It’s Day 7 of the U.S. Open and we’re down to the round of 16 on each side of the tournament. There are only three unseeded players on the slate, so we should see a lot of good tennis and be forced into some tough decisions for Tennis DFS. FanDuel filled up early with the smaller GPP on Saturday, so they bumped up today’s eight-match slate to $1,500 up top. Let’s break it down.
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Before I get into the stats we like to look at for hard court matches (aces, double faults and return percentage for myself), I’ll take a quick look for any discrepancies in the odds versus the pricing and where the public’s money is going versus popularity to hopefully help us create some leverage against the field with good DFS plays.
Tennis DFS Picks | FanDuel
Odds vs. Ownership Pick
Jennifer Brady ($18) | Opponent: Angelique Kerber ($14) | Odds: -180 to -225
My initial feeling on this pick was the same way I feel about picking something off the menu at McDonald’s — I don’t love how it might turn out, but I have to pick something. The general betting public likes Kerber, likely because she’s the higher-ranked player (23 versus 41) and the higher-seeded player (17 versus 28). Those two factors alone give me reason to believe that Brady will be far lesser-owned than her opponent, and at a nice price, we should take advantage.
Even though Donna Vekic got absolutely rolled by the hot Tsvetana Pironkova, it was the right play, as Pironkova was over double the ownership of Vekic. Unlike Vekic, Brady comes in playing well with sweeps of her first three opponents: Caroline Garcia, CiCi Bellis and Anna Blinkova. Brady has put up at least 159 in her first three matches, so the upside is there. With just under five aces per match and a WTA Tour-average double fault rate of 5.3%, the floor is there as well. I like the former world No. 1’s game a lot, but the leverage Brady carries makes me like her a lot more for DFS purposes.
Petra Kvitova ($20) | Opponent: Shelby Rogers | Sweep Odds: -122
Of all the favorites on the slate, I’d say Kvitova has the friendliest matchup on the slate against Rogers, and the odds bear it. With all of the matches getting more competitive as we get deeper into the tournament, getting a sweep on a short slate Sunday’s is crucial to winning in tennis DFS.
Kvitova is not going to wow us with her service game at five aces a match and over four double faults, but she wins 40% in the return game and comes in with three straight set sweeps to boot. From a skill standpoint, and all the ranking systems known to man, Kvitova should be able to handle anything Rogers throws at her.
Before I make any distinctions here, I will start by saying that it’s an eight-match slate, and every player is worth the risk in large-field GPPs. Getting weird is the name of the game on these smaller slates, but if you aren’t MMEing, or you’re more of a cash game player, I think you can help yourself out by narrowing the pool down first.
Alexander Zverev ($23) | Opponent: Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
I guess I may be engineering the Zverev hater train, and he proved me right last match with a weak 136-point effort even though he won in four sets against Adrian Mannarino. Eleven double faults will do that to you. He gets a very similar matchup this round as well in Davidovich Fokina — a classic defensive Spaniard style that makes their opponent work.
Zverev laps Davidovich Fokina in upside to his game and will likely take it in fewer than five sets, but with each player’s style of play, I just can’t see him paying off his salary.
Jordan Thompson ($14) | Opponent: Borna Coric
This pick might need an assist from Stefanos Tsitsipas and Juan Ignacio Londero, but Thompson has shown us what he can do when he plays clean matches — just three double faults so far in the Open and only two sets lost. Coric had a great comeback in his last match against Tsitsipas, thwarting six match points to win. But over his last two matches he has compiled nearly nine hours of match time, and I think that will catch up to him here.
Thompson will make Coric work the whole match sitting on the baseline trading blows, so couple that with Coric’s defensive style and you get another possible marathon I’m not sure he can keep running. And let’s just say Coric does keep it rolling and Thompson doesn’t take him down the floor he has with aces (8.33 per match in the Open). He could be a necessary loser on FanDuel with their upset-heavy construction.
Other plays I like all things considered: Novak Djokovic ($25), Petra Martic ($18), David Goffin ($17)
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