This article is part of our Tennis Picks series.
The first round of the second Grand Slam of the year continues Monday on the red clay of the French Open. There's no shortage of intriguing storylines Monday. The defending women's champion could be vulnerable in her return from an extended injury layoff, while a young American is poised to pick up a signature win. On the men's side, an ascendant young player should continue to thrive on his best surface while a guy who can't wait to get off the slow stuff might just get his wish with an early exit in Paris. All match odds below are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, but you can sometimes find more favorable odds on some of these matches by checking other mobile sportsbooks such as FanDuel, BetMGM or Caesars.
How players performed over the past six weeks or so should provide a good indication of their clay-court form, though the atmosphere is always different at a Grand Slam. Top players will dig deeper here, and the men will play best-of-five set matches rather than the best-of-three seen at other ATP Tour events. Conditions vary from tournament to tournament, and even from day to day, but clay generally plays slower than hard or grass, favoring players with better footwork, touch and ability to work the point rather than big servers. Using this context can help pinpoint intriguing betting opportunities, both among favorites likely to cruise to victory and underdogs ready to pull off upsets. The aforementioned underdogs are highlighted in the Upset Alert section, the Lock It In section covers players who can safely be considered overwhelming favorites, while the Value Bet section recommends enticing options in matchups that are considered closer to toss-ups.
Under normal circumstances, Krejcikova would be expected to cruise through an opponent of Parry's caliber. The No. 2 seed and defending champion has been sidelined by an elbow injury since February, though, which could complicate matters significantly. It's unclear how close to 100 percent Krejcikova is at the moment health-wise, and she's certainly not match-tough mentally, which could create the opening the 19-year-old Parry needs to pull off a career-defining upset at her home country's Grand Slam.
Gombos is the clear underdog in this clash of unheralded opponents, even though he successfully got through qualifying while Cachin faltered in the final round but got into the draw as a lucky loser. Cachin has performed well at the challenger level this year, but this will be the 27-year-old Argentine's first career appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam. While Cachin's trying to settle down the butterflies, Gombos will be able to lean on his wealth of experience. This will be the 12th Grand Slam main draw for Gombos, and his best result came at this tournament in 2020, when he made the third round.
Lock It In
Baez is enjoying a breakout season, as the 21-year-old Argentine has climbed into the top 40. His best results have come on clay, where Baez is 14-7 this year. That success includes a title in Estoril, en route to which he defeated Marin Cilic and Frances Tiafoe. Lajovic, on the other hand, is on the downside of his career at age 31, as evidenced by his 7-15 record in 2022.
This is as good of a first-round draw as Parrizas-Diaz could have possibly hoped for. Jeanjean is a 26-year-old who has never won a WTA Tour-level match. The 227th-ranked Frenchwoman was given a wild card into the main draw here but is arguably the least accomplished player in the tournament. In Jeanjean's only match against a top-100 player this year, 88th-ranked Magdalena Frech blew her out 6-1, 6-3. The 45th-ranked Parrizas Diaz should deliver a similar beatdown here.
Anisimova's actually the more accomplished of these two players on clay, as Osaka has four hard-court Grand Slam titles but has never been past the third round at Roland Garros. After beating Osaka in a third-set tiebreak at the Australian Open this year, Anisimova will also have the belief necessary to come out on top in what's arguably the premier match of the first round. Osaka has played just one clay-court tournament this year, falling in her second match while struggling with her movement. Meanwhile, Anisimova's a former French Open semifinalist and boasts a 10-3 clay-court record in 2022.
Bublik has been vocal about his disdain for playing on clay, so the big server will likely be just fine rolling over and moving onto the grass court portion of the season should the going get tough against Rinderknech. The Kazakh comes in on a five-match clay-court losing streak. Rinderknech has battled a wrist injury recently, but he was healthy enough to play both singles and doubles in Lyon last week and will be motivated to perform well in his home country.