Welcome back DFS tennis fans, let’s keep this ball rolling! It’s Day Three of the grass court season, and with that comes a relatively small slate. This week has been plagued with weather problems, as some matches from the first slate have still not been played. However, a few tournaments have been lucky enough to avoid it. The third slate of the week has 12 matches with both men and women in action.
The players listed below can be used in any contest, whether it’s for cash or GPP. I personally like to use the same lineup in both, since the goal is to pick players who are going to win their match. If you choose to go down the route of playing the “stars and scrubs” strategy, you might be forced to choose players who are bound to get crushed. This strategy is risky as upsets happen quite often in tennis, and if one of your most expensive players gets beat you have a very low chance to cash. Let’s get into my top three plays for the slate!
Note: Tennis is available on DraftKings ONLY. This slate is best of three set scoring for all players.
Veronika Kudermetova $10,200
Veronika Kudermetova has had an impressive 2019 season, posting a 27-14 record while taking down five top-50 opponents. In 2018 she was 6-3 on grass courts, making a run to the quarter finals in this same tournament but falling short to Aleksandra Krunic. During that run, she took down two of the big names in women’s tennis, Anett Kontaveit and Belinda Bencic, which proves that her game is fit for this surface. Yesterday, Kudermetova won her first round match 6-3 6-4 over Ons Jabeur, while firing down aces at an 8% rate. Her second round is against Destanee Aiava, the world number 214 Australian wildcard.
Aiava had a career win in her first round match, taking down the world number 10 Aryna Sabalenka. Sabalenka has not been herself recently, and it shows in her stats as she continues to hit 10+ double faults in each match. Just one week ago, Aiava lost on a grass court to a player ranked outside of the top 250, and while I think her last win was impressive, her run will end in this match. Kudermetova is the more experienced player, Aiava hadn’t defeated a top 100 player before yesterday’s match and I think she might get ran off the court quickly. I expect Kudermetova to win in straight sets, while serving a good amount of aces.
Jan Lennard Struff $9,800
When it comes to big servers on grass courts, it’s almost a lock in DFS. Jan Lennard Struff took down the number eight seed Denis Shapovalov in his first round match 7-5 6-4, firing down aces at an 18.4% rate while saving all five break points. He won 80% of his first serve points and 45% of second serve return points, which isn’t stellar but he got the job done in the end. His second round match is against Miomir Kecmanovic, the world number 83 from Serbia.
Kecmanovic had an outstanding win in his last match, taking down the home favorite Philipp Kohlschreiber in three sets. He served aces at a 7% rate and double faults at a 4% rate, but he got Kohlschreiber out of his comfort zone. Kecmanovic has a big serve, but he is yet to show any signs of consistency. Struff is on the other hand is on a roll, taking down seven top-50 players over his last 11 matches while winning 73% of all service points. The Struff serve will be too much for Kecmanovic to handle on grass, and I think this match ends in straight sets.
Borna Coric $8,600
Borna Coric had one of the biggest surprise breakouts of the 2018 season on grass, taking down the title in Halle while defeating Alexander Zverev and Roger Federer along the way. During that impressive run, Coric only dropped serve twice while winning 83% of first serve points. He has the ability to hit aces at a rapid pace as well, serving 12% against Federer and 21% on average during that tournament. His first grass court match in 2019 will be against Taylor Fritz, the world number 41 from the US. Fritz is one of the most inconsistent players on the tour, but he does have the ability to capture some outstanding wins.
He is 3-4 on the grass since 2018 with two wins coming against a clay court player in Lorenzo Sonego, and one last round against a player ranked outside of the top 200. His serve was impressive in his first round match, firing down aces at a 19% rate while winning 80% of first serve points. He did face seven break points however, but managed to save all of them. Fritz doesn’t look comfortable on the grass just yet, as he showed signs of struggle last season and already in 2019. Coric is by far the more experienced player on grass, and I think he can win this in two tight sets.
Possible upset/value play: Milos Raonic $7,500
Outside of Djokovic and Federer, it’s safe to say that Milos Raonic is one of the games best grass court players. Raonic has had tons of success at Wimbledon, reaching the finals in 2016, and the quarterfinals and semifinals multiple times. In 2018, Raonic had a 9-2 record on the grass while firing aces at a whopping 34% while winning 87% of first serve points. In his first match here at Stuttgart, Roanic served 31 aces and won 94% of first serve points. It’s hard to believe that he lost a service game with those kind of stats, but I don’t think it’ll happen again.
His second round is against Jo Wilfried Tsonga, the world number 79 from France. Tsonga has had one of the best grass court careers out of any player on tour with a 62-20 record, but he’s not the player that he used to be. Plagued with injuries, Tsonga has only played one match on grass since July of 2017 when he was the world number 10. Similar to Raonic, Tsonga thrives on the grass because of his serve. In his first round match, Tsonga served aces at a 29% rate and did not face a single break point. This match will come down to who cracks first on serve, but the ace bonus points will roll in no matter who comes out on top. Given Raonic’s recent success, I’ll give him the slight edge at a discounted price.
Best of luck!