Matteo Berrettini enters his first round matchup with Vasek Pospisil as a gargantuan (-750) favorite. At first glance, this line feels a bit disrespectful towards the maple syrup-chugging, mushroom-supplementing Canadian. According to UTR, Pospisil is the 13th best player in the world. He’s fresh off a fourth round run at the US Open, where he upset both Milos Raonic and Roberto Bautista Agut. In addition to those wins, Pospisil has beaten Denis Shapovalov, David Goffin, and world No. 5 Daniil Medvedev in 2020. Physically, he’s healthier and stronger than ever.
But then you look at the most important stat—a players win/loss record on clay—and the Berrettini favoritism makes a lot more sense. Throughout his career, Pospisil owns just a 1-18 record on the surface. So clearly he has no confidence on the dirt, but he’s currently playing some of the best tennis of his life. He’s serving huge, moving explosively, and he’s winning tough matches. If there was ever a year for Pospisil to earn his elusive first Roland Garros main-draw win, this would be it.
The only problem is that Berrettini, who grew up playing on clay, loves the surface. The world No. 8 has racked up a 26-13 career record on clay to go along with titles in Budapest and Gstaad.
The conditions in Paris, while still very slow, are different than in years past. The ball is bouncing lower than ever, and slices are staying low and skidding through the court. This could help Pospisil, as Berrettini’s heavy forehand will likely stay in his strike zone and not bounce above it.
The over/under game total of 32 implies a beatdown in favor of the Italian. While it’s safe to expect a Berrettini victory given Pospisil’s abysmal performance on clay his entire career, this match will likely be closer than Vegas thinks.
The Pick: Matteo Berrettini