We’re on to the second round at the Australian Open, and with football now out of the way we’ve got a massive $150K prize pool on DraftKings for Tuesday’s slate, and because it’s the second round we’ve still got a ridiculously long list of names to choose from. With so many that stand out, we take a look at options to consider for your fantasy tennis rosters on DraftKings.
Serena Williams ($10,800)
It’s time to start appreciating the amount of tennis that Serena is playing at her age, considering the fact that she really doesn’t need to be. Williams is clearly motivated to capture one last Grand Slam before hanging it up, and she’ll be aiming to piece together many more matches like her first round demolition of 46th-ranked Laura Siegemund, in which she dropped just two games.
Williams has been spending the winter in Australia, taking down some tough competition such as Danielle Collins and Tsvetana Pironkova, and is in form and ready to make a run here at the Australian Open. Nina Stojanovic ($3,700) possesses no weapons that stand to bother Serena, and is on the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to form, having played just three matches in 2021.
Alexander Zverev ($10,600)
So, Zverev didn’t make it through his first round against Marcos Giron in straight sets. That shouldn’t worry you, or shock you for that matter. Giron has been playing some of the best tennis of his career, and Zverev is probably a little hungover (not literally) from last week’s run to the final of the ATP Cup. It’s also worth noting that the last time we saw him in a Grand Slam, he went to the final, and he also dropped a set in his first match to bright young American Brandon Nakashima before turning it on.
Zverev matches up very well with Maxime Cressy ($3,800), a qualifier and the third American I’ve now mentioned in this blurb. He’s got a somewhat decent service game, but he’s incredibly erratic and has lost to some pretty brutal players over the course of his last 10 matches. This is a pretty great price on one of the strongest players on the slate.
Others to consider: Diego Schwartzman ($10,500), Denis Shapovalov ($10,300)
Value flex options
Reilly Opelka ($7,800)
This is a weird one to call. Opelka and his opponent Taylor Fritz ($8,000) are real-life best friends, having come through the American tennis circuit together, but Fritz holds a clear advantage over the bigman with a 5-1 career record against him.
I’m siding with the servebot here. Fritz is in pretty awful form, struggling mightily as a heavy favorite against Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the first round, and coming in off a loss to old man Jeremy Chardy. It’s not exactly like last season ended well for him either, he won just one set over his final three matches, all of which came in large tournaments.
There’s obviously something to be said for the way Fritz can read Opelka’s serve, but in tennis DFS there’s always value in taking the guy who’s going to bomb 20+ aces and rarely get broken. I think there’s a real chance Reilly comes away with this win as the better-looking of the two.
Adrian Mannarino ($6,700)
It’s really hurting me inside to ignore some of my favorite players who appear in mid-tier of this slate, but I simply feel obligated to tell you about the best value of the night here in Mannarino. The Frenchman is a master on the hardcourts, using slow, flat groundstrokes to throw off his opponent’s timing before going aggressive to finish the point, and he holds a 241-159 career record on the surface as a result, with an even bigger edge on indoor hardcourts. Miomir Kecmanovic ($8,200) will stand on the other side of the net, one of my favorite young talents, but his game is simply too riddled with errors to trust against someone with the consistency of Mannarino. The two met late last year with Mannarino easily disposing of Kecmanovic 6-3, 6-3, and I expect Mannarino to wrap this up in four.
Sara Errani ($5,300)
She can’t really serve at all, but what Errani lacks in power she makes up for with her relentless effort on court. The veteran will do battle with Venus Williams ($9,200), who is a shell of herself and has won just three of her last 10 matches. Errani has also emerged victorious the last two times they’ve met — in a 2015 exhibition and at the 2014 U.S. Open — though she trails the lifetime series 3-2. Williams has really struggled over the past couple of years with players that move her around the court, and that’s exactly what Errani will do.
Others to consider: Emil Ruusuvuori ($8,800), Fiona Ferro ($5,100)
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