French Open Day Five Women's Tips: Ferro the best of bad spots on difficult day

Czech Tennis Player Karolina Pliskova
Karolina Pliskova faces a tricky match against Sloane Stephens...

The second round of the women's singles concludes at the French Open today, with a further 16 matches on the schedule. After a day four winner, Dan Weston returns to give his thoughts...

"Often in these earlier rounds of Grand Slams we see a big-name who may not be a natural clay-courter face a lower-profile player who is, and I think that dynamic exists in the match between Jennifer Brady and Fiona Ferro."

Kasatkina gets us an underdog winner on day four

Daria Kasatkina got the better of Belinda Bencic in straight sets on Wednesday to give us a nice underdog winner for the column, although our long-shot quarter winner outright, Clara Tauson, was eliminated at the hands of Victoria Azarenka. It was a day where there weren't many shocks, although Serena Williams struggled at times in her three-set victory over Mihaela Buzarnescu. Danielle Collins could be a test in an all-American clash tomorrow.

Pliskova could be tested by Stephens

The likes of defending champion and tournament favourite Iga Swiatek, Ash Barty, Karolina Pliskova and Elina Svitolina are all in action today, and with the exception of Pliskova, all are short-priced favourites to progress to round three on Saturday. Pliskova faces 2018 runner-up Sloane Stephens, and while Stephens' level isn't close to what it was at that stage of her career, it wouldn't be a major surprise if she got the better of Pliskova today priced at a current 2.9215/8.

Ferro potentially some value against Brady

Often in these earlier rounds of Grand Slams we see a big-name who may not be a natural clay-courter face a lower-profile player who is, and I think that dynamic exists in the match between Jennifer Brady and Fiona Ferro.

Brady is an excellent hard-courter, and has rocketed up the rankings in the last couple of years, but the American still has something to prove on clay to an extent. In addition, she withdrew from the Rome Premier a few weeks ago with a foot problem, so it's certainly not a given that she will be in peak condition for her clash with the home player, Ferro.

Saying that, Ferro also has had injury issues, so it's quite a tough one, but numbers do make the Frenchwoman some value at the underdog price of 2.526/4.

I'm not completely convinced as to how much to trust the numbers here, but Ferro does look the best spot on a tough schedule.

Paolini with ability to keep it close against Sakkari

A couple of heavy underdogs also could have some potential to cover the game handicap lines, including Jasmine Paolini against Maria Sakkari. For this, Sakkari is 1.182/11 to get the win but Paolini is a competent clay courter who reached the final of the Saint-Malo Challenger event around a month ago.

Another favourite who looks pretty short is Jessica Pegula, who is another American with a little to prove on clay at this stage of their career. She's 1.321/3 to defeat Tereza Martincova, and Pegula struggled in round one against Lin Zhu as a 1.051/20 favourite, only defeating the Chinese player in three close sets.

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Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings

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