Novak Djokovic vs. Roberto Bautista Agut 2018 French Open Tennis Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction
Bautista Agut vs. Djokovic
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TV: Tennis, NBC
Novak Djokovic and Roberto Bautista Agut meet in the third round of the 2018 tennis French Open.
Novak Djokovic is coming off a straight sets win over Jaume Munar that took 33 games to decide. In the victory, Djokovic won 71 percent of his first serve points and 60 percent of his second serve points. Djokovic won 43 percent of his return points and hit 39 winners in his victory, all signs that he’s close to returning to the form that made him the scariest player in the sport. However, Djokovic still struggles with his serve at times and still hits a higher than expected number of unforced errors. It’s still hit or miss with Djokovic, but he’s playing some of his best tennis in several months and that consistency should eventually pay off. Djokovic has made at least the fourth round of a grand slam in 13 of his last 15 appearances. Djokovic has won seven of his last nine matches on clay court.
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Roberto Bautista Agut is coming off a straight sets win over Santiago Giraldo that took 31 games to decide. In the victory, Bautista Agut won 80 percent of his first serve points and 56 percent of his second serve points. Bautista Agut was dominant with his first serve and produced six breaks to cruise in his second round victory. The concern with Bautista Agut is that he had 17 winners and 34 unforced errors, a formula that won’t work against better competition moving forward. Like Djokovic, Bautista Agut can take his game to another level. Bautista Agut hopes to make the fourth round of a grand slam for the eighth time in his last 12 appearances. Bautista Agut has won six of his last nine matches on clay court.
These two have played seven times and Djokovic has won six of those matches. The most recent match was in the 2017 Rome Masters, a match Djokovic won in straight sets. Bautista Agut’s only win over Djokovic came in the 2016 Shanghai Masters.
It’s still iffy when it comes to trusting Djokovic, but we are seeing him play more consistent tennis and the flashes are more frequent, which is a sign he’s breaking out of this funk. Bautista Agut has played some of his best tennis on clay, but he also has little to no deep grand slam success and has been owned by Djokovic in the past.
I’m giving the edge to Djokovic here.