We are into Day Seven of this week’s tournaments, and some of the top players in tennis will be in action today. The seventh slate of this tennis DFS week has 13 matches with ATP and WTA players in action. We’ve got thoughts on Naomi Osaka and Shuai Zhang, so let’s dive in.
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Naomi Osaka (DraftKings $9,500; FanDuel N/A)
Naomi Osaka has looked unstoppable this week, winning all six sets. The world number four had an almost flawless match against Elise Mertens yesterday, firing down aces at a 13% rate while losing just one service game. We’ve seen what Osaka can do when she’s at her best, and the two-time grand slam champion is looking to capture another title today. Osaka is 22-7 on the hard courts in 2019, and I think win number 23 is in her sights.
Osaka has a finals matchup against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the WTA world number 41 from Russia. Pavlyuchenkova has been just as dominant as Osaka this week, winning all eight sets. She took down two top 15 players on her way to the finals, while winning 72% of first serve points. Her first tough test last match against Angelique Kerber wasn’t all too impressive, as she did face 10 break points and won just 53% of service points. Osaka is by far the better player on this surface, and I think she’ll win in straight sets.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (DraftKings $9,000; FanDuel N/A)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is on a mission to take down the title in his home country, and I think he has it in the bag. The Frenchman has taken down two top 25 players back to back to reach the finals, and her service game has been excellent. He’s firing down aces at a 17% rate while winning 84% of first serve points. Tsonga’s lost just three service games in the tournament while converting on 10 break chances. He’s going for his 10th straight hard court win, and the matchup is in his favor.
Tsonga will go up against Aljaz Bedene, the ATP world number 76. Bedene is having a phenomenal week, dropping just one set in his first four matches. His serving game has been unstoppable, as he’s serving aces at a 22% rate while winning 92% of first serve points. He’s dropped just one service game, and at this rate I don’t see Tsonga getting many chances. However, Tsonga can outserve him and take this to tiebreakers, where I give Jo-Wilfried the slight advantage.
Shuai Zhang (DraftKings $8,600; FanDuel N/A)
Shuai Zhang has been mediocre on the hard courts in 2019, with a 15-15 record on the surface. Her first quarterfinal appearance of the year came last week in Guangzhou, and if she plays at her best, she can reach another one this week. Zhang is 6-6 against top 50 players this year on hard courts, which proves that she can stick with the top dogs. She has a favorable opening matchup this week in Wuhan, and it could be a blowout.
Zhang has a first round meeting with Sloane Stephens, the WTA world number 14 from the U.S. Stephens has been nothing short of bad on the hard courts over the last two months with a 1-5 record. Her last three matches were straight-set losses, and they’ve all been on the verge of embarrassing. Sloane lost 16 service games in the three matches combined while winning just 43% of service points. Her form is terrible at the moment which makes her almost impossible to roster in tennis DFS, and I think Zhang has a chance to blow her out.
Possible upset/value plays: Magda Linette (DraftKings $6,700; FanDuel N/A)
I don’t know what’s gotten into Magda Linette, but she is playing some outstanding tennis. Linette is 15-2 in her last 17 matches over the last month, including a title win in New York. She is yet to drop a set this week in Seoul, while winning 63% of all service points. Linette has dropped eight games on serve, but her return game gets her right back in front. It’s tough to bet against her at the moment, and I think this price is a bit too cheap given her current form.
Linette is going up against a familiar opponent, Karolina Muchova. I’ve been touting Muchova all week, and I sure hope she doesn’t burn me now. She’s been playing just as well as Linette this week, winning all eight sets while dropping serve just three times. Muchova is serving aces at an 8% rate while winning 81% of first serve points, which makes her a dangerous opponent. However, these two did play each other in New York just a few weeks ago with Linette coming out on top in three sets. Muchova could not figure out the Linette serve, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the same result today.
Best of luck!