Friday, August 17, 2018

Tennis Betting: The Biggest Surprises At The 2018 French Open

The French Open is almost done with its first full week, halfway through the third round. Which players have made the biggest positive impressions? These are the ones who stand out the most (odds are courtesy of BetDSI):

Mihaela Buzarnescu

Pre-Tournament Odds: +15000

The 30-year-old Romanian has had to deal with a lot of injuries in her career. She has been snake-bitten at many points along the way. She had to spend a lot of time on the Challenger circuit. Buzarnescu has paid her dues in what are essentially the minor leagues of tennis. Now she is finally healthy enough to show all the good qualities of her game.

She upset fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina, one of the main pre-tournament favorites, in the third round. She is in the round of 16 and has the attacking game on clay which makes her a real threat. Remember that no one anticipated Jelena Ostapenko to win the French Open last year. If someone comes out of the woodwork to win the title this year, it would not be that much of a surprise. It would be a shock, but not unheard of. There is precedent for this. Why not Buzarnescu?

Marco Cecchinato

Pre-Tournament Odds: +15000

This is a man who had never won a match in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament heading into Roland Garros, and now the Italian is in the fourth round. Cecchinato has battled quality opponents throughout the clay-court season. He has been persistently good and has shown the ability to not back down in the heat of competition. His win over Pablo Carreno Busta was a match in which he got stronger as the match went along. This guy is for real, and even though he is not the most talented player in the field, his work ethic will make him a tough out. He won’t concede many points; other players will have to take matches away from him and earn a victory.

Madison Keys

Pre-Tournament Odds: +5000 

The American is known for not liking clay-court tennis all that much.  Keys is a creature of the American emphasis on hardcourts. She is coached by Lindsay Davenport, a player who grew up on hardcourts as a tennis player in Southern California. Yet, Keys has worked her way through the first week in France, defeating Indian Wells champion Naomi Osaka in straight sets in the third round. Keys has been patient in constructing points and has shown enough defensive skill to manage situations well. She is growing and evolving, and with the memory of the U.S. Open final last September still relatively fresh, she has the conscious awareness of having done well in major tournaments recently. This is a very pleasant surprise to see an American doing this well on clay.

Fernando Verdasco

Pre-Tournament Odds: +15000

The Spaniard is volatile. No one ever knows what to expect from him. He can be awful, but he can also be very devastating and potent, as he was when he upset Alexander Zverev in round one of Roland Garros last year. This year, he has upset Grigor Dimitrov to make the fourth round, where he will play Novak Djokovic. Verdasco keeps managing to pick himself off the deck and rise just when others counted him out – that is a typical reversal of fortune for Verdasco, who always zigs when others think he will zag.

About Geoff Harvey

Geoff Harvey has been setting his fantasy rosters since his days in the womb, just don't ask him how he used to get his waiver-wire reports back then. He's a lifelong fan of sports, especially the fantasy and betting aspects.

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