French Open Women's Day Three Tips: Tauson can shock Brady with round one victory

First round women's singles action at the French Open continues and our tennis columnist Dan Weston has spied a value bet...

Swiatek with statement win over Vondrousova

Today sees the final 20 matches in the first round of the women's tournament take place in Paris, and we've been cautious on the women's side so far, with there being more questions than answers surrounding the current ability levels on the surface among many of the field.

There were certainly some stunning results on day two yesterday, with Iga Swiatek making a statement in her 6-1 6-2 victory over last year's beaten finalist, Marketa Vondrousova, and she is now in to 42.00 for the tournament after that superb victory. I've discussed Swiatek's huge potential - particularly on clay - several times in the past and this display was confirmation of her likely future top 10 level. We saw an exit - as we discussed as possible - for Angelique Kerber against another high potential young player in Kaja Juvan, while Garbine Muguruza wasn't far from being ousted by Tamara Zidansek, eventually scraping through in an 8-6 final set win.

The remaining matches are in the bottom half of the draw today, with the top half winners all playing in tomorrow's round two clashes, and finally, I have a value spot that I really like on today's women's schedule.

Tauson capable of first round victory over Brady

Jennifer Brady has been extremely impressive on hard courts in her home country, America, since the tour resumed - she reached the semi-final of the US Open - but conditions are going to be markedly different here. We are going from non-slow hard courts to slow clay, and Brady's record on the surface so far in her career isn't great at all.

Of course, we could see a similar career progression from Brady that we saw on hard court, but that was easier to envisage - she had already reached the semi-final in the Dubai Premier and quarter-final in Brisbane Premier in the opening months of this season.

So who is Brady playing today? Some readers may not have heard of her - it is the 17-year-old Danish qualifier, Clara Tauson, who I consider to have extremely high future potential - not to mention current ability. Tauson won the junior Australian Open in 2019, beating Leylah Anne Fernandez, who is already performing well at main tour level, and won her first senior ITF event at the age of just 14, in Stockholm. She easily got past Elisabetta Cocciaretto in an impressive qualifying win, and got into the main draw with a win over Ivana Jorovic.

Already since the tour resumed, Tauson has a clay title in Oeiras, and has beaten several players in the main draw in Paris, including Sara Errani (who won here yesterday) in the WTA Prague Challenger last month - she created 15 break point chances on the Italian's serve in her straight-set victory.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if Tauson got the win here. My model - which adjusts for opposition level on lower tours - has this priced at around even money, and we are going for Tauson as a 3.25 underdog winner on day three.

Pliskova an injury concern in advance of round one

In other matches, there's not an abundance of value to discuss. Karolina Pliskova is 1.15 against the Egyptian qualifier, Mayar Sherif, and this will be an interesting match to follow. The world number four, Pliskova, retired in her last match and Sherif's results on clay at lower levels aren't bad at all - she won the Antalya ITF just before the tour paused in March, and took a set from Laura Siegemund in Prague in August.



Kenin attempting to bounce back from double bagel

Elena Rybakina, who we have as our main outright, also begins her tournament, as a 1.27 favourite over Sorana Cirstea, while it will be interesting to see how Sofia Kenin fares for her match against Ludmilla Samsonova. Kenin failed to win a single game in her double-bagel defeat to Victoria Azarenka in Rome, winning just 34% of points in the match in a defeat which lasted just over an hour, and it will be fascinating to see how Kenin tries to bounce back from that loss today.

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