With the third round of the 2021 French Open underway, it’s time to find out who’s in action on Saturday and which players are offering the best chances to cash in against their value-packed WTA Tour odds.
Two young star players both fit the bill for winning wagers when teenager Cori Gauff and Iga Swiatek take to the court for their respective matches. Let’s find out why the big question surrounding Swiatek is whether anyone can beat the reigning champ at Roland Garros, before examining why we’re coo-coo for Coco Gauff.
Pair of Third Round WTA French Open Picks on Tap
Cori Gauff vs Jennifer Brady
- Cori Gauff -180
- Jennifer Brady +160
- Cori Gauff -3 -115
- Jennifer Brady +3 -105
Analysis: Now, 25th in the world rankings, 17-year-old American Cori “Coco” Gauff won her opener in straight sets over Aleksandra Krunic by taking the first set via a 13-11 tiebreak. Gauff won her second-round match by getting past Wang Qiang 6-3, 7-6 (1). The 5-foot-9 rising star was 23-9 on the year coming into Roland Garros and won her first career title by taking her the hardware just last month in a WTA 250 event in Italy.
The 26-year-old Jennifer Brady made a fine run to the final of this year’s Australian Open before falling to Naomi Osaka in straight sets. While the world No. 14 has struggled since then by going 3-5, Brady managed to get past Amanda Sevastova 6-3, 6-3 in the first round on Tuesday. The 5-foot-10 American needed three sets to get past Fiona Ferro 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 in her second-round match on Thursday.
Prediction: Brady beat Gauff 6-2, 6-4 at Lexington last year in the only career head-to-head meeting between the two, but right now, I’m banking on Gauff to extract some revenge. Brady has a huge serve and forehand, but often lacks consistency. Coco Gauff is playing well and has found a nice groove as the 2021 campaign has worn on. Gauff is the more consistent player in this matchup and has become very solid on clay. This one goes three sets with Gauff as the straight-up winner.
Pick: Cori Gauff -180
Anett Kontaveit vs Iga Swiatek
- Anett Kontaveit +450
- Iga Swiatek -600
- Anett Kontaveit +5½ -105
- Iga Swiatek -5½ -115
Analysis: World No. 31 Anett Kontaveit needed to go the distance to win her French Open first-round match against the unheralded Viktorija Golubic on Saturday but then got past savvy veteran Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 6-0 in the second round on Thursday. The native of Estonia was 13- 7 in the year coming into Roland Garros
World No. 9 Iga Swiatek has been an elite title contender since bashing her way to the 2020 French Open title a year ago. Swiatek was 19-5 on the year coming into Roland Garros with two titles at Adelaide in February and Italy last month. Swiatek won her opener in straight sets, 6-0, 7-5 over Slovenian Kaja Juvan before thrashing Rebecca Peterson 6-1, 6-1 on Thursday.
Prediction: Anett Kontaveit has a 2-0 lead against Swiatek in head-to-head meetings, including a three-set win in the 2020 Aussie Open, but right now, it is Swiatek that has the better game, particularly on clay, where she’s proven to be pretty damned near impervious. Swiatek blew away the competition en route to last year’s French Open title and I expect her to find a way to get past Kontaveit in this affair, though it might take three sets.
Pick: Iga Swiatek -5½ -115