It’s Day 3 at the Australian Open in Melbourne and the temperature will rise to meet the level of competition. Because it’s the second round we’ve still got a ridiculously long list of names to choose from for your DraftKings tennis rosters, and we’ve got some fantastic matches on the card. With so many that stand out, we take a look at options to consider for your fantasy tennis rosters on DraftKings.
Matteo Berrettini ($10,500)
Unlike last night, I have no issue paying all the way up on this slate. The issue is that I don’t think it’s at all necessary. Berrettini is once again wowing us with his power on a hardcourt, and these surfaces in Australia are playing exceptionally fast according to the players, meaning that Berrettini’s menacing serve plays up even more. Tomas Machac ($4,100) will be playing just his 14th match on an outdoor hardcourt, and he wouldn’t even be in this position if not for an injury to Mario Vilella Martínez. You don’t see a player with the weapons that Berrettini possesses on the Challenger Tour. He will win in three, and he will pile up aces along the way, making him a stud.
Ash Barty ($10,300)
Barty, who has been a bit forgotten over the past year due to her inactivity during the topsy-turvy 2020 season, has come back with a vengeance this season and seems determined to capture a Grand Slam in her homeland. She’s reeled off six straight wins this season, dropping just two sets along the way, and embarrassed Danka Kovinic — the 82nd-best player in the world — with a double bagel in the first round. Daria Gavrilova ($4,000) won’t hold a candle to the Slice Queen, who’s been too sharp in the early going.
Others to consider: Daniil Medvedev ($11,200), Jen Brady ($10,200)
Value flex options
Fabio Fognini ($8,600)
The Italian is an enemy of the betting and DFS community for his inconsistency and his mental lapses which seemingly come at random times and cost him to tank matches, but he appears to be in tip-top shape here in Melbourne. Fognini is fully recovered from last year’s double-ankle surgery, moving around the court with grace and speed, which is a beautiful sight to see for tennis fans. He showcased his beautiful style of tennis in Monday’s win over Pierre Hugues-Herbert, putting on a masterclass in groundstroking and hitting just about every line. When Fognini is able to execute every shot he comes up with using his unique imagination, he’s a tough guy to beat. He should be more expensive here, and I think he wins in four, maybe even three.
Casper Ruud ($7,700)
It appears we were all wrong when we praised Ruud for his dominance in last year’s Golden Swing. The overwhelming narrative was that this guy was simply unstoppable on clay. I think it’s safe to say we can forget about the surface — Ruud is legit. He gets Tommy Paul ($7,000) here, who had a moment last year at the Australian Open with a run to the third round but has looked so-so in 2021. It’s hard to rate his win over Nikoloz Basilashvili, who has six wins in two years, and after a fast start he finished 2020 with a 26-28 record. I’m a fan of Tommy, but while it’s easy to remember the triumphs he’s had over some great opponents (he took Andrey Rublev three sets last year in Hamburg and beat Alex Zverev in Acapulco), we sometimes forget how flat he can look. Ruud went to the third round of the US Open in his last hardcourt tournament of 2020, and he has carried forward that level so far in 2021. This match will likely be a marathon, but Ruud pulls it out.
Radu Albot ($6,500)
With no Sara Errani or Fiona Ferro immediately presenting themselves on this slate, I’m going to go slightly more expensive, into the mid-$6K range to grab my favorite value of the day. It’s true, Christopher O’Connell ($8,100) is a good tennis player, and he’s playing in his home country, but he’s not at the level of Albot. The Maldovan continues to be disrespected due to a decline from his career year in 2019, but most of his shortcomings last year were injury-induced. Albot looks to be his old self again after a stunning upset of Roberto Bautista-Agut, and I see no reason why he can’t win this match. Albot’s brilliance is his ability to get every ball back in play and diffuse most of the power coming at him from the other side of the net, and that is something that will be difficult for O’Connell, who plays at the ATP Challenger level and rarely faces competition like this, to handle. He’s the live dog of the night.
Others to consider: Lloyd Harris ($7,900), Ricardas Berankis ($4,800)
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