It’s day 3 at Roland Garros, and somehow we’re back on schedule even with the poor weather. The first two days were about as we expected with upsets galore and some marathon matches that made me tired just watching. But unlike the first two match days, today we get a big GPP on DraftKings with a $25,000 top prize in the $100,000 French Slam. With only 21 matches on the slate, we can dig a bit deeper, so let’s get into French Open tennis DFS picks for Sept. 29.
Tennis DFS Picks | French Open | Day 3 | Sept. 29
Clay is a great equalizer of talent and effort. Unfortunately, neither of those are measurable for tennis DFS. So, to hopefully help us find the plays, I’ll start by looking at player’s history on the surface in comparison to their opponent and then work my way into metrics that correlate well with clay: Second serve won percentage and service points won/in play, to name a few. And even though it is a bigger slate, I still think we can also hunt out some low-owned leverage spots and mispriced players in relativity to their odds.
By the Numbers | Roberto Bautista Agut ($10,100) | Opponent: Richard Gasquet
Sweep Odds | Even
This is a matchup of two very similar players in respects to age, career record and even style. One major difference, though, is the health of Roberto Bautista Agut versus that of Richard Gasquet. Over the past few seasons, Gasquet has had to battle injuries just to be able to participate in tournaments. These have slowed him down a bit, and with Bautista Agut’s defensive style and mobility, I think he’ll handle the Frenchman comfortably. Even when Gasquet has been healthy enough to play, the advantage is still heavy to the favor of the Spaniard with a 6-2 career record, most recently a month ago and oddly none on clay.
Gasquet’s game now is more suited for hard court, and the stats bear it out with Bautista Agut holding an edge in many categories, including service points won/in play, second serve won percentage and second return won percentage. Along with that edge, we may get some nice leverage here as well if people like the home-cooking narrative.
By the Numbers | Novak Djokovic ($11,400) | Opponent: Mikael Ymer
Sweep Odds | -588
As always, I must preface this take with my “most expensive player is boring” monologue to justify it, but I almost thought about leaving that out because this spot looks that good for Novak Djokovic. Coming off another title run in Rome two weeks ago where he lost just one set the whole tournament, the world’s best player comes into the Open looking primed to win his second career French title. Since 2018, Djokovic has just three losses on clay, and those are to Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev. The experience factor is always laughable with Djokovic against any of his opponents, but the 24-year-old Mikael Ymer is near atop the list with no matches in the main draw of any clay tournament this year. I’ll be jamming in the greatest player of our generation regardless of the tag.
Odds Versus Pricing | Sofia Kenin ($9,500) | Opponent: Ludmilla Samsonova
Sweep Odds | -128
This is just a misprice in comparison to others on the slate in my opinion. Sofia Kenin is a much better player than Ludmilla Samsonova, and I guess the price should just make me happy instead of confused. Both ladies are just 21, so the experience factor isn’t very tangible, but Kenin’s wins over the span of her career are far superior, including a defeat of Serena Williams here last year.
In regards to tennis DFS and upside, Kenin also has a big edge on Samsonova with a 77% hold of service and nearly nine break points per match over the last year. I much prefer her to any of the other WTA options we get above her very reasonable price.
Fade Pick | Ons Jabeur ($9,700) | Opponent: Zarina Diyas
As I alluded to earlier, I don’t like many of the top WTA options on this slate because of a multitude of things, and Ons Jabeur has the worst of all things combined. A player more built for real-life tennis with her strength and ‘just win baby’ attitude (end quote), I don’t like her upside here for tennis DFS purposes against Zarina Diyas. Diyas is a highly overrated player in my opinion but has reached the second round here in four of the last five years, so she is comfortable on the big stage.
At $9,700, you can find a lot better options above and below.
Others I like | Grigor Dimitrov ($10,500) | Aryna Sabalenka ($8,800) | Thiago Monteiro ($8,700) | Paula Badosa ($8,300)
There is a mix of everything here, but I see none of these players having much trouble.
Upset Pool | Steve Johnson ($6,500) | Henri Laaksonen ($5,800) | Heather Watson ($4,600) | Misaki Doi ($4,400) | Gilles Simon ($4,100)
Steve Johnson and Heather Watson will be my highest owned of this group.
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