French Open second round: Nadal and Serena should sail through
‘The King of Clay’ Rafael Nadal will once again take to his favoured surface on Thursday, as the nine-time and defending French Open men’s singles champion (5/1 with Coral for a 10th title this year) faces familiar foe Nicolas Almagro.
Holding a dominant 12-1 head-to-head advantage over his fellow Spaniard, nifty Nadal already holds three straight sets victories (2008, 2010 and 2012) at Roland Garros over his compatriot. This explains his strong odds-on 1/12 status as match favourite. Punters can get a better price of 8/15 by backing Nadal to dispense with Almagro in straight sets.
Elsewhere in the men’s singles second round, 27th seed Bernard Tomic looks tasty at 11/8 to defeat fellow Australian representative Thanasi Kokkinakis. As highly-rated as these two youngsters are, Tomic has more big match experience than the teenager.
Top American male pro John Isner will be targeting a first-ever career win over France’s Jeremy Chardy here, and is odds-on at 1/2 to get it despite two previous losses. Smart money could thus be on 6/4 chance Chardy, now an experienced tour player at 28.
David Ferrer and Marin Cilic, two of the ATP world rankings top 10, meanwhile, are massive odds-on favourites to win their respective second fixtures against lesser opposition.
Ladies’ number one Serena Williams (currently 9/4 favourite to be French Open champion for a third time) faces a first-ever meeting with Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam, who is a dozen years her junior.
Grand Slam great Serena has so much experience and that counts for plenty in the betting, with her nailed on to win this match-up at 1/50. For a straight sets slaughter of Friedsam, Williams is still strongly odds-on at 1/8.
Belarus’ best export Victoria Azarenka, meanwhile, tackles Czech veteran Lucie Hradecka, having needed three sets to best her during their two previous head-to-heads. This means 1/8 in the match betting on Azarenka can become great value at 3/1 for her to win 2-1.
Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova has a previous French Open win in three sets against her second round opponent, 35-year-old Francesca Schiavone, from back in 2006. It’s also 3/1 for a repeat result here.
There should also be straightforward victories for world number five Caroline Wozniacki and Italy’s Sara Errani, seeded 17th.