French Open third round: Murray meets Kyrgios, Nadal in Kuznetsov test
Andy Murray, Coral’s 10/1 fifth-favourite to be French Open men’s singles champion at Roland Garros this year, faces Nick Kyrgios in his third round fixture, having defeated the Aussie at his home Grand Slam Down Under in straight sets earlier in the season.
Great Britain’s top male tennis pro is a firm odds-on 1/10 match favourite for a third victory against Kyrgios (11/2 outsider), and this price on Murray can be enhanced to 4/6 if punters back him to win without dropping a set again.
‘The King of Clay’ Rafael Nadal, 4/1 second-favourite to defend his title and pick up a 10th French Open crown, meanwhile, faces a first-time meeting with Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia.
Over 100 places in the ATP world rankings separate Spaniard Nadal from one of the many men in this sport with that surname. Needless to say, Rafa is massively odds-on at 1/50 to beat Kuznetsov, and again you can better this to 2/7 if he crushes his opponent in straight sets.
World number one Novak Djokovic, odds-on at 5/6 to end Nadal’s dominance at Roland Garros by taking the title this year, is also facing an initial encounter in round three with Thanasi Kokkinakis, another who represents Australia.
Serbian star Djokovic should make short work of this plucky, up-and-coming Aussie, who upset compatriot Bernard Tomic in round two after being given a wildcard into the men’s draw. That took five sets, however, and the man atop the ATP world rankings is a different proposition entirely.
Djokovic is overwhelmingly odds-on at 1/100 to end Kokkinakis’ run here, and at 2/9 to do in straight sets this price on winning 3-0 is much more attractive again.
Provided he is victorious, Djokovic will meet the winner of Richard Gasquet v Kevin Anderson. Here, we have two of the ATP’s top 20 players colliding for the first time on clay.
French hope Gasquet (odds-on 3/10 match favourite) holds a 4-2 head-to-head advantage over South Africa’s Anderson (12/5), but is seeded five places below him perhaps.
Although Gasquet is competing at his home Grand Slam here, Anderson defeated him in straight sets at the Australian Open earlier this season, which makes this one tough to call.
And finally, seventh seed David Ferrer faces another clay court specialist in Italy’s Simone Bolelli, who he has a 100 per cent record against on this surface. It’s little wonder, then, that the Spaniard is a firm odds-on 1/20 favourite to win and 2/5 to do so in straight sets.