The French Open is in full swing with second-round matches being played on Thursday morning.
Headlining the card is Roger Federer, who has his work cut out against the dangerous Marin Cilic. Also on the cards is Jannik Sinner vs Gianluca Mager and Cameron Norrie vs Lloyd George Harris.
Bet on tennis at our online sportsbook, which allows bettors to parlay all three French Open selections for bigger returns.
Roger Federer vs Marin Cilic
The Swiss Master continued his comeback after surgery and he looked good winning his first-round clash in straight sets.
Roger Federer was too good for Denis Istomin, dropping just nine games and securing the win in just over an hour and a half. It was a quality return for Federer, but it’s about to get much harder.
Like he never left 🤩
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 31, 2021
Cilic is a Grand Slam winner that also won in straight sets. He defeated Federer at the 2014 U.S. Open, but is 0-4 against him since.
Cilic hasn’t been in the best form after losing in the second round at Rome and losing in the first round at Geneva. However, he always lifts his game for the big tournaments such as the French Open.
Tennis betting markets have Federer at -290 but there is some trepidation. He has to cover a 4½-game line, which could be difficult against Cilic. However, over three sets, covering that spread is easier.
We expect Federer to score a tough but comfortable victory and progress to the round of 32.
Pick: Roger Federer -4½ (-130)
Jannik Sinner vs Gianluca Mager
Jannik Sinner is a rising star, but he was made to work against Pierre Herbert in his first-round clash. He was down 2-1 in sets before winning the last two, 7-5, 6-4.
It was a tense time for the youngster, who was -900 to win. It should give him a confidence boost knowing he got through the tricky game and he is 68 ranking spots above Gianluca Mager.
It’s an all-Italian affair, but they have yet to meet. Mager comes off a four-set first-round win, but despite being the red-hot favorite for that game, he’s the rank outsider on Thursday.
Mager is a relative unknown and his form heading into the French Open included consecutive losses against easier opponents. Sinner’s form wasn’t too dissimilar, but he had been facing harder opponents.
He lost to Rafael Nadal at Rome, so we’ll forgive him for that result.
Sinner is the -600 favorite, but there is value in the games market. He is -7, which seems like a lot to give up, but he’s capable of producing a 6-0 set.
Mager doesn’t have the same exposure as Sinner and the younger player is trending upward.
Pick: Jannik Sinner -7 (-115)
Cameron Norrie vs Lloyd George Harris
Cameron Norrie is an often underrated player who has quality wins on his recent record.
He has won eight of his last 10 games on clay, so Harris could have a tough time getting the victory.
Cameron Norrie beats Bjorn Fratangelo 7-6 7-6(5) 6-2 in the first round at Roland-Garros. pic.twitter.com/BELG72kX3f
— Tennis on telly 🎾📺🇬🇧 (@tennisontelly) May 31, 2021
The South African has lost four of his last six matches, but scored a 3-0 first-round win. He faced Lorenzo Sonego, who is ranked 28th and was the -850 favorite to win. However, Harris pulled out the stops to cause a huge upset.
Is he able to reproduce that effort? We’re not so sure as Norrie is a steady player who rarely makes mistakes.
Norrie is -260 in the moneyline market, but there is better value in the games market. He is currently -5 and that should be a comfortable cover.
He is a seasoned pro and he could make a deep run, so Harris shouldn’t provide much of a challenge despite his first-round stunner.