The first round at Roland Garros rolls on Monday, with some big names like Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams hitting the red clay in the French for the first time. We take a look at options to consider for your fantasy tennis rosters on DraftKings.
Rafael Nadal ($11,400)
This is about as easy as it gets; there’s a 0% chance Nadal drops a set here. As someone who tries so hard to point out flaws in his game — I’m certainly not one to shill for Rafa by any means — I sincerely don’t see a way he loses more than six games in this one. Egor Gerasimov ($3,700) is a hardcourt specialist and will be lost on the clay. Nadal, meanwhile, is the best clay-courter in history. This is as easy as it gets.
Casper Ruud ($11,200)
Ruud has ripped through to two-straight pretty major clay-court events, going to the semifinals in Rome and Hamburg. Fatigue is the only thing that can hold him back here, but on paper, this is another no-brainer. Ruud has risen to elite clay court status this year with his showing at the Golden Swing earlier this year and shouldn’t have an issue handling 32-year-old Yuichi Sugita ($3,800), who has played just 8% of his over 800 career matches on clay.
Garbine Muguruza ($10,800)
You’d be hard-pressed to find a player hotter on the clay than the 2018 semifinalist at Roland Garros, who’s won four of her five matches on the surface this year. Muguruza has one of the highest implied winning probabilities on the card and should tear through the young, inexperienced Tamara Zidansek ($4,000) in two. She’s one to watch in future years, but Muguruza appears too motivated at this time, and motivation/focus has been her biggest Achilles’ heel through the years.
Value FLEX Options
Albert Ramos-Vinolas ($8,100)
This is equal parts a fade of a horrible clay court player and an endorsement of a clay-court specialist. Towards the end of last season, ARV was nearly unbeatable on clay and skyrocketed up the rankings with a win in Gstaad and a trip to the finals against Dominic Thiem in Kitzbuhel. He’s 3-0 lifetime against Adrian Mannarino ($6,500) on clay, and the frenchman is a horrendous 74-99 on the surface in his 16-year career. His flat backhand just does not play on the red clay and even playing in his home country has not given him a boost; he has reached the second round just three times in 11 main draws in Roland Garros. Ramos-Vinolas will roll in three.
Marton Fucsovics ($5,200)
If you didn’t watch the Hamburg 500 event last week, let me relay this one important fact to you: Daniil Medvedev ($9,500) stinks on clay. We already thought this much, but then the World No. 5 was absolutely dismantled in the first round by Ugo Humbert. Fucsovics has a much better record (143-101) than Medvedev (59-35) on clay through the years, and pushed him to the brink in the 2018 Monte Carlo event, losing the third set 5-7. Fucso is more than capable of pulling an upset in here, and is a worthy punt if you’re looking down this low.
Others to consider: Leylah Fernandez ($6,700), Ricardas Berankis ($5,600)
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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.