Return this third-round underdog at Roland Garros

The French Open third round ends on Saturday with perhaps another upset in the works. World number 7 Andrey Rublev fell in the third round on Friday to Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego, who claimed an epic victory in five sets after losing the first two sets. He was wild at Roland Garros with still so many opportunities for chaos.

Here’s a bet to make for Saturday’s action.

Borna Coric (+115) vs. Tomas Martin Etcheverry

Croatian Borna Coric has suffered four defeats on clay this season, including two against Carlos Alcaraz (arguably the best player on the circuit) and Stefanos Tsitsipas (one of the best clay players of the moment). These are fair losses. Tomás Martín Etcheverry is an Argentinian with a strong baseline game that pushed American Frances Tiafoe in the clay-court final in Houston earlier this year.

Coric won this match doing what he does best: using solid return play. His counter-attacking ability will come into play against Etcheverry 6-5, but it’s Coric’s ability to extend rallies that will matter most.

The only story we have between these two players was a straight-set loss to Coric at a 2022 Challenger event. However, Coric was in the early stages of his comeback after a year-long injury layoff. Both players have had solid wins this season on clay, Coric beating a big server in Hubert Hurkacz and a solid clay player in Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, while Etcheverry pushed Djokovic to a tiebreaker in Rome.

What Coric really has going for him is his ability to endure grueling matches. Moreover, he comes into this match with pace having played two tie-breaks in the first round and a five-set match in the second. Etcheverry could be well rested but also running out of pace after upsetting the first round.

Bet on Coric to pull the little surprise on Etcheverry and reach the fourth round of Roland Garros. The sure bet: Coric +2 plays, getting “value” after opening the opening line to a pick ’em. I take the silver line because I trust Coric more in high pressure situations and to have better conditioning.

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