French Open Second Round Betting Guide: Wednesday 5/31/23
We've reached the premier event of the clay court season, with the 2023 edition of the French Open already underway. The second round begins on Wednesday, and what better way to get in on the action than by making some wagers on the tennis odds at FanDuel Sportsbook?
Which matches offer the most betting value?
Sebastian Ofner (+150) over Sebastian Korda
In a second-round battle of Sebastians, American Sebastian Korda gets what could be a tricky matchup against Austrian Sebastian Ofner.
This mostly boils down to the surface, which can often be a difficult one for U.S. players. In his career, Korda is just 17-13 in clay ATP-level matches over his career, and his 56.7% win percentage is his lowest of the three surfaces. Additionally, following a lengthy layoff due to injury, Korda entered Roland Garros with just two matches since the Australian Open, and he didn't do much to suggest he's in top form, as he went 0-2 in those clay tune-up events, losing to qualifiers both times.
While a first-round win over fellow American Mackenzie McDonald in straight sets is encouraging, MacDonald was 0-5 in 2023 clay court matches entering the tournament -- one of which was a Challenger-level match -- and he has a losing career record on clay.
Ofner is ranked 118th in the world, so he's far from elite competition for Korda, but he comes in with far more clay reps under his belt, albeit mostly in Challenger matches. Still, if we include qualifying matches, Ofner played a whopping 36 clay matches before his first-round match, winning 27 of them. While all those wins came against opponents ranked outside the top 100, he won in straight sets over 44th-ranked Maxime Cressey -- yet another American -- so we shouldn't overlook the potential benefits of all the work he's gotten in since the beginning of March.
According to Tennis Abstract, Ofner has a 46.8% chance of pulling off the upset, which is good value at +150 (40.0% implied odds).
Tallon Griekspoor (+198) over Hubert Hurkacz
Hubert Hurkacz has cracked the top 10 in the world rankings at times this season, so chances are he takes care of business against Tallon Griekspoor. But he's another player with a shakier track record on clay, potentially opening the door for a Griekspoor win.
On this surface, Hurkacz has a losing record both this year (3-4) and over his career (21-26), which is in stark contrast to him winning roughly 60% of his matches on hard courts and grass.
But the reason he's still a big favorite is that Griekspoor isn't exactly Rafael Nadal on clay, either. On the Tour, the Dutch player is 2-4 on the surface this year and 9-12 lifetime.
While that might not inspire a ton of confidence, Griekspoor is enjoying a pretty strong 2023 campaign overall. Despite the recent struggles on clay, he's 15-9 overall and won a hard court title at the start of the season (Pune). Many of those losses have come against elite opponents, too, like Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev, and Jannik Sinner.
Both players survived five-setters against opponents ranked outside the top 100 to advance passed the first round, further suggesting this could be a tight matchup.
Overall, if we look at Tennis Abstract's surface-adjusted Elo ratings, fewer than 50 points separate Hurkacz and Griekspoor on clay. As a result, the underdog has a respectable 41.7% win probability, which is much higher than we would expect at +198.