This article is part of our Tennis Picks series.
The third round of the second Grand Slam of 2022 continues Saturday from the red clay of the French Open. Some local underdogs are enjoying surprising success at this tournament and will look to ride the French crowd's support to more upset wins. Additionally, a couple of women who fancy their chances at runs deep into the second week are set up for relatively straightforward third-round matches, while one of the top men's seeds offers nice value as a modest favorite in his next match. 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 heading into the lone Grand Slam played on the surface, and now we've also had a chance to see everyone play a couple matches at Roland Garros. The stakes are highest at the majors, and the men 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.
Rune has the much higher long-term ceiling between these two young players, but this encounter could go in Gaston's favor. All of the pressure will be on the 19-year-old Dane in his first career Grand Slam third round, as Rune's the higher-ranked player at No. 40 in the world compared to No. 74 for the 21-year-old Gaston. The Frenchman will have the support of the crowd in this one, and Gaston has been here before, making the Round of 16 at Roland Garros in 2020. Don't be so quick to count out the underdog here considering this is unprecedented territory for the favorite.
Like Gaston, Jeanjean has thrilled the French crowd with a surprise run to the third round and has the opportunity to continue her Cinderella story against an unseeded opponent. The unheralded Frenchwoman came into this tournament ranked No. 227, but she has certainly outplayed that ranking with a pair of straight-sets wins, backing up a 6-4, 6-3 first-round victory over Nuria Parrizas Diaz with a shocking 6-2, 6-2 drubbing of No. 8 seed Karolina Pliskova. Jeanjean has looked much more impressive than the 63rd-ranked Begu, who needed a third-set tiebreak in the first round against Jasmine Paolini and went 6-4 in the third against 30th-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova. As if the crowd needed any more reason to get behind Jeanjean in this one, Begu's likely to hear some boos after throwing a racquet in anger in her previous match and nearly hitting a child after it bounced into the stands.
Lock It In
Kudermetova leads their head-to-head 3-2, but that won't bother Badosa one bit, as Badosa has won both of their encounters in 2022 while dropping just eight games in those two matches combined. The world No. 4 from Spain should continue her recent dominance against the 29th-ranked Russian, who came into this tournament on a three-match losing streak.
Zidansek made the semifinals here last year, but that result's an outlier, as that's the only time the 24-year-old Slovenian has been past the third round of a Grand Slam to date. She's likely to fall in the third round here against Pegula, who won their only previous meeting 6-2, 6-3 on a hard court in 2020. The 11th-ranked Buffalo native has enjoyed a strong clay-court season, going 9-1 against opponents ranked outside the top 10.
Hurkacz is ranked 35 spots ahead of Goffin, but this would only be a minor upset if the Belgian pulls it off. Goffin's steady ground game translates well on all surfaces, as he has made the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam on clay, grass and hard court in his career. Meanwhile, Hurkacz's game is least effective on clay, as evidenced by his sub-.500 career record on the surface. The only previous meeting between these two came earlier this month in Rome and was won 7-6 (8), 7-6 (2) by Goffin.
Kecmanovic is having a breakout season, but the 28th-seeded Serb seems a bit less comfortable on clay than he looked on hard courts. Against top-50 opponents on clay, Kecamnovic is just 3-4, and two of those three wins came against Alexander Bublik, who openly detests playing on this surface. Medvedev may not be at his best on clay, but the world No. 2 made the quarterfinals at this tournament last year and breezed through his first two matches without dropping a set, so this is certainly Medvedev's match to lose.