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French Open: Federer and Baghdatis head-up day 1 tips

| 24.05.2015

Tennis has returned to Paris, and this year’s French Open is set to be a cracker.

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are both in excellent form on clay, while Rafael Nadal is aiming for his 10th title in 11 years at Roland Garros.

Here are our best bets for day one.

Marcos Baghdatis to beat Ivo Karlovic @ 11/10

Picking up the Cypriot at odds-against in the first round is a real treat for any savvy punters, especially against an opponent who has struggled at the French Open in his career.

Karlovic made the third round last year, but prior to that his last trip beyond the first was way back in 2007.

Baghdatis has gone past the first round in three of his last four visits to Roland Garros, and beat Karlovic in Zagreb earlier this year to take a 2-1 lead in their overall head-to-head record.

Over 27.5 games in Rodger Federer v Alejandro Falla @ 4/5

There’s little chance of an upset when the Swiss maestro takes to the court in this first-round clash, but Falla will likely keep the crowd entertained for a little while at least.

The Colombian’s best ever Grand Slam performance came at Roland Garros in 2011 when he made the fourth round, and although he has been knocked out in the first in the past three years, he hasn’t gone quietly.

Only one of his defeats in that time has stayed under 28 games, when he retired in the second set of his 2013 match against Grigor Dimitrov.

Falla has also caused Federer some trouble in the past – taking him to five sets at Wimbledon in 2010 – and the Swiss beat him in 31 games the last time they met at the French Open.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to beat Lucie Safarova @ 2/1

The Russian leads the Czech 4-1 in their head to head record, with Safarova’s only victory coming on grass back in 2010.

Pavlyuchenkova has also picked up some impressive wins on clay of late, including against 2012 French Open runner-up Sara Errani in the Madrid Masters.

Furthermore, the Russian has never failed to go beyond the first round of the French Open. An upset could well be on the cards here.

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

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Alex Fortune