Tennis Betting Advice - June 2021

French Open: Day 4 – attacking the serve at 10/1…

Wednesday 2nd June 2021

In your Ones to Watch email today:

  • Day 4…
  • Another 100/1 teenager…
  • 10/1 for a bagel…

Good morning and welcome to Day 4 of your French Open 2021 daily service.

I’ll be in your inbox every morning for the next fortnight. If you have any questions or want to drop me a line during the tournament, I’m on hand via email:  

Seeds dispatched…

Tuesday saw a few shocks, with several big names and seeded players adding to the list of high-ranked names that failed to make it past the 1st round.

Over the opening two days, Grand Slam winners of the ilk of Dominic Thiem (4th seed, lost), Naomi Osaka (2nd seed, withdrew), and Garbine Muguruza (12th seed, lost) had already departed the competition.

That roster of early exits grew yesterday. With another Grand Slam winner, 11th seed Petra Kvitova, pulling out injured. Men’s 7th seed Andrey Rublev was also sent packing. And 20th seed and former Ones to Watch teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime was beaten by 9/1 match underdog, 37-year-old Andreas Seppi.

You and I don’t back favourites in the Outright Winner market. In terms of opening up the draws on paper, the more big names that get removed from the path to the finals, the better.

Our Outright Winner book…

Here’s how our Outright Winner books looks so far, with seven players into the 2nd round.


  • Paula Badosa – 25/1 pick on day one. Now 16/1 at best, and 12/1 in general
  • Veronika Kudermetova – 100/1+ early-bird pick, 50/1 on day one. Now 28/1 at best, 25/1 & 22/1 in general
  • Leylah Fernandez – 100/1+ pre-tournament pick. Still available at triple-figure odds today
  • Jessica Pegula – 125/1 pick on day two. Now 80/1 & 66/1 in general, but Bet365 have gone back to 125/1
  • Karolina Muchova – 40/1 pick on day three. 40/1 still available with a couple of firms, 33/1 in general. Paddy Power & Betfair Sportsbook have gone an industry-best 50/1 this morning


  • Casper Ruud – 40/1 top price on day two, and 33/1 in general. Still 33/1 across the boards, with the standout 40/1 now available at NetBet, 10Bet, and MansionBet
  • Daniil Medvedev – 40/1 pick on day three. 40/1 generally available everywhere today

Another 100/1 teenager…

I’m having more selections in the women’s event than the men’s, and that’s deliberate. In case you missed it on day one, the two at-a-glace stats that help make the point for this betting strategy:

  • Rafael Nadal has won the men’s French Open title 13 times out of 16. He’s odds-on to make it 14 out of 17
  • The last 13 French Open women’s titles have been won by 11 different players. With 2 of the last 4 paying out at 100/1

Those two 100/1 women’s winners both went into the tournament as teenagers. As reported in my road to Roland Garros article in April, prior to striking it big at Roland Garros, neither Jelena Ostapenko or Iga Swiatek had won any WTA trophies, let alone a Grand Slam…

Along with former Junior French Open champion Leylah Fernandez, another youngster I flagged up that day for the women’s French Open 2021 was fellow Ones to Watch teenager, Marta Kostyuk. Also fitting the bill as an emerging player with an attacking game style, yet to lift a Senior trophy, but very much capable of doing so soon:

  • Marta Kostyuk – age 18, turns 19 at the end of the month. No previous WTA titles. Reached the semi finals in Abu Dhabi at the start of this season, and followed that up with another semi in Istanbul in April. Won the 2017 Junior Australian Open

Kostyuk is the kind of big-hitting teenager that could fire into dangerous form at any time. That’s what I said back in April. Seeing as the young Ukrainian took out former French Open winner Muguruza in straight sets in round one, it could well be this tournament where Marta makes her first big run…

She’s got the power and go-for-winners approach shown by the likes of Ostapenko and Swiatek in recent times. And I’d throw in a bit of Paula Badosa’s big-hitting play there, along with fellow Ukrainian fist-pumper, the currently absent Dayana Yastremska. And a dash of Australian Open champ Sofia Kenin’s fighting spirit, too.

That all adds up to make Kostyuk an exciting youngster to get on our side here. A couple of firms have 100/1+ Each Way available today, with 80/1 in general. Those are our kind of prices, and this confident teenager is our kind of player.

(Unless you can get 160/1 Each Way with Unibet), to obtain the very best prices:

  • With standout odds of 66/1 available in the Reach the Final market, that makes the best option here a Win Only bet on Kostyuk at 80/1+ in the standard Outright Winner market. Coupled with a separate bet on her to Reach the Final at 66/1+ if you can get it. In this case, those two bets offer the greatest possible returns, as opposed to a usual Each Way selection
  • Eg. if you normally bet 1 point Each Way for a 2-pt total stake: instead have a 1 pt Win Only bet on Kostyuk, and a separate 1-pt stake on her to Reach the Final at 66/1+

Attacking the serve at 10/1…

Aliaksandra Sasnovich v Aryna Sabalenka

Match scheduled 3pm+

I took on Sabalenka in the 1st round on the basis that the Belarusian can sometimes be a slow starter. She fell a break behind early on against Ana Konjuh, but soon turned it around and imposed her intimidating, dominant game on her opponent…

The stat that stood out for me from that match was Konjuh’s lowly 2nd serve win-rate. Like many players outside the top echelons of the women’s game, the Croatian doesn’t have the fastest or strongest of second serves, and that was ruthlessly exposed by Sabalenka’s ferocious hitting, taking the ball high, and stepping in to bash weak serves past her opponent in a flash.

In the entire match, Konjuh only managed to win the point in 7 out of 24 second deliveries (29%). That figure includes 7 double faults; an unwelcome side effect of having a vulnerable second serve is to end up dumping it long or in the net, under the sheer pressure of the situation.

In Sabalenka’s only previous meeting with today’s 2nd round opponent, Aliaksandra Sasnovich, the current world no.4 crushed the scoreboard, 6-1, 6-2. Her fellow Belarusian manged to win just 8 out of 20 seconds-serve points (40%). With Sasnovich gifting 6 double faults.

Sabalenka is a very strong favourite to win today. The bookies make Aryna just 1/10 (1.1) or even shorter to win. And just 1/3 (1.33) to win in straight sets, 2-0. This is a situation where we want to be on the side of the favourite, and to make hay from a dominant victory…

In the Total Games market, Under 18.5 Games is a game or two higher than I was expecting. For example, that would payout on a 6-3, 6-3 win, or 6-4, 6-2. If you’re happy to take an odds-on price, that option is available at 17/20 (1.85) with William Hill, and 5/6 (1.83) at Bet365, 888 Sport and Boylesports.

For bigger odds, there are various options that might appeal to you. For instance, Skybet offer a huge range of markets, with this morning’s ‘Price Boost’ offering 3/1 for ‘Sabalenka to win every set 6-0, 6-1 or 6-2.’

Shopping for bagels…

The 1st Set Score and 2nd Set Score markets give us the chance to really benefit from Sabalenka’s ball-bashing abilities:

  • In 7 of her last 9 victories, Sabalenka has won a first or second set 6-0, 6-1 or 6-2

The 6-0 ‘bagel’ is the biggest price, with 10/1 and 9/1 on offer today, with bookies offering both 1st Set and 2nd Set markets. Sabalenka even dished one of those out to world no.1 Ash Barty on clay recently, in the Madrid final.

At the lower-tier Saint-Malo event last month, Sasnovich suffered a 6-0 bagel in two of her three matches. The week before that, she also surrendered 6-0 in the final set of a 2-1 defeat in the WTA Madrid qualifiers.

My main concern here would be that Sabalenka can sometimes be her own worst enemy. Against Konjuh in the last round, she lost her serve four times. Accounting for over half of the games that her opponent posted on the scoreboard.

With that in mind, I’m backing 6-1 as well as the 6-0 whitewash, in both the 1st Set and 2nd Set respectively. With the 6-1 options available at 9/2 (5.5) or 4/1 (5.0)…

  • Note: Set Score markets will also be available in-play

Ones to Watch

Sasnovich v Sabalenka

  • 1st Set Score – Sabalenka 6-0 is 10/1 with Bet365, 9/1 Skybet, Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, William Hill, Boylesports
  • 1st Set Score – Sabalenka 6-1 is 9/2 with William Hill, Boylesports, 4/1 with the other firms listed above
  • 2nd Set Score – Sabalenka 6-0 is 9/1 with Boylesports, 17/2 William Hill, 8/1 Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook
  • 2nd Set Score – Sabalenka 6-1 is 9/2 with Boylesports, 4/1 William Hill, Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook

Women’s Outright Winner

  • Marta Kostyuk is 160/1 with Unibet, 110/1 Skybet, 80/1 in general


To Reach the Final

  • Kostyuk to Reach the Final is 66/1 with Bet365, Skybet

I’ll be back tomorrow morning with your Day 5 email, when the 2nd round continues.

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch