Our tennis expert Scott Ferguson has two bets picked out for Sunday's action at the French Open.
For advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record
- By Scott Ferguson
Leonardo Mayer vs Roger Federer
The essence of cool, Roger Federer, has been at his ruthless best this week, with straight sets victories in each round so far.
Extending that run one more round looks highly likely, facing a tired and sore Leo Mayer who has already been on court over three hours longer than Federer.
The Swiss champion has won their three clashes to date, all on hard court, but even switching to the surface suiting Mayer the most, it shouldn't change a great deal.
Federer's deep focus on short rallies provides little opportunity for players outside the top echelon to bruise him. Mayer is a big hitter, reeling off 58 and 69 winners in his last two matches but few opponents move as well as Federer.
Nicolas Mahut was heavily restricted in his movement, allowing Mayer to send down 29 aces on top of the aforementioned 69 winners - he won't see anything like that number of opportunities today. The ace race in their previous meetings has been 10/3, 12/1 and 10/2. The anticipation, the footwork, the reach, Federer is in a world of his own.
With Mayer complaining of soreness, particularly in the legs, his lateral movement will be affected, giving Federer more incentive to hit the corners with his groundstrokes. The frustration from restricted movement is also likely to mean more focus on his serve, and if Federer proves to be the wall he normally does, the compulsion to hit the ball even harder build within, and is rarely successful.
Sky Bet have a range of exotic and Request a Bet markets here which look appealing:
- Federer to serve most aces in first set at 5/6
- 1st Treble - Federer to win the 1st set, serve Most 1st set Aces and least double faults in 1st set at 9/4
- Federer to Win in straight Sets and Win Each Set 6-0, 6-1, 6-2 or 6-3 at 9/2
I'd happily take any of these (not all, don't get greedy) but can't guarantee the price will hold up long enough for every reader to get on board.
Instead, I'll take an algorithm-based market which should be a bit more resilient to a public tip - Federer to win and under 30.5 games at Evens.
N.Kichenok and Spears vs Flipkens and Larsson
A bit of recency bias appears to weigh in for the pricing of this match involving four seasoned doubles players.
In rankings, there's not a lot between them.
Nadiya Kichenok and Abigail Spears dispatched the top seeds in round one, Czech pair Barbora Krejickova and Katerina Siniakova, before a tighter contest against handy Spanish duo Maria-Jose Martinez Sanchez and Sara Sorribes Torro.
Kirsten Flipkens and Johanna Larsson, the 15th seeds, come off the back of dealing a thumping to Natela Dzalamidze and Vitalia Diatchenko, after the first round win over an Australian pair.
I'd rate knocking out the top seeds higher than dishing out a shellacking over a debut event pair who only got into the tournament at the last minute.
Coming into the French Open, Flipkens and Larsson had won only one match since the Australian Open (five losses), while Kichenok and Spears have only paired up recently with a 2-2 record, on both occasions losing to pairs who reached the tournament final.
I'd rather side with Kichenok & Spears to continue their early-round form than get too excited about a single match.