Tennis specialist Craig Vickers (@craigvickers_) previews day thirteen of the men’s French Open and provides us with his best bets for the second Grand Slam of the year.
- 2019 Profit & Loss: +15.5pts
French Open Day 13 Betting Preview & Tips
- Date: 26 May-9 June
- Venue: Stade Roland Garros, Paris, France
- Channel: Eurosport UK
Friday marks day thirteen at the 2019 French Open as we move into the semi-final stages with a pair of mouthwatering clashes.
Although Mother Nature pushed the remaining two quarter-finals to Thursday afternoon, we were successful in both of our bets as Novak Djokovic coasted to a straight sets win over Alexander Zverev.
Remarkably, the German served for the first set, but as we witness so often the Serbian raised his level amid adversity and won the next three games to snatch the opener, before cruising for the loss of only four games in sets two and three to cover the -7.5 handicap and the no tie-breaks bet.
Elsewhere, Dominic Thiem produced a clinical performance against Karen Khachanov and so, for third time in the last four years, the Austrian meets Djokovic in the latter stages in Paris.
The 39th instalment of Roger Federer versus Rafael Nadal commences proceedings on Court Philippe-Chatrier, however, with the pair meeting on clay for the first time in six years.
Nadal, as expected, is the heavy favourite with an unbeaten record against the Swiss at the French Open and with the Spaniard boasting such an envious record at Roland Garros it looks highly unlikely to change.
Federer has probably exceeded his expectations on clay after making the shock decision to play on the surface this year and it is highly unlikely he will be too disheartened should he depart the tournament to his old nemesis once again.
What may make the contest interesting, however, is the slight tweaks in the Swiss’ game since their last meeting on the surface and Federer’s refusal to trade for the baseline.
Instead, he’s likely to throw in a mix of serve-and-volley, dropshots, and net rushes, keen to deprive Nadal of the rhythm which he thrives off on clay.
The tactic proved successful for Federer in the quarter-finals against his compatriot Stan Wawrinka, but his performance wasn’t without his flaws, with the latter squandering a break advantage in the third set to move 2-1 ahead.
It wouldn’t be a shock to see Federer to play all of his trump cards early on and if he does the Swiss is more than capable of keeping the first set close, with over 10.5 games at 12/5 worth backing.
Meanwhile, Dominic Thiem will be hoping to evoke memories of his dismissal of Novak Djokovic here two years, but he will be going head-to-head with a considerably more menacing version of the Serbian.
The 15-time Grand Slam champion was a man devoid of confidence that afternoon in the quarter-finals and, fast forward two years, he has not lost at a Grand Slam since his shock defeat to Marco Cecchinato at Roland Garros twelve months ago.
He was fortunate not to drop his first set of the tournament to Zverev yesterday when the German served for the opener at 5-4, but it may be a minor lapse that only serves to sharpen the Serbian’s focus, much like his slog of a match against Daniil Medvedev in the fourth round of the Australian Open this year.
Few forget how Djokovic responded to dropping a set to the Russian and, though Thiem may be a formidable outfit on clay, Djokovic has a habit of producing such clinical displays in the latter stages of Grand Slams.
Sue me for being a cynic, but a set straights victory for the Serbian is definitely not out of the equation considering Djokovic’s ability to produce his best tennis during stages of adversity.
Without showering the serial winner in adulation, no other player has stretched the realms of possibility in tennis as much as he has since 2011, perfectly illustrated by the fact he is only two matches away from holding all four Grand Slams for the second time in three years.
Djokovic 3-0, with the risk of ending the afternoon with egg on my face, is the second bet at 2/1.