The 2021 French Open is here and SportsTips.com are previewing the best six games of each round at Roland Garros. Read below to check out our picks for the three best men’s and women’s games for Round 1 of the 2021 French Open!
Enjoy our free daily picks and predictions for each round of the 2021 French Open at Roland Garros.
Tennis Picks For Round 1 Of The 2021 French Open: Men’s
Rafael Nadal (3) vs Alexei Popyrin
Don’t be fooled by the Spaniards No. 3 seeding at the 2021 French Open, Rafael Nadal is still the overwhelming -115 favorite to win his 14th major championship at Roland Garros. Alexei Popyrin is the unfortunate player to draw Nadal in Round 1 and although the Australian took six games off Nadal in two sets when they last met, Nadal comes into this year’s event with an incredible 100-2 win-loss record at the French Open.
There’s no dynasty like Rafael Nadal at the French Open pic.twitter.com/7CJPqTiY3u
— ESPN India (@ESPNIndia) October 11, 2020
Seeing as Nadal is the first man in the Open era to win four majors without dropping a set, achieving the feat at the 2008, 2010, 2017 and 2020 French Open tournaments, we can’t see him dropping a set against Popyrin in Round 1.
Tennis Pick: Exact Score: Nadal 3-0 (-550)
Novak Djokovic (1) vs Tennys Sandgren
Although Nadal is always the man to beat at Roland Garros, Novak Djokovic is a four time French Open runner-up, 2016 champion and the No. 1 seed for 2021. The world No. 1 holds a 3-0 lead over Sandgren in their career head to head and the Serb has only dropped one set in that time.
Although he has a career 15-14 record at Grand Slam events, clay is Sandgren’s worst surface. The American has a 9-19 record on clay courts throughout his career and we can’t see him stealing a second career set off the world No. 1 on his least preferred surface in the first round. The No. 1 seed will kick off his quest for a second French Open title with a straight sets victory.
Tennis Pick: Exact Score: Djokovic 3-0 (-900)
Taylor Fritz (30) vs Joao Sousa
Taylor Fritz is the highest seeded American on the men’s side of the draw at the 2021 French Open and he will be taking on world No. 113 Joao Sousa in the first round at Roland Garros. At 23 years of age, Fritz is one of the emerging talents on the men’s side of the draw, recording two victories at the Australian Open in February before going down to Novak Djokovic in five sets in the third round at Melbourne Park.
Win No.1 as US #1 🇺🇸
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) April 7, 2021
As good a prospect as Fritz is, Sousa is a clay court journeyman out of Portugal, with a career 80-87 record on clay surfaces. We think the young American will get a victory in the first round at Roland Garros, however Sousa will make this a four set match at minimum.
Tennis Pick: Total sets over 3.5 (-118)
Tennis Picks For Round 1 Of The 2021 French Open: Women’s
Ashleigh Barty (1) vs Bernarda Pera
The 2019 French Open champion and current world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty will return to Roland Garros in 2021 as the No. 1 seed to win her second Grand Slam. Barty will take on world No. 70 Bernarda Pera in the first round. This will be the first career meeting between the Aussie and the American.
Pera has a 9-11 record in 2021, however boasts a 6-5 record on clay. Although Pera has been a solid performer on the surface, Barty is the +500 second favorite to win the tournament and we like the Aussie to get her campaign underway with a straight sets victory.
Tennis Pick: Exact Score: Barty 2-0 (-280)
Anastasija Sevastova vs Jennifer Brady (13)
Fresh off an appearance in her maiden Grand Slam singles final, Jennifer Brady will be looking to continue her solid run of form at major tournaments with a strong display at the upcoming French Open. Brady has made back to back appearances deep in the second week of majors, reaching the semifinal of the 2020 US Open and the final of the 2021 Australian Open.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 20, 2021
Brady will face the more experienced Anastasija Sevastova in the first round at Roland Garros. Sevastova is 6-3 on clay in 2021 and boasts a career 186-88 record on the surface. Brady is a much more dominant hard court player, with a 3-2 record in clay this season and a 44-42 record throughout her career. Although Brady may be the more accomplished of the two players recently, Sevastova is undeniably the better clay court player and we like the world No. 47 to at least pinch a set off Brady in their Round 1 clash.
Tennis Pick: Total sets over 2.5 (+110)
Sofia Kenin (4) vs Jelena Ostapenko
Sofia Kenin will enter the 2021 French Open as the highest seeded American on the women’s side of the draw. The 2019 Australian Open champion will take on world No. 44 Jelena Ostapenko in the first round at Roland Garros. Ostapenko holds a 1-0 lead over Kenin in their career head to head, as the Latvian won their single career clash in 2020. The match went to three sets and was played on hard court.
Although Kenin went to the Round of 16 at Roland Garros in 2019 and the final in 2020, her clay court performances in 2021 have not been up to standard, currently 0-3 on the surface in 2021. Ostapenko on the other hand is a renowned performer on clay. In 2017, Ostapenko became first unseeded player to win the French Open since 1933, while more recently she has a 5-3 record on clay this year. Kenin will enter this match as the higher seed, however Ostapenko is favored and we like her to win at least one set in their first round clash at Roland Garros.
Tennis Pick: Total sets over 2.5 (+114)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.