In what should be an intriguing clay-court showdown at the French Open, world No. 66 Dusan Lajovic faces world No. 38 Sebastian Baez. This opening-round match-up features two players that come into this tournament after having had solid seasons on the dirt thus far. After beginning the year with a 2-5 record in his first seven clay-court matches, Lajovic has now won six of his last eight on this surface. Meanwhile, Baez won a title at Estoril back in early May, and he has won 21 of the 29 matches he has played on the dirt in 2022.

Not only has Lajovic won six of his last eight matches on clay, but one of those victories came over world No. 8 Casper Ruud. That’s a win that should have Lajovic feeling really good about his game, but Baez is probably even more confident coming into this one. The Argentinean lost a tough three-set match against world No. 11 Cameron Norrie in Lyon last week, but this clay season has been a smashing success for the 21-year-old. Baez has played a ton of matches on this surface, so he should be more comfortable than just about anybody at this event this week. And his gritty style of play will make him a tough out for anyone, especially considering he’s likely to win over the crowd with his relentlessness.


Overall, it’s hard not to see Baez being the player that goes through to the next round, which is why DraftKings has him pegged as a -285 favorite. However, Baez has been compared to Diego Schwartzman early in his career, and that should tell you a lot about what you need to know as far as how this match will go. Players of smaller statures need to work hard to earn their victories, and this match will be no exception. Lajovic should be able to use his advantage in the power department to win some quick points, and it’s just hard to imagine the Serbian not winning at least a set in this match, as Baez's serve is shaky enough for Lajovic to take advantage of.

With that being said, you should look to back the Over on the set total in this match, as a four-or five-set win is the most likely outcome for Baez. Taking the Over also protects you in the event that Lajovic is the one that ultimately ends up emerging as the winner in a hard-fought battle.

The Pick: Over 3.5 Sets (-165)