Looking comfortable on clay for the first time since his 2019 run to the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters semifinal, Daniil Medvedev will look to complete the rare roommate sweep, as he takes on Reilly Opelka in the third round of Roland Garros. On Wednesday, the No. 2 seed defeated Opelka’s South Florida housemate and best friend Tommy Paul in four sets.

It’s been a surprisingly good French Open for American men; slightly quicker courts and the light and maneuverable Dunlop ball is rewarding big serving and allowing shorter-than-normal points. Though the ball-type may not appear like much of a factor to the casual fan, it's a huge deal according to the players.

“As soon as I came here, these balls are much lighter,” Medvedev said in press. “They go faster in the air, so that’s why I can make them also drop faster before the baseline.”

The balls surely aren’t the only reason Medvedev has turned his form around so quickly, but whatever the case, it’s nice to see the Russian give his fascinating skill-set a proper chance on the surface—a contrast to his recent bouts of negative energy and self-sabotage.

The conditions in Paris have been a boon to Opelka as well, who is having somewhat of a breakout season on clay. Fresh off a semifinal appearance in Rome, Opelka defeated clay-court specialist Jaime Munar in four sets, breaking the Spaniard five times in his 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 victory.

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Medvedev is listed as a -370 favorite and projected to win by 3.5 total games. The two towering figures have faced off three time before; though the head-to-head advantage 2-1 in the Russian’s favor, all three matches have gone the distance.

Opelka won their last match at the 2020 St. Petersburg Open, an unfortunate day for Medvedev’s Technifibre racquet:


AP Images: Medvedev destroys his racquet after losing to Opelka in St. Petersburg

AP Images: Medvedev destroys his racquet after losing to Opelka in St. Petersburg

Unsurprisingly, Opelka’s serve has proven to be a nightmare for opponents, even on clay. It’s safe to assume Medvedev will stand as far back as possible to deal with the American’s incredible weapon.

Look for Opelka to mix in plenty of serve and volley tennis, and perhaps a few drop shots after his first and second serves to keep Medvedev uncomfortable.


There’s no doubt the Russian looks like a different player this week, but Opelka has given him plenty of problems in the past. It seems the oddsmakers have set a tough betting line for this match, and for that reason we are going to pick the over game total. With Opelka’s tiebreak prone game, a four-set encounter should easily cover the 39 game total.

The Pick: Over 39 total games