French Open Tennis: WTA betting tip: Jelena Ostapenko - Caroline Wozniacki
This is Caroline Wozniacki's tenth appearance at Roland garros and she has only made it beyond R3 once previously, she is not comfortable on the surface and cannot play to her strengths on it. She has some results on "dirt" but almost all on US clay which is very different, indoor or at lower level events. I do not think she is 100% fit, retired in Strasbourg last week and has not been asked a serious question yet, having faced players ranked 191 and 336. Wozzy is 4-7 here in RG v top 50 ranked players, two of those wins came in her "golden year" on the surface and the other two (Laura Robson and Karin Knapp) are both now ranked 160 +.
Catherine Bellis is just 18 yo and only turned that two months ago, she was the number one ranked Junior in the world and is already ranked top 50 in seniors. CiCi has almost limitless potential and I have been impressed that she came to Europe early this year and the French Open is her fourth event of the season on the surface, she has wins over Gavriloa in Madrid, Bacsinszky in Marrakech, won three matches in Rome and beat last years Roland Garros semi finalist Kiki Bertens 6-3 7-6 in R2 here. She has nothing to lose, no fear and is a super quick learner, she lost in two to Bertens in Rome and turned that result on it's head and has improved next time out against almost every opponent and should come on a lot following a 3&2 loss to Wozniacki in Dubai in early season, the Danish star served just about as well as she could that day, is unlikely to do so again and is not on her favoured hard court today. I would not rule out a "shock" win for the youngster, but will go with her taking a set.
Wozniacki won in three, but was in big trouble and behaving very badly when they came off court with light failing, Bellis was two breaks up in the second and the Danish player would probably not have won if they had started an hour earlier. Scheduling has been poor in Paris, some matches on Friday had no chance of being played /finished on scheduled courts and with rain forecast, they should have acted quicker to move some around. Wozniacki won that, but rode her luck and whilst she followed up over Kuznetsova, the real Russian did not show up, looked lethargic and very far from her best. Wozniacki says she is a morning person and did her warm up about four hours before the 11.00 start, Kuznetsova apparently hates to play early and did not go to the practice court until the last possible moment (this is something perhaps we can watch for in future) and that might explain some of her lethargy. If Ostapenko performs close to the level we have seen this last 10 days, I think she is the most likely winner and do not agree with Wozniacki as favourite.
Ostapenko has won her last four against taller players and is 2-1 in the last 12 months against players 1.83m +, the loss being that close game with Mladenovic at Wimbledon. Those stats are not really surpising as she is currently being helped by Vera Dushevina, who I believe is now officially her coach, Dushevina is still playing doubles occasionally and only 29 yo, she has a very similar build to Mladenovic and hitting with her day by day, means that Ostapenko is always going to be comfortable against tall opponents.
I do not see that as a overriding issue today, or early in tournaments in general and today she meets Danka Kovinic, whom Ostapenko beat 2 &2 in Auckland just last week. That was the fourth first round loss in a row for Kovinic, JO did not serve badly in that match ( still 5 df's), but was all over her opponents serve, winning all but three points on SS and 57% when the Montenegrin made her first. This is a quick turnaround, Kovinic is low on confidence and Ostapenko is going to have to shoot herself in the foot and probably load the gun for her opponent too, to avoid winning this with some ease.
Ostapenko beat Puig 1&1 in Rome last year (see above) not dropping a point when she made her first serve and that will give her tremendous confidence for today.
1.5 units Jelena Ostapenko to win 2-0 in sets 2.21 Pinnacle/Sportmarket Pro.
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