Avoidance of big names can lead to payout in French Open matches

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The French Open’s opening round of fixtures often serve up a mismatch in terms of players’ respective capabilities, hence the likes of Rafael Nadal being priced at 1/500 to beat Simone Bolelli on Tuesday.

Such prices are hardly worth considering seriously for low-stake punters, as even accumulators featuring such heavy favourites are unlikely to provide any noticeable profit.

With this in mind, lesser known talents could prove worthy of investment in the Roland Garros tournament, and James Blake looks far too big at 11/2 to beat Mikhail Youzhny.

Blake’s best performances in Grand Slam competitions have come on hard surface courts, including a march to the French Open quarter-final back in 2006.

His opponent meanwhile, a frequent feature in the latter stages of Wimbledon tournaments, was defeated at the first hurdle of the Australian Open this year, against an unseeded opponent, and could suffer another early knockout here.

Elsewhere in the men’s opening clashes, Juan Ignacio Chela looks overpriced at 11/10 to conquer Marcos Baghdatis.

Argentinian Chela is notoriously very competent on clay, with each of his six career titles coming on that surface, and he appears a good prospect to overcome an opponent whose previous best French Open showing was a run to the fourth round back in 2007.

Betting on the women’s opening fixtures presents a similar conundrum to the men’s meanwhile, with players such as Maria Sharapova a 1/100 shot to advance.

Klara Zakopalova has definite chances at 4/7 to beat Lesya Tsurenko, especially considering the former has progressed past the first round at Roland Garros four times in the last six years.

She looks worth backing along with Melinda Czink, who is a perennial qualifier in Grand Slam tournaments, despite never claiming a title in one.

Czink is 4/11 to beat Anne Keothavong, who has been eliminated in the first round of the last three Roland Garros tournaments.

An accumulator on the four suggested players pays over 28/1 with Ladbrokes.

French Open accumulator

James Blake to beat Mikhail Youzhny @ 11/2
Juan Ignacio Chela to beat Marcos Bagdhatis @ 11/10
Klara Zakopalova to beat Lesya Tsurenko @ 4/7
Melinda Czink to beat Anne Keothavong @ 4/11

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