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Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Kyle Edmund slight favourite to beat Fognini

Damir Dzumhur could make Zverev pull out the stops

Damir Dzumhur may be ready to trouble Madrid champion Alexander Zverev
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ITV4 & Eurosport 1 & 2, Starts 10am Friday 

Kyle Edmund was cut to 66-1 from 100-1 by Betfred for Roland Garros glory after defeating second-round opponent Marton Fucsovics 6-0 1-6 6-2 6-3.

British number one Edmund loves the clay and has set up a last-32 clash with Italian number one Fabio Fognini on Saturday - and it's anyone's match as far as the odds are concerned with Edmund a marginal 5-6 favourite to go through.

Friday's best bets
Dzumhur v A Zverev

Alexander Zverev, the French Open men's singles second seed, continues his bid to shine in a Grand Slam event for the first time, but the German ace may have to toil to see off third-round opponent Damir Dzumhur.

In-form Dzumhur had to withstand a terrific effort to fight back from Radu Albot in the last 64, but the Bosnian's game looks in decent nick and he could trouble Madrid champion Zverev.

Dzumhur, who captured prestigious titles on indoor courts in Moscow and St Petersburg last year, won their only previous encounter, a close straight-sets win on a Chinese hard court last year.

That may not matter much, but it suggests that the outsider may again be capable of keeping it close.

Anyone who reckons Dzumhur is playing well enough to dump out Zverev should not be put off, and the chance to back the out­sider either to win at least a set or on total-games handicaps should be taken.

Roland Garros presents Zverev with a big chance to ditch his hoodoo of not having made it past the last 16 of a Slam. But considering how well Dzumhur is performing and that he may be playing somewhere near the peak of his powers at 26, anyone considering siding with the short-priced favourite should take care.

Recommendation
D Dzumhur +8.5 games
1pt 4-5 Betfred, BoyleSports


Verdasco v Dimitrov
There is still time for Fernando Verdasco to reach a Roland Garros singles final – he has certainly been good enough on clay over the years – and the seasoned Spaniard could be playing well enough to worry fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov in round three.

It's two wins apiece in their personal series and with Dimitrov having been taken to an 18-game deciding set by Jared Donaldson in his latest outing, Verdasco has a good chance to win or at least take the Bulgarian close.

The Madrileno can be chanced for the upset, but there's extra insurance in backing the outsider to win at least two sets.

Recommendation
F Verdasco +1.5 sets
1pt 8-11 BoyleSports


Giorgi v Stephens
Sloane Stephens is developing a sort of win-when-she-wants mentality and with the US Open and Miami Open, tournaments closest to her heart, already in the bag she's now shopping around for more silverware.

Clay is still probably Stephens' weakest surface, even though she went all the way in Charleston in 2016.

But considering the way the American has been performing in recent weeks, she may now be ready to draw level with Camila Giorgi in their personal series.

Giorgi defeated Stephens 6-3 6-0 in Sydney in January but the strength of that form is questionable.

Recommendation
S Stephens
1pt 4-6 BoyleSports


World Cup quizzes 

Groups A & B

Groups C & D

Groups E & F

Groups G & H

Which World Cup legend are you?


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Considering Dzumhur may be playing somewhere near the peak of his powers at 26, short-priced favourite backers should take care
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