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Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Edmund could have too much power for De Minaur

Feliciano Lopez should ease through at Roland Garros

Kyle Edmund starts his French Open bid against Alex de Minaur
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Eurosport & ITV4, 10am Tuesday

Kyle Edmund is yet to win an ATP World Tour title but bookmakers believe that the British number one is not without a chance of making an impact at the French Open.

Edmund, a semi-finalist in the first Grand Slam event of the season in at the Australian Open, has taken his game to a new level this year and is long odds-on to prevail when he begins his Roland Garros assault against Australian Alex de Minaur.

The pair have faced off once before when Edmund's raw power proved too much for the teenager to handle. He should be confident of joining fellow Brit Cameron Norrie in the second round in Paris.

Lopez v Stakhovsky
Feliciano Lopez hasn't always played his best tennis on clay but the Spanish veteran deserves to be a heavy favourite to beat Sergiy Stakhovsky and he's worth backing giving up 4.5 games.

The 36-year-old has had less-than-stellar results on the red dirt this season but tight losses against Roberto Bautista-Agut, Diego Schwartzman and Kei Nishikori are nothing to be ashamed of while victories over Benoit Paire, Dusan Lajovic and Pablo Andujar suggest that Lopez's form is still good enough to beat Stakhovsky.

The Ukrainian famously knocked Roger Federer out of Wimbledon five years ago but he has been in dreadful form, losing three consecutive first-round matches on the Challenger Tour heading into Roland Garros qualifying.

He needed three sets to win his opening two qualifiers before losing to Ilya Ivashka and making the main draw as a lucky loser.

Recommendation
F Lopez -4.5 games
3pts 4-6 Coral, Ladbrokes

Bedene v P Cuevas
While Edmund is not a betting proposition at the price, a former Briton merits support in the shape of Aljaz Bedene.

Bedene switched his allegiance back to Slovenia at the beginning of the year in order to play in the Davis Cup and qualify for the 2020 Olympics, takes on Pablo Cuevas in a closely-matched encounter.

The Uruguayan is a narrow favourite based on his clay exploits but little about his form this season suggests he will better Bedene.

Cuevas has won just three matches across four tournaments on European clay and two of those victories came against out-of-form Jack Sock and Albert Ramos-Vinolas while the other was against 187-ranked Ricardo Ojeda Lara.

Bedene, in addition to making the final of the Argentina Open in February, has produced strong showings in Budapest and Rome this year so punters can be confident of another bold display.

Recommendation
A Bedene
1pt 11-10 general

Cibulkova v Goerges
Dominika Cibulkova has slipped down the rankings but the 2009 French Open semi-finalist gave a timely reminder of her ability when just edged out by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in a thrilling final of last week's Strasbourg International.

The organisers have been kind to the pint-sized Slovakian by affording her three days of rest so fatigue shouldn't be an issue against Goerges, who was in excellent form earlier in the season but has struggled since reaching the Charleston final on her first clay outing of the season.

Cibulkova, an excellent mover with a power-packed game, has a great chance of winning what should prove to be one of the ties of the opening round.

Recommendation
D Cibulkova
1pt 53-50 188Bet

Other matches
All eyes will be on Serena Williams when the 23-time Grand Slam champion returns to action against Kristyna Pliskova but, while odds of 1-2 may appear attractive about the American legend, the 36-year-old is bound to be short of fitness and should be watched on her first outing since Miami.

World number one Simona Halep and 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza also begin their Paris challenge while David Goffin, Juan Martin del Potro and Marin Cilic are the biggest names in action in the men's draw.


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Stakhovsky famously knocked Roger Federer out of Wimbledon five years ago but he has been in dreadful form
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