French Open Men's Day Five Tips: Opposing Evans best option on tricky card

Second round action in the men's singles at the French Open continues on Thursday, and after plenty of drama yesterday, Dan Weston gives his thoughts on the day ahead...

Nearly shocks - Zverev and Alcaraz save match points

Sebastian Baez not only covered the game handicap for us against Alexander Zverev but was almost celebrating eliminating the German, failing to convert a match point in the deciding set. There was further drama involving one of the outright market leaders, with Carlos Alcaraz also a match point away from elimination to his veteran countryman Albert Ramos.

Just as with Stefanos Tsitsipas on Tuesday, an arduous five sets and being close to elimination is not a positive ahead of a tough week ahead where preserving energy is vital - and Rafa Nadal did just that, easing to a straight-set win over Corentin Moutet, as did Novak Djokovic over Alex Molcan.

Overwhelming favourites - Ruud, Rublev, Tsitsipas and more

All those players were overwhelming favourites to win their matches yesterday, and there are again an abundance of players priced up as virtually guaranteed to win their second round matches today - Casper Ruud, Hubert Hurkacz, Holger Rune, Andrey Rublev, Jannik Sinner and the aforementioned Tsitsipas are all priced around 1.20 or shorter today.

Medvedev - still with it to prove on clay

One big name who isn't quite as short priced is second seed Daniil Medvedev, who is 1.47 for his clash against Laslo Djere. Medvedev eased to what must have been a confidence-boosting victory over Facundo Bagnis in round one, after his shock loss to Richard Gasquet in Geneva the week before, but this match looks best watched given Medvedev's lack of clay exposure in the last year or so.

Tough to call - Tiafoe versus Goffin

There aren't many matches today where the market is finding it difficult to make a call as to favourite status, but one of the biggest-priced favourites is David Goffin at 1.73 for his clash with Frances Tiafoe.

The American, Tiafoe, rather caused a surprise with his run to the final in Estoril around a month ago having not particularly created a great impact on clay previously, but that performance has arguably mean-reverted subsequently, with losses in the first round in the next two events and a very narrow first round win over Benjamin Bonzi here.

In my view, Goffin is not close to the player who was a top 10 regular but he has still managed to retain a decent level on clay at least, almost beating Rafa Nadal in Madrid a few weeks ago and having picked up some decent wins this season on the surface, and a title in Marrakech. Looking at this season's clay data, Goffin as favourite looks about right.

Underdog pick - Ymer over Evans

For today's value pick, I want to oppose Dan Evans for his meeting with Mikael Ymer. The Brit hasn't impressed on clay over the years in general, and there's very little evidence that Ymer is any worse on clay than Evans, when looking at any of short-term, medium-term or long-term data.

Probably a cause for this is Ymer's lack of results coming into the event, but he got past James Duckworth without much difficulty in round one, so hopefully that will provide a nice confidence boost for the Swede ahead of this match, for which he's priced at 2.92.

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