There’s another 26 ladies singles matches scheduled for Tuesday at the 2014 French Open on a busy day in prospect in Paris.
The expected rain came yesterday, but it didn’t cause as much disruption as it could have, however there are still a few matches carried over from yesterday.
One of the later matches to complete was my odds-against tip Taylor Townsend, who won 12 of the last 13 games to stun Vania King and land that bet after a very slow start.
The weather is set to be cloudy on Tuesday with a chance of rain in the late afternoon according to the forecast and we should get most of the matches finished today.
Alison Riske 1.79 Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 1.98
This looks like a very good opportunity for Lucic-Baroni to make it through to the second round of the French Open for the first time since her ‘first career’ back in 2001.
The Croatian lost to Jennifer Capriati that year and after her hiatus from tennis she’s had some very tough draws here in Paris, including Maria Sharapova, Sveta Kuznetsova and Varvara Lepchenko in the opening round in recent years.
By comparison this is far easier against American Riske, who has never won a match at the French Open and is generally all at sea on the clay.
Lucic-Baroni did well last week in Strasbourg to make the last-16 as a qualifier, beating Bojana Jovanovski and Jie Zheng before falling to eventual champion Monica Puig and my main concern here is the strapping she sported last week on her thigh.
It didn’t affect her in a comfortable win over Jovanovski and this match should be ideal for her, as Riske will try and hit her off the court, as she tends to do most times, and Mirjana should be just that bit better at it.
The Croat was an easy winner in their two prior career meetings on clay and hard, but they were several years ago and more relevant is that Riske is 2-7 against top-100 players on clay and will have an eye on the grass swing to come.
It will almost certainly be a match that sees rather a lot of winners and errors, but the 1.98 about Lucic-Baroni looks good here.
Elsewhere, Britain’s Heather Watson has a winnable match against Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and she’s in great form on the clay at the moment, but her price is too short for me today.
Other underdogs who look capable of the upset today include Alex Wozniak in her early start against Sorana Cirstea, Shuai Peng, who I mentioned yesterday against Sloane Stephens and Caroline Garcia, who faces Ana Ivanovic.
Garcia has been in great touch on the clay and if she’s recovered from a lot of tennis lately she could test the Serb with the home crowd fully behind her and the +1.5 sets looks good there at 1.98 or the Ivanovic 2-1 at 3.70.
But perhaps the one with the best chance of a big-priced upset would be Madison Keys, who has the power to hit through the damp courts here in Paris and take down Sara Errani.
It’s always a gamble with Madison, as to whether she finds the court or the spectators, but Keys to win 2-0 at 6.75 might be worth an interest, as it’s very possible she could blow Errani away here in these circumstances.
Best Bet: Back Lucic-Baroni to beat Riske at 1.98