French Open: Andy Murray and Heather Watson target second round wins
Coral punters and tennis fans alike could be in for a rare treat at this year’s French Open, if Heather Watson can join top British tennis pro Andy Murray in the third round at Roland Garros.
Wimbledon winner in 2013 Murray (a 10/1 chance to win this clay court Grand Slam) faces Portugal’s Joao Sousa and has a 100 per cent head-to-head record when previously paired with this opponent. The two have never met on clay before, but on five occasions on hard courts with Murray always winning in straight sets.
Sousa recently made headlines by facing namesake and Brazilian counterpart Joao Souza, but now goes toe-to-toe with Murray on Court Philippe-Chatrier, a surface the Scot has questioned.
“Philippe Chatrier, is very slow, extremely slow,” said Murray. “I have never felt it like that before.
You can enhance Murray’s massive odds-on 1/50 price to progress somewhat by taking 2/7 for him to triumph once again without dropping a set. There’s no real way to make a case for Sousa in the French capital sadly.
Leading GB women’s singles hope Heather Watson is in for a tough encounter in the ladies’ singles draw, as she takes on Sloane Stephens, who inflicted a first round exit on fellow American and all-time great Venus Williams.
Although Florida native Stephens is an odds-on 2/5 match favourite following her opening exploits at Roland Garros, the head-to-heads are firmly in WTA world number 45 Watson’s favour. She has slain Stephens this season already and also holds a victory on clay.
“I have a good record against Sloane. Every time I’ve played her I’ve played very well,” said Watson. “I expect her to be playing her best tennis here at a Grand Slam and hopefully I will too. I feel exactly the same whoever I play. I’m focused and kind of in my zone.”
This news makes Watson well worth taking at 7/4 to reach the third round. She looks even better a nifty 9/2 to reach that stage by beating Stephens in three sets.