2020 French Open Betting Picks – Round One, Day Three
29 September 2020
The third day of the opening round of the 2020 French Open features a number of star players, including Novak Djokovic and Denis Shapovalov. But for our 2020 French Open betting picks, our sights are set on a match featuring a different Canadian. After a 2-0 start to this year’s picks from Roland-Garros, it is time to reveal a selection for today’s matches and to find out if a 3-0 start in the year’s lone clay court major is in the cards.
Vasek Pospisil vs. Matteo Berrettini
To say that Vasek Pospisil is not a clay court specialist would be putting it gently. The Canadian is virtually a stranger to the surface, playing just 19 career tour-level matches on the dirt. How have those 19 matches gone for Pospisil? Not well, as he has won just one clay court match in his career at the tour level. His last win on clay came in a Chinese challenger event in April of 2018.
Pospisil has won matches at Roland-Garros in the past, they just came in the qualifying rounds of the event. Even then his last taste of success at this event came during the qualies at the 2013 French Open, over seven years ago. Since then, Pospisil has played some much better tennis, making a nice little run to the second week of the US Open this summer. But his complete disregard for the clay makes him a justified underdog here.
Matteo Berrettini will play the role of Pospisil’s opponent for this matchup. The Italian is much more interested in playing clay court tennis, picking up a couple of wins in the recent Rome Masters event before falling in the quarterfinal round. Berrettini’s loss in Rome came to the same player he lost to in last year’s French Open, with the Norwegian Casper Ruud knocking him out of both events. Fortunately, Berrettini is not playing someone with Ruud’s clay court acumen in this match.
The Italian is one of the best on tour at avoiding being broken while on clay courts. Over the last calendar year, Berrettini has held serve in 86% of his service games on clay, with only Sam Querrey and Roger Federer ahead of him in that regard. Berrettini has played far more clay court matches than either of those players during that time period, and Pospisil will likely have trouble with a player who is difficult to break on any surface, especially while Pospisil labors on his worst surface.
This is the first time that these players have met in a competitive match. From a form perspective, Pospisil has won three of his four matches since the season restarted, with all four of those matches coming at the US Open. Berrettini has won six matches and lost three since the tour restart. He, like Pospisil, won three matches at the US Open before bowing out in the fourth round of the competition.
For Berrettini, the goal for this match will be to get off of the court as quickly as possible. Given the cold and damp conditions at Roland-Garros this year, every additional set played will add to the fatigue they feel in later rounds of the tournament. Expect Berrettini to get the job done in this match and use his superior clay court talents to send Pospisil packing early to preserve his body for more difficult matches.