The second round of the French Open gets underway on Wednesday, with plenty of the big names of women’s tennis in action today, weather permitting.
There are isolated thunderstorms, showers, and light rain forecast for today in Paris, so conditions will presumably remain on the heavy side as we tackle the 16 matches on the card for Wednesday.
Tuesday’s bet was the first losing one of this tournament and it was pretty disappointing after Mirjana Lucic-Baroni took an early 4-1 lead against Alison Riske only to fall in straight sets.
Elsewhere, we lost our number two seed, as Na Li was taken down by Kiki Mladenovic and Caroline Wozniacki’s miserable week was completed when the Dane lost out to Yanina Wickmayer.
Varvara Lepchenko vs Angelique Kerber
With the rain set to continue in Paris I doubt that Kerber will be pleased to see Lepchenko as her opponent across the net in their 13:00 UK time clash today.
The German has really struggled this clay swing and she’s lost four of her five career meetings with the American, who does enjoy the slower dirt conditions.
Kerber has lost four of her seven matches on clay this season and has struggled with injury meaning she’s lacking some match sharpness, which could be exploited by the tricky Lepchenko today.
The German’s one win over today’s opponent came here last year and it was a three set battle that she won narrowly – by nine points overall – and this year’s lack of decent preparation could count against her today.
Lepchenko enjoyed conditions in beating a below par Petra Cetkovska in the first round here this week and the 1.74 about her taking a set looks the one here.
Monica Niculescu vs Paula Ormaechea
The value here looks to lie with the underdog, with the Argentine a 2.20 shot to take down the Romanian, who won her first ever match at the French Open this week.
Niculescu took advantage of an injured Kaia Kanepi to land that elusive first win here, but clay has rarely been the surface of choice for her and she hasn’t managed to string together back-to-back wins in the main draw on the dirt since 2011.
Ormaechea has played twice as many matches on the clay in 2014 and enjoys this surface far more than the Romanian and if she handles the quirky playing style of Niculescu the odds-against looks like a good choice here.
Other options on what looks a promising day in the women’s draw include Karolina Pliskova to take a set against Aga Radwanska in their 17:00 UK time clash.
Pliskova is in the form of her career right now after a very solid season and she made a final on clay last week in Nurnberg. She has spells where she can be unplayable and on Aga’s least favourite surface and stodgy conditions she could make life tough for the Pole and the 2.85 about her taking a set looks a decent option.
I also wouldn’t count out Julia Goerges at a big price against Genie Bouchard in the 10:00 match this morning, with the German also having the kind of game that can hit through the slow surface – if she’s on a good day.
Both Serena and Venus Williams should progress, but both have capable opponents and it may not be as easy as is assumed by the short prices on both sisters today.
Back Lepchenko +1.5 sets to beat Kerber at 1.74
Back Ormaechea to beat Niculescu at 2.20