a dominant win over Donna Vekic on Sunday.
Konta is hoping to emulate Jo Durie and become the first British woman to reach the semi-finals since 1983, but has her hands full next against the classy Sloane Stephens.
Stephens made the final last year and looks the biggest threat now to Halep. The American is such a great clay court player when she’s at the top of her game. The perfect mix of offense and defence. At 9/2, she could be worth a small wager to go one better than last year and be the last woman standing in Paris.
“I played some pretty awful stuff,” says Australian.
“I have no idea how I made that ball!”
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