It’s Day 2 of the Vienna Open in Austria and the Astana Open in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan! The former is a 500-level indoor hardcourt event which kicked off Monday, the latter an ATP 250. The big guns are hitting the court for the first time in Austria, with two of this year’s Grand Slam winners in action. With a plethora of options to choose from, let’s take a look at options to consider for your fantasy tennis rosters on DraftKings.
Novak Djokovic ($10,700)
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the biggest fan of this spot for Djokovic, but there aren’t many “high-priced” options to choose from and, also, it’s the best player in the world at under $11K. Filip Krajinovic ($4,000) always plays his fellow countryman close, even beating him in an exhibition during the shutdown, and produces his best tennis in the non-Slams. In fact, he’s been so extraordinary in the regular season — looking like a top-10 player — that many times he’s been projected for deep runs in Grand Slams, to no avail. That said, I don’t expect this to be easy for Djokovic, but he did just beat Krajinovic in straight sets in Rome a month ago. He’s had plenty of rest since his French Open run and Djokovic should be looking to pick up a few wins to pad his lead over Rafael Nadal for World No. 1. I expect another straight-set win here, but you likely won’t enjoy a blowout.
Dominic Thiem ($10,300)
This is by far my favorite play of the day and a wonderful pivot off Djokovic. As I alluded to, the other options $9,400 and up aren’t very appealing, and Thiem’s opponent Kei Nishikori ($4,200) should drive the Austrian’s ownership down due to his name alone. Even if his ownership is just the slightest bit reduced, this is an absolute smash spot. Thiem is playing in front of the home fans in Austria and is the defending champion at the Vienna Open. We’ll see a very fresh, motivated and engaged Thiem, while Nishikori will be anything but “fresh.” The former World No. 4 has been dealing with a right shoulder injury after dealing with COVID-19 months prior. Things haven’t been going well for the Japanese star, and it’s translated to the court with a brutal 2-4 record since the shutdown. Nishikori is simply a shell of himself right now and Thiem will take full advantage with homecourt advantage an added bonus.
Value FLEX Options
Stan Wawrinka ($9,100)
I always struggle to figure out if someone at the $9,000 level can be considered a value play, but if you pair him with Thiem ($10,300) you’re left with an average of $7,650 for your four remaining spots. This is a fantastic spot for Stan, facing a player in Cristian Garin ($5,700) who absolutely hates hardcourts. His game simply doesn’t translate to the surface, where he’s gone 10-18 over the past two seasons. Wawrinka, on the other hand, loves the hardcourts. He just ran to the quarterfinals indoors at Saint Petersburg, made the quarters in Acapulco earlier this season and nearly got past Sascha Zverev and into the Australian Open semifinal. His big backhand has looked sharp and he will hit Garin off the court on Tuesday. Wawrinka has been playing a ton of tennis lately and seems poised to crack the top 10 again soon.
Aslan Karatsev ($5,500)
One of the more under-the-radar options on Tuesday, Karatsev is the far less-recognizable name versus Andreas Seppi ($9,400) but actually projects out to be a favorite in this one. The Russian has been on some run this season, going 47-14 when you include some exhibition matches he played during the lockdown. While most of his wins were against some less-than-quality opponents, he still managed to test Stan Wawrinka in a Challenger in August and win back-to-back Challenger titles after that. He also was able to pick up a win last week against Tennys Sandgren in Saint Petersburg before nearly knocking off Karen Khachanov. Everything is finally clicking for the 27-year-old, and you’ll want to ride the hot hand here against a player in Seppi who hasn’t won his past five matches.
Others to consider: Aljaz Bedene ($6,700), Grigor Dimitrov ($7,700)
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jetsfan196) and I may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO) or 1-800-BETS OFF (IA). 21+ (18+ NH). NJ/PA/WV/IN/NH/IA/CO/IL only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.