On Day 6 the Third Round begins and the tournament is beginning to take shape with the big names battling through to this stage of the Grand Slam. From here on out those players are looking to begin to peak in time for the Finals to be played next week.
Below you can see my Picks from the Third Round matches to be played on Friday and I have also updated the record from the French Open below the 'MY PICKS' section of this thread.
Marketa Vondrousova - 3.5 games v Carla Suarez Navarro: Earlier in the French Open I backed against Carla Suarez Navarro, but she barely came through a difficult two sets with Dayana Yestremska before winning in three sets. The Spanish veteran needed three sets to see off Shelby Rogers in the Second Round too and I do think she is going to have to raise her level another notch if she is going to make the second week in Paris.
In the Third Round Suarez Navarro takes on Marketa Vondrousova who has made comfortable progress through the draw. The Czech player is yet to drop a set and she dominated Anastasia Potapova in the Second Round after going down 4-1 in the first set to then win eleven games in a row to move past her young opponent.
There was enough to like about Vondrousova's performances in the build up to the French Open to believe she could have a real impact in the tournament. The losses suffered to Johanna Konta and Petra Martic on the clay courts don't look at all bad when you think of how both of those players have been performing and I do think Vondrousova is playing at a level that can make things very difficult on Suarez Navarro.
I have to respect the fact that Suarez Navarro has gotten the better of me once this week, but her numbers on the clay courts have been average and far below what Vondrousova has been able to produce. This is a player who can get on a roll though which makes this spread a dangerous one, but Suarez Navarro is going to be put under pressure from the Vondrousova return and she is going to have to really get her teeth into the Vondrousova service games to stay with her.
That won't be easy for a player who is winning 43% of return points compared with Vondrousova's 48% on the clay courts in the build up to this tournament. Even in the first two Rounds Suarez Navarro has just about edged through as she has been put under pressure and at some point I would expect her to crack.
I would be hoping Vondrousova makes a better start to this match than she did in the Second Round as that would be a long way back against someone who can be strong when getting in front. If she can ride out those moments, I would expect Marketa Vondrousova to win this one most likely in straight sets and with a break of serve more than Suarez Navarro in each of those sets.
Johanna Konta - 2.5 games v Viktoria Kuzmova: Playing at Roland Garros has been a tough task for Johanna Konta in the past, but she has finally won a match at the French Open. After a strong clay court season, Konta has not only won one match, but followed up with a second to move through to the Third Round.
Now she will be chasing a spot in the second week of the second Grand Slam of the season, although the feeling for Konta will be that there is room for improvement on the first couple of performances here. She reached the Final in Rome to show she can compete on the courts in Paris where the conditions are somewhat similar, and there may also be the benefit of playing on a slightly quicker court on Friday when Konta is scheduled to be on the new Simone-Mathieu court.
The suggestion from players is that the court is playing a little faster than the other courts at Roland Garros, but it may also be a benefit for Viktoria Kuzmova who has had a solid clay court campaign compared to previous seasons. She is still not raising too many trees with the level produced in 2019, but Kuzmova has played better than previous years on this surface and should be well rested for this match.
In reality the expectation would have been that Kiki Bertens was in the Third Round to face Konta, but she had to retire through an illness after just four games were played in the Second Round against Kuzmova. The Slovakian came through a First Round against another injury hit player in Alize Cornet, although Kuzmova had to win that match in straight sets.
Those two results don't really change the perception of how well Kuzmova can perform on the clay courts, although I do think she can cause problems for Konta if the latter is not at her best. Their overall numbers on the clay courts look pretty similar, but Kuzmova's level have declined when she has faced players Ranked in the top 50 and I think that is an issue for her to resolve.
In those matches Kuzmova has won 41% of return points and I do think Konta can serve well enough to keep her at bay. There are times when Konta can lose her concentration or perhaps get a little nervy in matches which is a concern, but I think she is the superior player in this one and has played well enough in Paris to think she can win and cover the number.
Marketa Vondrousova - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Johanna Konta - 2.5 Games @ Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Anastasija Sevastova - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Kaia Kanepi - 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet365 (2 Units)
Sloane Stephens - 4.5 Games @ 1.83 Bet365 (2 Units)
Pablo Carreno Busta - 2.5 Games @ 1.83 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Grigor Dimitrov + 4.5 Games @ 2.10 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Stefanos Tsitsipas - 6.5 Games @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
French Open Update: 35-30, + 2.90 Units (130 Units Staked, + 2.23% Yield)