French Open Day Four Men's Tips: Tsonga capable of covering against Nishikori

French Tennis Player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga can keep it competitive against Kei Nishikori...
Join today

There is second round action at the French Open on day four, with 16 men's singles places taking place on Wednesday. Dan Weston returns to preview the action...

"Of course, the current version of Tsonga is far from his peak, but he's not at that bad a level this year on clay (around 104% combined hold/break)."

Big names progress on day three

Steve Johnson spoiled our unbeaten run in the men's singles at the French Open with a straight-set defeat to Roberto Bautista-Agut on Tuesday afternoon, but with both our men's and women's recommendations going 2-1 each of the opening three days, we've started the tournament in a positive fashion.

This is also the case for the vast majority of the favourites on the men's singles yesterday with big names such as Juan Martin Del Potro, Gael Monfils and Alexander Zverev - just - booking their place in round two tomorrow. Winners yesterday have a day off, with today's round two matches coming from the bottom half of the draw, which took place across Sunday and Monday.

Dellien can give a good account of himself

The card today on the men's singles is tough. My model didn't make a single favourite actionable value, so we must focus on underdogs today, and there's a few options.

Firstly, a very heavy underdog. Hugo Dellien has impressed this season, with the Bolivian moving into the top 100 and giving a good account of himself in preferred conditions in what is his first main tour campaign this year. He's running at just over 100% combined hold/break on clay this year on the ATP Tour, and this evidently makes him a competent opponent here, as he faces Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is a very heavy [1.09] favourite to progress.

Of course, Tsitsipas should be favourite here, and a strong one at that, but I do feel the market prices are a little short. Dellien could well keep this competitive, at least.

Herbert capable against Paire

Several other long-shots look of interest, with Pierre-Hugues Herbert looking a little insulted at [3.00] against Benoit Paire.

After Paire's win in Lyon last week, there could be an aspect of recency bias towards this pricing, although I'd prefer not to side with a player in Herbert who played an almost four-hour match in the previous round, fighting back from 2-0 down to win in five sets. Both players are probably likely to be a little bit from full fitness following recent exertions.

Tsonga can cover game handicap

The other long-shot worth discussing is Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who is a big [3.75] underdog against Kei Nishikori. Of course, the current version of Tsonga is far from his peak, but he's not at that bad a level this year on clay (around 104% combined hold/break). Nishikori is at a higher level, but there's a solid argument that he's not at peak level himself these days, and I think the Japanese man is very short at a current [1.35].

Game handicap markets are yet to settle on the Exchange, but Tsonga +5.5 games is likely to close at around the [1.90] mark, and I think a strong server with excellent break lead retention data, such as Tsonga, is very capable of covering this line.

Garin can shock Wawrinka

Finally, I feel that Cristian Garin is very capable of giving Stan Wawrinka a shock, with the Chilean prospect available at [2.68]. Rather like a number of illustrious names, Wawrinka isn't nearly the player of old, and an in-form opponent on a rapid upward curve could see him exiting the tournament on day four.

The likes of Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer are also in action on day four, and both, according to the market, have virtual byes in the shape of Yannick Maden, and Oscar Otte, respectively. Both legends of the game are priced around [1.05] or shorter to make Friday's round three.


Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings

Dan Weston,

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles