French Open Ladies Singles Day Three: Cibulkova can back up strong Strasbourg showing

Slovak Tennis Player Dominika Cibulkova
Dominika Cibulkova looks value against Julia Goerges today...
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Day three of the women's singles sees the French Open continue, with players fighting for second round spots in what seems a very long first round. Dan Weston is back to check out today's action...

"The German, Goerges, has very defined results. Generally speaking, she only performs well on surfaces quicker than average, and she's very mediocre indeed in slower conditions. With this also in mind, I feel Cibulkova represents value at the current prices."

Siniakova gives us an underdog winner on day two

Pleasingly, we picked up two winners on day two in the women's event, with [3.00] underdog Katerina Siniakova taking advantage of Victoria Azarenka's lack of action with a straight-set victory, while the improving Bernarda Pera comfortably took care of Elena Vesnina as well.

On what was a day of few big name exits, we also saw our outright selection, Petra Kvitova, make it through, although she was pushed all the way by Veronica Cepede, with the Czech taking a tight final set.

Kuznetsova needing to roll back the years to test Muguruza

Moving on to today, there are some excellent matches in prospect, with Garbine Muguruza facing the veteran former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova. Both players haven't convinced on clay this season at all and Muguruza is justifiably the favourite at [1.33]. However, if Kuznetsova can roll back the years, she may be capable of pushing Muguruza, who still retains an element of inconsistency in her tennis.

We also see a number of other high profile players in action, with Maria Sharapova a [1.10] favourite to get past the qualifier, Richel Hogenkamp, who is no mug on clay, having picked up a number of ITF titles in the last couple of seasons. While I expect Sharapova to make it through, she will need to be on her guard against a competent opponent.

Big-serving match-up likely to favour rusty Williams

This is also the case for Serena Williams, who is [1.54] to progress at the expense of the lower-ranked Pliskova sister, Krystina. However, Pliskova has shown signs of her game coming together this year, and also has shown improvement on clay, reaching three quarter finals so far this season.

It is my suspicion that this is a good match up for Williams, with two big-serving, hard hitting, players - it will be interesting to see how she gets on a more artful opponent, and given her lack of pre-tournament activity, I'll be amazed if the former world number one gets to the latter stages here in Paris.

Cibulkova can back up strong Strasbourg showing

There isn't an abundance of value on the card today - a lot of the first-round matches I liked were yesterday - but Julia Goerges' match against Dominica Cibulkova is of interest.

Prior to last week, it would have been difficult to side with Cibulkova, who had done little on clay following her run to the final on indoor hard in Budapest in February. However, she made an impressive run to the final in Strasbourg last week, and only a final set tiebreak prevented her from taking the title.

Usually, backing up a final would be worry but there's different scheduling at play here. That match was played on Saturday afternoon, a full three days ago, and she looks value as a slight [2.16] underdog, as my model made her a marginal favourite.

The German, Goerges, has very defined results. Generally speaking, she only performs well on surfaces quicker than average, and she's very mediocre indeed in slower conditions. With this also in mind, I feel Cibulkova represents value at the current prices.

Kerber and Bertens also in action on day three

In other matches, Angelique Kerber looks an uneasy [1.27] favourite over compatriot Mona Barthel, while Aryna Sabalenka versus Kiki Bertens looks potentially a high quality encounter. The Dutch player, Bertens, is the market favourite at [1.29] after a very impressive clay season so far.

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