We’re into Day Three of this tennis DFS week, and some of the top players in the game will be on court. The third slate of this tennis DFS week has 14 matches with ATP and WTA players in action. We’ve got thoughts on Novak Djokovic and John Isner, so let’s dive in.
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Novak Djokovic (DraftKings $10,700; FanDuel N/A)
Novak Djokovic is back in action after taking down the title in Toyko last week. He didn’t drop a single set in that tournament, while getting his serve broken just twice. The world number one is 24-5 on the hard courts this year while capturing a title at the Australian Open. Djokovic is now a +125 favorite to win this week’s tournament, which is a bit high, but that just shows the level of tennis he can play at.
Djokovic has a second-round meeting against Denis Shapovalov, the ATP world number 36 from Canada. Shapovalov has played some stellar hard court tennis in 2019, with a 23-13 record on the surface. His last loss to a player currently ranked outside the top 50 was in February, and his game is improving as each week goes on. He dismantled Frances Tiafoe in the first round, winning 93% of first serve points while not facing a break point. However, Djokovic is the best player on the planet and he should win in straight sets.
David Goffin (DraftKings $9,900; FanDuel N/A)
David Goffin has played some stellar hard court tennis over the last few months, and I think he can make a deep run this week. Goffin had a rough start to the year in 2019, but he has picked it up with an 11-6 record since Wimbledon. He reached the finals in Cincinnati before falling short to Daniil Medvedev, and he made a semifinals run last week in Tokyo. David had a great service game going last week, winning 79% of first serve points while firing down aces at a 14% rate. If he can continue that level of play, he will be a threat in Shanghai.
Goffin will go up against Mikhail Kukushkin, the ATP world number 57. Kukushkin has a hot start to the year as he reached the final in both Marseille and Phoenix, but he hasn’t found that level since. He’s just 7-7 over the last three months on hard courts, and his numbers aren’t all too impressive. Kukushkin is winning just 66% of first serve points and holding serve 75% of the time. Goffin thrives on these fast courts, and I think that’ll be the difference maker.
John Isner (DraftKings $8,500; FanDuel N/A)
You never know what to expect out of John Isner, but what you can rely on is his booming serve. Isner is 23-14 on the hard courts this year, while reaching the final at the Miami Masters tournament. On this surface in 2019, Isner is firing down aces at an outstanding 28% rate and holding serve 95% of the time. He’s been broken just once over his last five matches, and due to his somewhat poor return game, I’d expect a lot of tiebreakers.
Isner has a second-round matchup against Lucas Pouille, the ATP world number 22 from France. Outside of his semifinals run at the Australian Open, Pouille has been poor on the hard courts this year with a 9-12 record. He somehow managed to escape a first-round upset against Zhe Li, as Pouille was down a break in the second set but came out on top 6-7, 6-4, 6-4. This will be the first meeting for Isner and Pouille, and given the fast court speeds, I’m giving Isner the edge.
Possible upset/value plays: Reilly Opelka (DraftKings $7,000; FanDuel N/A)
Reilly Opelka is the best example of a service bot, but it works on the fast courts. Opelka has been solid on the hard courts in 2019, with a 27-12 record while capturing a title in New York. He’s firing down aces at a 26% rate this year while holding serve 93% of the time, which is hard to stop on fast surfaces. Opelka was flawless in his first round match against Dusan Lajovic, winning 89% of first serve points and facing zero break points.
Opelka is going up against Roberto Bautista Agut, the ATP world number 10 from Spain. Roberto hasn’t played his best tennis over the last month with a 2-3 record while losing to two players ranked outside the top 50. He’s lost four straight sets, a 6-2, 6-2 loss to Alex De Minaur and 7-6, 4-1 against Sam Querrey. Bautista Agut is not in his best form right now, and just one slip up will give Opelka a big edge.
Best of luck!