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French Open Day 1 Odds & Predictions, Featuring Sonego vs Shelton & More (May 28)

Updated:2024-04-29 09:30    Views:124

The French Open gets underway on Sunday, but it will not be the same without Rafael Nadal. Regardless, the Grand Slam atmosphere is like none other and talent will be on full display.

American fan favorite Ben Shelton takes on Italian Lorenzo Sonego and the home hero Lucas Pouille has a rematch from qualifying against Jurij Rodionov.

Let's get into my picks and predictions for the French Open first round matches.

Match times are subject to change. Read here for advice on viewing tennis matches.

French Open Betting PicksLorenzo Sonego (-235) vs Ben Shelton (+190) 

8:15 a.m. ET

The young American has had rocky results during his first European clay swing, going 4-7. In what would be his true exposure to the clay, he did show some promise. In five of his seven losses, he pushed his opponent to three sets and showed potential against high quality opponents. Although Shelton’s game is not built for the clay, he has the athleticism and power to become a threat on this surface. However, in his current state he has not quite cracked the code for clay success.

Sonego has had a disappointing clay season by his standards, coming in at just 4-4. But, unlike Shelton, Sonego is familiar with the clay and has found success in the past. The Italian is a natural mover and is able to cause his opponents problems though both aggressive and defensive play.

This will be the second meeting between the two, with Shelton prevailing at Cincinnati last year in a tight three-setter. However, moving from U.S. hard courts to European clay leaves this result almost meaningless. Sonego will feel comfortable and the opposite will be true for Shelton. I expect Sonego’s clay court prowess to find its way though the big hitting American. Shelton can serve his way to a tiebreak against all calibers of players, but I don’t think he will have enough to stretch this match in these conditions.

Pick: Sonego -4.5 games (-108 via FanDuel)

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Live win probabilities for your betsDOWNLOAD NOWLucas Pouille (-140) vs Jurij Rodionov (+120)

9:30 a.m ET

A rematch of the final qualifying round is set to take place as Rodionov earned a lucky loser entry.

Pouille came through qualifying in excellent fashion. He battled back after dropping the first set twice and rode the wave of the French crowd. Once a top 10 player, Pouille struggled both on and off the court and understandably so, found it difficult to play Challengers with much motivation. Playing in a Grand Slam and in his home country, Pouille will feel like he is back where he belongs.

Rodionov has had mixed results so far on clay. He's earned some phenomenal wins and suffered some embarrassing defeats. Rodionov dominantly took the first set 6-1 over Pouille in qualifying before the Frenchman rallied and was able to commandingly take the third 6-0, thanks in part to a total collapse on serve from Rodionov.

A rematch of a qualifying match is a rare feat, but it does happen. Contrary to what many may think, the loser of the initial meeting tends to perform better the second time around. Look no further than the Jan-Lennard Struff vs Aslan Karatsev rematch in Madrid. Struff lost in qualifying but found his way through in the main draw.

I expect a similar result here. Rodionov has experienced the French crowd and clearly has the game to beat Pouille given the first set of their meeting. His guard will be up and he will be ready for revenge.

Pick: Rodionov ML (+120 via DraftKings)

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