WEEK 2 of the French Open gets underway. Mark Stinchcombe (@markstinchcombe) brings along his best bets.
Andy Murray v Jeremy Chardy | Monday 11:30
Andy Murray goes into this 4th round match with Jeremy Chardy in the best form of his clay court career. 13 straights wins, two titles, including victory in Rome over today’s opponent 6-4 6-3.
These two have faced each other seven times before with Murray leading the head-to-head 6-1. He may well have to play the crowd as well, with support likely for the Frenchman, however Murray has won his last 11 against opponents on their home surface.
Andy played well against Nick Kyrgios in the last round although the Australian looked to have suffered a reoccurrence of his recent elbow injury negating his big serve.
Murray’s 1st serve however is showing a marked improvement on the dirt. His career record on the red stuff reads 75% of points won on his 1st serve and during his winning run this has been up at 91% and stayed at a high 88% over the first three rounds. There may also be added incentive for Murray with Chardy criticising him after beating him then withdrawing from Rome.
Given all of the above, and the potential for a quarter final meeting with David Ferrer with whom he’s never beaten on clay in four attempts, I expect Murray to put Chardy in his place with a comfortable victory in preparation for Wednesday along the lines of 6-4 6-3 6-2.
Marin Cilic v David Ferrer | Monday 13:30
Marin Cilic has only played 13 matches on tour this year after returning from a shoulder injury. 12 of those have been on clay with his record standing at 7-5 with early exits in all of Geneva, Rome, Madrid and Barcelona.
A straight sets win over Leo Mayer looks good on paper but the Argentinean was the first to admit he was below par after his exploits in making the final in Nice last week.
Cilic has never been past this stage of the French before taking just one set in his eight defeats here, all by a margin of at least five games. Ferrer eventually got past Bolelli in the last round despite throwing in an uncharacteristic 1-6 set taking the final two 6-0 6-1.
These two have only met once on clay before, albeit five years ago, with the Spaniard coming out 6-3 6-2 winner. With Cilic’s record here, I think Ferrer will have more than enough to win by five or more games.
Sara Errani v Julia Goerges | Monday 13:30
I opposed Errani in a similar matchup against Andrea Petkovic in the last round and the German did her best to beat herself hitting 41 unforced errors. Some credit should go to Errani however, often forcing opponents to go too big or play that one extra shot to win the point.
This will be key against the big hitting yet inconsistent Goerges. It was a good win for Julia against Wozniacki in round two despite Caroline’s poor record here. However, again in a similar match-up, Goerges hit 30 unforced errors in just two sets and I don’t think she’ll be able to get away with it against previous finalist and semi-finalist Errani.
They’ve met just the once before on the clay and that went the way of Sara with a 6-2 6-3 victory. I think Goerges will give too much away and Errani will win by a margin of at least four games.
Andy Murray v Jeremy Chardy – Murray -7.5 Games (Evens Bet365)
Marin Cilic v David Ferrer – Ferrer -4.5 Games (4/5 Betfair)
Sara Errani v Julia Goerges – Errani -3.5 Games (11/10 Boylesports)