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French Open Day 4: Townsend can compete in best bets

| 28.05.2014

We’re only into Day 4 at the French Open but there has already been a host of talking points and some incredible value on offer in the early rounds. We pick out our three best bets for today’s action in Paris with a £10 treble paying out £92.30.

Gilles Simon to beat Alejandro Gonzales 3-0 @ 8/11

Home favourite Gilles Simon is a class apart from Alejandro Gonzales and should dispatch the world number 77 with a minimum of fuss.

The Frenchman has had a difficult season so far with some indifferent displays, bringing his ranking down to the 30 mark he currently occupies.

However, the former world number 6 – who has 11 titles to his name – will have pinpointed his home Slam as a chance to right some of the wrongs of this campaign and he should outclass his inexperienced opponent in their first meeting.

Gonzales has posted some impressive results this term, claiming the scalps of Ivan Dodig and Feliciano Lopez but the 24-year-old still has a lot to learn on the surface and it would be a surprise if he was to trouble Simon in any of the three sets.

Simon has reached the next stage in his past four attempts and the way he dispatched Ante Patic for the loss of only five games in the first round spells trouble for his Colombian rival.

Alize Cornet v Taylor TownsendTownsend to win at least 1 set @ 5/4

World number 21 Alize Cornet is a full 184 places higher in the WTA rankings than her second round opponent Taylor Townsend but this looks far from being a straight forward task for the Frenchwoman.

Although Townsend won the 2012 Australian Open juniors title and became the first American to hold the number one ranking for junior girls since 1982 the 18-year-old first made the headlines worldwide after the USTA refused to pay for her place in the 2012 junior US Open due to concerns over her weight.

Those problems seem to be behind the feisty Floridian though and she tuned-up nicely for her Roland Garros debut by winning back-to-back ITF events at Charlottesville and Indian Harbour Beach.

Townsend overcame some useful dirtballers en route to those victories and that preparation was there for all to see as she dismissed compatriot Vania King in fine style in round one.

Winning her first match at a Major will have given her even more confidence and although Cornet looked in excellent touch herself in round one it’s safe to assume the favourite will be severely tested.

Townsend looks set to be one of those players who will always attract attention but she will know that taking advantage of opportunities like these will help move the focus back on court.

Daniela Hantuchova v Claire FeuersteinTotal Sets in match – 3 @ 11/8

It’s infuriating to think that the Daniela Hantuchova’s best result at a Grand Slam remains a 2008 semi-final appearance at the Australian Open and the explanation for that underachievement can be found in the mind.

The Slovakian veteran has never really learnt to deal with her nerves and on-court frustrations and while that has cost her many more deep runs in Majors it has also meant that a lot of victories have had to be achieved the hard way.

Poor starts and unconvincing finishes to matches have been two hallmarks of the 33-year-old’s career and it could be a familiar story against her limited second round opponent Claire Feuerstein.

The Frenchwoman has nowhere near the ability that Hantuchova once possessed but buoyed by the local crowd and with a moral-boosting ITF victory still fresh in the memory from March it would be massive shock if this resulted in a comfortable victory for Hantuchova.

Three of her last four matches have required a deciding set and at 11/8 that looks like excellent value for that pattern to continue and leave supporters of the Slovak to continue scratching their heads.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Sam Foster