French Open Monday Tips: Evans a false favourite for first round clash
First round action at the French Open continues on Monday with plenty of opening clashes on the schedule. Dan Weston has the pick of the bets.
Griekspoor wins but Thiem defeated again
The biggest talking points on day one were Felix Auger-Aliassime fighting back from two sets down to beat the Peruvian, Juan Varillas, while Tallon Griekspoor eliminated Monte Carlo finalist Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Carlos Alcaraz breezed into round two with a straight-set demolition of Juan Ignacio Londero, while Dominic Thiem's miserable form continued with elimination at the hands of Hugo Dellien - leaving us 1-1 on the opening day due to that in conjunction with Griekspoor's victory.
Heavy favourites - Nadal and Djokovic
Tirteen-time winner Rafa Nadal gets his tournament started this afternoon with what should be a straightforward win over Jordan Thompson, while Novak Djokovic also should get the job done with minimal fuss against Yoshihito Nishioka. The 2015 winner Stan Wawrinka - the last non-Nadal/Djokovic winner - might find it more tricky against home player Corentin Moutet, with the Swiss man priced up as favourite at 1.7.
False underdog - Cerundolo versus Evans
There's British interest today as well, with Cameron Norrie - fresh from his title in Lyon - an overwhelming favourite at 1.1 for his match with the French wild card Manuel Guinard, but there will be question marks over fatigue after playing three back-to-back deciding sets in East France, while from a betting perspective, there should be more interest in the match featuring his compatriot, Dan Evans.
Evans faces the talented young Argentine, Francisco Cerúndolo, who was beaten by Norrie last week in Lyon in a pretty competitive two sets.
Backing that up also is Evans' mediocre long-term record on the dirt, and I'm pretty surprised to see the man from Birmingham favourite here. Cerundolo at 2.04 looks the value to me.
Potential fatigue fades - Molcan and Gasquet
Another player coming off a long week in Lyon is Alex Molcan, who lost to Norrie in the final - his second defeat in a clay 250 final this season, following his loss to David Goffin in Marrakech in April. Molcan beat Federico Coria last week in France, and the duo meet again at Roland Garros today as well. For that, Molcan was around 1.65 pre-match, but has shortened to 1.5 here, and given the fatigue possible for the Slovak here, I'm not convinced by the market line for this.
Fatigue could also be possible for the veteran Frenchman, Richard Gasquet, who turns 36 next month. He made a surprise run to the semi-final in Geneva last week, but had made little impact on clay this season until that point with a pretty unimpressive 5-5 record - below market expectations.
While opponent Lloyd Harris is nothing special on clay, and has had some injury issues of late, he competed well in Rome against Aslan Karatsev recently. I'm far from convinced that Gasquet's price would be this line if it wasn't for his run in Geneva, and he could be a vulnerable favourite for this.
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