TENNIS trader Mark Stinchcombe (@MarkStinchcombe) talks us through his favourite fancies from Monday at Roland Graros.
Dmitry Tursunov v Roberto Bautista-Agut | Tuesday 12.30
There's obviously a reason Dmitry Tursunov is 16/1 and that's because he's suffered a succession of foot injuries, playing just 14 matches since the 2014 US Open. However, he's beaten Roberto Bautista-Agut in both of their meetings, both in straight sets, as recently as 2014 on the clay of Rome.
Tursunov’s never been past the 3rd Round here, but his performances have been decent. In 2014 he took a set off Roger Federer in Round 3, in 2013 he beat Alexandr Dolgopolov 3-0 as a 10/3 chance, Go Soeda 3-0 as a 12/5 shot in 2012 and in 2011 he took Xavier Malisse to five sets as a 10/3 outsider. So he has history here of performing as an underdog.
Tursunov’s only got four wins from 11 this year but his showings have been encouraging, taking the opening set off Dominic Thiem in Acapulco and taking Wawrinka to a tie-break in the first set in Australia.
Bautista-Agut's form has tailed off since February, and is just 5-4 on the clay failing to make it past Round 3 of any of the four European clay events, including losing as a 3/10 and 1/12 favourite. His record here is poor as well, making Round 3 just once with last year losing in straight sets to Lukas Rosol when priced as 1/5.
I'm not suggesting Tursunov will win but there's enough to suggest he can take a set and 3/1 (Paddy Power) looks a nice price.
Radek Stepanek v Andy Murray | Monday 15.30
2016 has been a bit of a renaissance year for the veteran Radek Stepanek, he's already won 17 matches – just one fewer than the entirety of 2015 – going 11-3 so far on the clay.
These two have met eight times before, with Andy Murray leading the head-to-head 6-2 with their last meeting earlier this month in the 2nd Round of Madrid where Murray prevailed 7-6 3-6 6-1.
Andy has won 29 of his last 32 matches on clay and all three of their meetings on this surface, so I'm not suggesting an upset, but again there's enough here that Radek can take a set, as he did earlier this month, at 7/2 (Bwin).
Stepanek took one off Tomas Berdych here last year and Murray is prone to a drop in concentration from time to time, especially in a best-of-five, dropping a set at Roland Garros in 11 of his last 16 matches here (69%), including as a heavy favourite v Joao Sousa, Andrey Golubev and Jarko Nieminen in the opening rounds.
Stepanek has come through the qualifiers so may well have the advantage of already having court time.
Bojana Jovanovski v Agnieszka Radwanska | Monday 14.00
This one is a bit of a punt but one that I couldn't ignore especially given the disparity in prices. Bojana Jovanovski has struggled with injury this year and has played just four times with her results reading:
- Gasparyan 6-1 6-2
- Cornet 6-1 6-0
- Cepede 6-0 6-0
- Friedsam 6-0 6-3
These two have met just once before, here in Paris in Round 1 in 2012 where Agnieszka Radwanska won 6-1 6-0.
This is a perfect match up for the number two player in the world because she will soak up Jovanovski's big hitting forcing her into mistakes. Coupled with her lengthy court absence, I can see a lot of unforced errors from the racket of Bojana and I'm expecting a resounding win for the Pole.
The handicap is set at 8.5 and 1st set score of 6-1 is 19/5 which look about right but 6-0 1st set has been chalked up at nearly 9/1 and that's far too big. It's as short as half the price with most 9/2 elsewhere and looks worthy of a bet at 17/2 (William Hill).
Dmitry Tursunov v Roberto Bautista-Agut – Dmitry Tursunov to win a set (3/1 Paddy Power)
Radek Stepanek v Andy Murray – Radek Stepanek to win a set (7/2 Bwin)
Bojana Jovanovski v Agnieszka Radwanska – 1st set score Radwanska 6-0 (17/2 William Hill)