The French Open begins today, and returning to discuss today's men's singles schedule is our tennis columnist, Dan Weston...
"The duo met on clay in the Prostejov Challenger earlier this month, with Andujar coming out an easy 6-0 6-3 winner, and that day, Andujar was priced around the 8/131.60 mark - virtually identical to my model price. I’m wondering what has changed since then to justify the subsequent price movement"
Regular Sunday start for the French Open
The typical Sunday start for the French Open sees proceedings get underway today, continuing the theme of the French Open being the only Grand Slam with a Sunday start. From a personal perspective, I'm not a fan, but unfortunately I don't get much of a say in the matter!
I've priced up all of the 64 first round matches in both the men's and the women's tournament, and today's action doesn't feature an abundance of the spots which I marked in advance as being some potential value. However, there are some matches which are worth discussing.
Andujar bigger priced than victory several weeks ago
Action gets underway at 1000 UK time, but the match I am looking at for today's recommendation comes in the second batch of matches on Sunday's schedule. These are slated as not before 1130, but will likely be a little later start. This is Pablo Andujar against Stefano Travaglia.
Andujar is 4/51.80 to get the win here, and I make him a stronger favourite than the market currently does. The Spanish veteran will be looking to maximise his returns here in Paris, with the opportunity to get some valuable ranking points before the hard court season returns, and I don't understand the pricing at all here.
The duo met on clay in the Prostejov Challenger earlier this month, with Andujar coming out an easy 6-0 6-3 winner, and that day, Andujar was priced around the 8/131.60 mark - virtually identical to my model price. I'm wondering what has changed since then to justify the subsequent price movement, and all I can see is Travaglia's run at the Rome Masters several weeks ago, when he reached the quarter-finals.
However, a win over Taylor Fritz on clay isn't particularly noteworthy - I rate Andujar higher on the surface - so only his win over Borna Coric should give him particular credit. In the meantime, Andujar made the semi-final in the Iasi Challenger, so there's not much downside to look at from his activity. The price, to me, just doesn't make sense, and so we go with Andujar as Sunday's recommendation.
Korda can begin to emulate father's French Open achievements
Other small value spots include Sebastian Korda even as a solid 40/851.47 favourite over Andreas Seppi, with the young American showing high potential and veteran Seppi's levels dropping markedly on clay over the last year or two. Korda's father, Petr, made the final here in 1992 and Sebastian can take his first step towards emulating his father's achievements with an opening round victory today.
Based on medium-term pricing, I also quite like Juan Ignacio Londero at 11/82.36 against Federico Delbonis, although I accept that Londero's results since the tour resumed are rather uninspiring. Jeremy Chardy, as a slight 20/211.94 favourite, looks a little value too, against Jurij Rodionov, who has plenty to prove at this level.
Wawrinka v Murray one of several eye-catching matches
There are also a number of real eye-catching matches, with the high potential Jannik Sinner facing David Goffin in a match which the market expects will be extremely competitive, and also Stan Wawrinka versus Andy Murray is on the schedule in one of the later matches today. We really have to go back in time to get some usable clay data on Murray, and this suggests he might be a little value at 3.55, although it's really not a view I can hold with any confidence. The duo have met 20 times in competitive matches, with Murray prevailing last time out in the final of Antwerp in October last year.
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Back Pablo Andujar at 4/51.80 to beat Stefano Travaglia