The second round of the Italian Open begins on Wednesday, which means some of the biggest names in tennis will be playing their first matches on the red clay in Rome. Novak Djokovic ($11.200), Rafael Nadal ($11,000) and Simona Halep ($10,500) are all in action after receiving first-round byes. We take a look at options to consider for your fantasy tennis rosters on DraftKings.
Novak Djokovic ($11,200)
Anyone know what’s been going on with Novak Djokovic lately? Feel like we haven’t heard from him in some time.
In all seriousness, with the US Open slipping out of his grasp, Djokovic has his sights set solely on lifting the trophy in Paris next week. That means it’s time to get right on clay and first up is Italian Salvatore Caruso. You’re not here to read how Djokovic can beat Caruso, you know he can. I’m just here to say motivation should be no issue, Djokovic will want to win a few here to tune-up for Paris.
Rafael Nadal ($11,000)
Pablo Carreno-Busta stands on the other side of the net here and has yet to take a set from Rafa in three tries on clay. In fact, he’s won just one set in their five meetings. PCB should be pretty drained from his long run at the US Open and will need to adjust to playing on Clay. You don’t have time to adjust against the world’s top clay court player. The only concern here is rust but on paper Nadal should only drop four or five games.
Also Consider: Stefanos Tsitsipas ($9,600)
Value Flex Options
Karolina Pliskova ($9,300)
Pliskova, a big server, doesn’t fit the mold of a player who excels on clay. Barbora Strycova, on the other hand, has been known to be a very skilled player on the clay over her long career. When we look closer, though, this matchup favors Pliskova pretty heavily. The world No. 4 has won in straight sets the past two times these players have met, both on clay, and Pliskova (13-5) owns a much stronger record than Strycova (11-9) on the surface over the past two years. This is much like the Raonic–Mannarino matchup we saw on Day 1.
Yoshihito Nishioka ($6,400)
Nishioka sparkled in his first-round matchup against last week’s champion on the clay in Kitzhubel, Miomir Kecmanovic. Often disrespected due to his lack of a powerful weapon, Nishioka is a backboard who will hang with some of the game’s best groundstrokers and has a game which suits clay very well, In fact, he has won a higher percentage of career matches on clay (69%) than Dimitrov (63%). I think he looks spectacular at the moment and he should force Dimitrov, who did not look sharp in New York or in the first round against Gianluca Mager, into a flurry of unforced errors.
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