Saturday’s third round action throws up some competitive ties; this treble looks good value at well over 7/1.
Djokovic v Dimitrov – Djokovic to win 3-1 @ 11/4
Number one seed Novak Djokovic has sailed into the third round with ease, conceding just four games in his second round dismantling of Guido Pella. While holding a 2-1 head-to-head record over Grigor Dimitrov, the loss came at this year’s Madrid Open, a clay court event. He went down by two sets to one in that tie, and while it may be too much to expect a repeat performance in Paris, the 22-year-old is worthy of a set here.
Dimitrov has been far from exerted in his first two matches, with his opening opponent pulling out in the second set, before he dispatched Lucas Pouille in three. The Bulgarian is ranked 28th in the world, and has an 8-4 record on clay this year, including some notable scalps. While an upset here is almost unthinkable, a 3-0 win for the Serb is similarly hard to support.
Hanescu v Kohlschreiber – Kohlschreiber @ 4/11
Philip Kohlschreiber has enjoyed a solid year to date, compiling an 18-11 record overall, with final appearances in Auckland(hard) and Munich(clay). He has a more impressive 12-6 record on clay in 2013, form propelling him into the world’s top 20. The German was also afforded a bye in round two, and so should come to this game in peak condition.
Victor Hanescu is less impressive at 7-4 (two of those wins came in qualifying) on clay this year, and has yet to be truly tested in Paris after benefitting from retirements in both round one and two, having been a set down in the latter. Three of his four defeats came in straight sets, and at 35 places below Kohlschreiber in the rankings he should have too much to do here.
Paire v Nishikori – Paire @ 8/11
This looks set to be an incredibly tight affair, with both players coming to the game in good form. Frenchman Benoit Paire is 11-7 on this surface in 2013 – he has been unfortunate to run into Rafael Nadal on two occasions – and appears to have hit form at precisely the right moment after a run to the semi-final in Rome.
Kei Nishikori is ranked 11 places higher than his adversary here, but his claim is weakened somewhat on his clay court form. While his 7-3 record looks impressive, he hasn’t gone beyond the quarters of any tournament. His one win of note came against Federer in Madrid, though the Swiss was distinctly off-form that day, and had come to the event after a seven-week layoff.
The 23-year-old’s three losses have come in straight sets, and at a full seven inches taller, Paire should cause him plenty of problems – and enjoy the support of the highly partisan crowd.
A £10 stake returns £88.30
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing