The Australian Open has arrived! We’re into the first major of the year, and with that comes a massive slate. The first slate of this tennis DFS week has 48 matches with ATP and WTA players in action. We have thoughts on Stefanos Tsitsipas and Grigor Dimitrov, so let’s dive in.
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Stefanos Tsitsipas (DraftKings $11,800; FanDuel $27)
Stefanos Tsitsipas had an outstanding 2019 season with a 36-17 record while capturing two titles. He ended the season with a bang by capturing the ATP Tour Finals trophy, taking down four top-10 players along the way. His service game has improved immensely, firing down aces at a 10% rate and winning 89% of service games. Tsitsipas reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open last season, and I think he has a great chance to get back to that stage this year.
Tsitsipas begins his Australian Open tournament against Salvatore Caruso, the ATP No. 94 from Italy. Caruso was just 1-1 in ATP tour level hard court matches in 2019. He is a solid clay court player, which he showed in his semifinals run in Umag, but that production hasn’t carried over onto the hard surfaces. He is 3-15 against top-100 players on hard courts in his career, and that fourth win won’t be coming today. This match has blowout written all over it, which makes Tsitsipas a top tennis DFS play if you go the “stars and scrubs” route.
Grigor Dimitrov (DraftKings $11,300; FanDuel $23)
Grigor Dimitrov ended the 2019 season on a high note, reaching the semifinals at the U.S. Open and the Paris Masters. His performance at the ATP Cup last week shows that he still has the top-10 quality of play that we’ve seen before. Dimitrov went 2-1 on the week with his only loss coming against an in-form David Goffin. He won 70% of first serve points and the ace percentage was down to 4%, but he still won matches with ease. Dimitrov is bound for another breakout season, and I think it’ll be in 2020.
Dimitrov is facing off against Juan Ignacio Londero, the ATP No. 51 from Argentina. Londero is one of the top clay court players on the tour, but that hasn’t been matched on the hard courts. He was just 6-12 on this surface in 2019, and he’s currently riding an eight-match losing streak in ATP tour level matches. Londero’s first match of 2020 was a 6-2, 6-4 loss against Dan Evans, dropping four service games while winning just 52% of service points. Dimitrov is playing his best tennis at the moment, and I think he’ll win this easily in straight sets.
Kyle Edmund (DraftKings $8,300; FanDuel $17)
Kyle Edmund is by far my favorite mid-priced player on this massive slate. He started out as a -150 favorite, and the line has moved all the way up to -210 in less than a day. Edmund is 7-3 in his last 10 matches with all seven wins coming against top-100 players. Edmund hit a bit of a cold streak in the middle of 2019, but the coaching change he made at the end has made all the difference. He is winning 78% of first serve points so far in 2020, and he arguably has one of the best forehands in the game when it’s firing.
Edmund is facing off against Dusan Lajović, the ATP No. 27 from Serbia. Lajović played a spectacular week of tennis at the ATP Cup. He went 4-2 on the week, while taking down both Felix Auger-Aliassime and Karen Khachanov in straight sets. Lajović hasn’t been the best hard court player throughout his career, but that tournament showed what he can do at his top level. Edmund has the 2-0 hard court head-to-head record however, and I think he’ll get it done again.
Possible upset/value plays: Ons Jabeur (DraftKings $5,600; FanDuel $14)
Ons Jabeur typically isn’t someone that I gravitate towards, but the value is too good to pass up on. She played some excellent tennis this past week in Hobart, going 3-1 while pushing Garbiñe Muguruza to a three set battle. Jabeur won 67% of first serve points and lost just eight service games, which is relatively low for WTA players. You never know what you’re going to get out of Jabeur due to her inconsistent nature, but in a large slate like this you’ll have to take some risks.
Jabeur is going up against Johanna Konta, the WTA No. 13 from Great Britain. Konta’s match this past week was her first one since August of 2019, and she did not look stellar. She double faulted at a 6% rate while saving just four of the 10 break points she faced against Barbora Strycova. Konta is one of the top players in the game, but she clearly is not 100% match ready. Jabeur is only a +140 underdog in this match, which makes her a top tennis DFS value play on this slate.
Best of luck!