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Tennis DFS Picks: Sofia Kenin and Elise Mertens, DraftKings, September 17 (FREE)




Tennis DFS Picks & Expert Predictions Today for Charleston Open 4/5/22

We are into Day Three of this week’s tournaments, and some of the top players on the WTA side will be in action today. The third slate of this tennis DFS week has 18 matches with WTA players. We’ve got thoughts on Sofia Kenin and Elise Mertens, so let’s dive in.

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Sofia Kenin (DraftKings $10,600; FanDuel N/A)

Sofia Kenin has been excellent on the hard courts in 2019 with a 29-12 record on the surface. She is yet to lose to a player ranked outside the top 100 this year, and she took down four top-10 players last month. Her first match this week was another dominant performance from Kenin, as she defeated Laura Siegemund 6-4 6-2. Kenin lost just one service game while winning 64% of all service points. She is in excellent form at the moment, and it will require a top player to take her down. 

Kenin has a second-round meeting with Katarina Zavatska, the WTA world number 139. Zavatska has not had a great year on the hard courts, as she’s just 12-13. 10 of her 13 losses were against players ranked outside the top 100, and her performance this week has not been all too impressive. She lost 10 total service games during her last two matches while serving double faults at a 6% rate. While she did manage to take down Fiona Ferro, it was not convincing enough to say she can compete with Kenin.

Saisai Zheng (DraftKings $9,100; FanDuel N/A)

Saisai Zheng has had a solid hard court campaign since the end of Wimbledon with a 9-4 record. She captured a title in San Jose by taking down four top-30 players in a row, and she’s looking to get back to that level again this week. Zheng had a tough battle in her first match against Ying Ying Duan, but she eventually closed it out 6-1 in the third set. Her next match is against a clay court specialist, so she should be able to take advantage of that. 

Zheng will go up against Jasmine Paolini, the WTA world number 126 from Italy. Paolini loves the clay courts, but it has not carried over to the hard surfaces. She is just 7-8 in 2019 on hard courts, and her level of play this week has not been good. In her three matches thus far, Paolini has faced a total of 53 break points while losing 22 games on serve. Paolini has not served a single ace in the six hours she has been on court in this tournament, and I think Zheng will eat that return game up all day. 

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Elise Mertens (DraftKings $8,800; FanDuel N/A)

Elise Mertens had an impressive run at the US Open, winning her first four matches in straight sets. She eventually fell in the quarterfinals to the champion Bianca Andreescu, but she gave Andreescu a run for her money. Mertens picked up right where she left off this week with a 6-3 6-1 first round win over Whitney Osuigwe. She won an outstanding 93% of first serve points and did not lose a service game.

Mertens will face off against Su Wei Hsieh, the WTA world number 33. Hsieh lucked out in her last match, as Garbine Muguruza threw it away in the second set and did not care to get back in the match. She is 22-13 on the hard courts in 2019, but her game is so unorthodox that it is hard to trust. Hsieh served double faults at an 8% rate against Muguruza while winning just 54% of service points. If Mertens can get a solid service game going, she can win in straight sets fairly easily.

Possible upset/value plays: Zarina Diyas (DraftKings $5,100; FanDuel N/A)

Zarina Diyas has been solid on the hard courts this year with a 26-15 record on the surface. She has taken down five top-50 players during that span, and her level of play has looked dominant this week. Diyas has won all six sets so far in this tournament while dropping just three service games in total. She dismantled the WTA world number 69 Monica Puig yesterday with a 6-0 6-3 scoreline while facing zero break points. 

Diyas will have a tough matchup against Madison Keys, the WTA world number 16 from the U.S. Keys is 9-1 in her last 10 matches, including a title win in Cincinnati. However, she is known for not being reliable in these types of tournaments. Keys was 2-2 in her Asia tour this time last year, and she showed signs of trouble in her first match this week. She defeated Daria Kasatkina in straight sets, but she did lose four service games in the process. It might be a long shot, but Diyas is in excellent form and I think it will be a close match.

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Best of luck!

Twitter: @CMGCaleb_

Caleb contributes to the tennis coverage at, providing analysis and picks for some of the top tennis tournaments. Though he specializes in DraftKings' tennis offerings, Caleb's analysis extends to everywhere wise enough to offer tennis daily fantasy sports to the masses. You can contact Caleb by emailing [email protected].

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