For reasons both apparent and unexplained, certain match-ups heavily favor one side or the other, even at tennis' highest level. There are certain opponents who always seem they raise their level while simultaneously bringing another's down to the basement.

For Stefanos Tsitsipas, that nemesis is Daniil Medvedev. Perhaps the Greek’s unfortunate 1-6 record against the Russain stems from their altercation at the 2018 Miami Open, when a handshake quickly became contentious, but Tuesday is his chance to reverse the tide.


Tsitsipas has been a buzzsaw throughout the entire clay-court season. The Greek's exceptional court coverage is enhanced by the slow surface, and he’s gifted additional time to wind up his thunderous forehand. He boasts a 20-3 record on clay in 2021 to go along with titles in Monte Carlo and Lyon, and has only lost to Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Casper Ruud. It may be his best surface of all.

Meanwhile, Medvedev has turned a forgettable clay-court season into a memorable one, going from sure-fire bust candidate to a legitimate contender seemingly overnight. After a 1-2 record during his abbreviated clay swing, the Russian has returned into “how do I even win a point against him”? In his four matches in Paris, the world No. 2 has converted an astounding 26 of 57 break points.

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

When Medvedev was talking about his affinity for the new balls, he may have been thinking about this winner, which put the final dagger in Cristian Garin in the fourth round.


But Tsitsipas has been the second-best clay court player in the world this season, thanks in part to his dominant first-serve, first-forehand combination.

Defending Tsitsipas’ first-strike tennis is an immense challenge.

As of 4:45 P.M. ET on Monday, Tsitsipas is listed as a -230 favorite, and projected to win by 4.5 total games, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. But even if you back Tsitsipas, Medvedev’s ability to get hot is concerning. Luckily, there are set spreads, with Tsitsipas to win by 1.5 total sets listed at -118.

This is the best bet to target, as Tsitsipas’ entire season has been building up to this moment. He’ll surely fight some nerves against a formidable foe, but in the end, expect him to have too much game for Medvedev—their history notwithstanding—and ultimately win in either three or four sets.

The Pick: Stefanos Tsitsipas to win by 1.5 total sets