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Tennis | Thursday, May 26, 2022 5:25 PM (Revised at: Friday, May 27, 2022 12:59 PM)

Friday's Tennis Best Bet: French Open, May 27th

Friday's Tennis Best Bet: French Open, May 27th
Contributor: SPP Sport Press Photo. / Alamy Stock Photo

WTA French Open Best Bet: Mertens vs Gracheva

Friday, May 27th, TBD

Well, that’s two consecutive articles that had the player selected move through. Sadly, neither bet cashed as there wasn’t a single point played. After the Elise Mertens walkover on Wednesday, Mayar Sherif also withdrew, moving Tamara Zidansek through to the third round as well.

As for Friday’s matchup, it once again comes from the women’s draw, and it’s a familiar name.

Elise Mertens has a lot going for her in the third round when she’ll take on Varvara Gracheva. For starters, she’s still only played the one match, in which she dispatched Elena Gabriela Ruse with aplomb.

The matchup is also very favourable to the Belgian. Known as a quasi “gatekeeper” for the WTA Tour, Mertens has a reputation for beating players she should with rather ease. It’s the top-ranked women and women with requisite power to hit through her defensive play and counter-punching that almost always beat her at grand slam events. After all, this is her 17th consecutive grand slam third round. One doesn’t accomplish that by losing matches they should win.

The stylistic matchup is also heavily in Mertens’ favour. As alluded to earlier, if a player doesn’t have a powerful game or elite variety, Mertens is a formidable opponent. Gracheva lacks the power to hit through Mertens and to top it off, she is more of a natural hard courter. Her last match against Ajla Tomljanovic was a nail-biter, in which she had to save 10 of 14 break points faced and only won 7-5 in the third. This, despite Tomljanovic being pretty poor throughout.

With Mertens able to hit well to both corners and having enough pace to hit through the surface and Gracheva when the space is there, and Mertens the much more apt player on the red dirt, she shouldn’t have problems covering the games handicap.

Consider the difference in hold plus break percentages between the two. In terms of career numbers, Mertens has a sparkling 110%, while Gracheva’s is well below average at just 87%. In the last 52 weeks on clay? Mertens’ total drops to 104%, but Gracheva’s also lags at just 86%. There is a stark difference in the two players’ abilities on the surface, and without anything in the stylistic matchup to close the gap, the handicap should be higher than just the four games available in the betting markets.

  • Selection: Mertens -4 games
  • Best Odds: 1.96 (Marathonbet)
  • Stakes: 4/10

Get more tips for Mertens vs Gracheva

Odds are valid as of 19:30 on 26th May 2022. Odds may now differ. 

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