We’re into day six of this week’s major and with that comes another big slate for us to break down. The sixth slate of this tennis DFS week has 16 matches with ATP and WTA players in action. We have thoughts on Rafael Nadal and Andrey Rublev, so let’s dive in.
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Rafael Nadal (DraftKings $11,300; FanDuel $26)
The 2020 season has been another day at the office for Rafael Nadal with a 6-2 record to start the year. He is yet to lose a set this week and he’s playing like he wants the title. Nadal has lost just 15 matches on hard courts in the last three years, showing how tough of a player he is. He started this week off with two blowout wins over Hugo Dellien and Federico Delbonis, facing seven break points while winning 81% of first serve points. He could easily take home the trophy by the end of next week and today is his next step.
Nadal has a third-round meeting against Pablo Carreño Busta, the ATP No. 30 from Spain. Carreño Busta has played some excellent hard court tennis over the last year with a 25-10 record on the surface. He captured the title in Chengdu while reaching four other quarterfinals on the year. However, he is not all too familiar with taking down a top-10 player. He is 1-16 against the best of the best on hard court and I don’t see him getting that second win today.
Nick Kyrgios (DraftKings $9,100; FanDuel $18)
Nick Kyrgios is one of the most entertaining players to watch in tennis. He has the talent and the skill to be a top-five player, it just comes down to his mentality. Kyrgios was 20-9 in 2019 while capturing titles in Acapulco and Washington. 10 of his wins were in those tournaments, which shows that he can do a lot more when he tries his hardest. Kyrgios has dropped just one set this week while firing down aces at a 12% rate.
Kyrgios is up against Karen Khachanov, the ATP No. 17 from Russia. Khachanov has not been as consistent as his 2018 season, with a 23-20 record on hard courts over the last year. He hasn’t had an easy week so far either, coming off of a five-hour, five-set match against Mikael Ymer. Khachanov lost 10 service games in that match while winning just 52% of service points. Kyrgios is one of the best servers in tennis, and if he can get Khachanov off guard early, this match could be over with quickly.
Andrey Rublev (DraftKings $8,600; FanDuel $17)
Andrey Rublev is currently the best player on the ATP tour for 2020, as he’s taken down two titles to start off the year. The young Russian is playing some outstanding tennis, winning 14 straight matches dating back to last year. Rublev has been solid on both sides of the court during this run, winning 84% of first serve points while winning 59% of second serve return points. At this rate, I can’t bet against him regardless of who the opponent is.
Rublev has a meeting with David Goffin, the ATP No. 11 from Belgium. Goffin has had a hot start to the 2020 season with a 5-1 record that includes a victory over Nadal. He hasn’t been the most consistent player throughout his career however, and he showed signs of that in his last match. He is coming off of a five-set battle against Pierre Hugues Herbert, dropping eight service games while winning just 60% of first serve points. Rublev is just unstoppable at the moment, and I think he can win in straight sets.
Possible Tennis DFS Upset/Value Plays: Iga Swiatek (DraftKings $7,600; FanDuel $15)
Iga Swiatek skyrocketed up the WTA ranks in the 2019 season, going from the WTA No. 141 to the No. 49. Swiatek is 30-15 in her last 45 matches, including wins over Caroline Wozniacki and Qiang Wang. She has been red hot so far this week, serving aces at a 10% rate and winning 76% of first serve points. Her return game has been even better, converting on eight of the 25 break point chances. I think she’ll be a sneaky play today, and it’s worth a shot at the price for tennis DFS.
Swiatek is up against Donna Vekic, the WTA No. 20 from Croatia. Vekic had a horrible end to her 2019 season, winning just two out of her last 10 matches. Granted, they were all against top-50 players, but she showed signs of struggle on her serve which has also carried over into the new year. Vekic is yet to drop a set this week, but the numbers are not pretty. She’s dropped five service games while facing 15 break points, and she won just 38% of second serve points against Alize Cornet. Although Vekic is making up for it on the return end, Swiatek is by far the best server she’s had to play so far. I’m rolling with the upset in this match.
Best of luck!