Ivan Dodig and Mikahil Youzhny face off on Monday morning for the third time in their careers in the first round of the French Open. Youzhny leads the head to head 2-0, though one of these matches was on an outdoor hard court and the other on an indoor hard court.
After a disastrous 2014 and 2015, the veteran Youzhny has picked up his form again in 2016 with a 22/8 winning record for the season so far. Clay has never been his favourite surface and he most certainly prefers quicker surfaces on the tour but this could be one of his last French Open's and I don't see him going out with a wimper.
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Ivan Dodig is a similar type of player to Youzhny and has had some recent success on the hard courts until coming into the clay court season where he has feared much the same as his opponent. He has a 17/11 winning record in 2016. I see this match having a lot of hard-fought, close sets so my tip here is over 3.5 sets - best price 4/7 with Bet365.
The second part of this double features the match between Klizan and Daniel. There is no doubt that Klizan (ranked 45) compared to Daniel (ranked 93) is the better player in this match up between two clay-courters. The only question mark is his fitness, having not played a match since he retired against Verdasco at Indian Wells in March.
Klizan had been in good form before that and although this will be his first match on clay this season, he will have had plenty of time to practice so I don't see him taking too long to find his feet.
Daniel plays the majority of his tournaments on clay where he can and has had plenty of matches on the dirt this season. He hasn't advanced past the second round in any clay court tournament in 2016 though and only two weeks ago lost in the first round of the Bordeaux Challenger to Daniil Medvedev (ranked 240).
Though these two have never played each other on the tour before I can see a lot of long rallies between them in this match. The only thing putting me off Klizan winning the match outright is his fitness but I'm happy to take the 8/13 on over 3.5 sets on offer at Bet365.