I managed to finish 4-1 on Day 3 of the U.S. Open. My upset pick did not work out, as Egor Gerasimov had an off day with six double-faults and winning only 44% of his second serves. Yulia Putintseva rolled through Lapko as expected, posting a DraftKings score of 79 points. Angelique Kerber started off slow but still managed to post a DraftKings score of 70 points. Jennifer Brady played lights out, and I believe she was in the optimal lineup. I am also now 3-for-3 on picking fades. Let’s keep the streak going and get right into Day 4 — Thursday, Sept. 3 — of U.S. Open tennis DFS picks.
Tennis DFS Picks: U.S. Open Day 4 | DraftKings| Sept. 3
DFS Tennis Pick: Ekaterina Alexandrova ($8,900)
Opponent: Catherine McNally
Odds to win: -260
There are levels to tennis, and the No. 29 ranked Alexandrova is levels above No. 124 McNally. Alexandrova is currently 9-3 in 2020 compared to McNally’s 7-6. McNally was on a four-match losing streak on the hard surface until her win Wednesday. Alexandrova won a title on hard surface this year, defeating Elena Rybakina in the final. I expect Alexandrova to win this one in straight sets.
Alexandrova’s first serve won percentage is 10% higher than McNally’s. Alexandrova is also winning almost 9% more of her return games than McNally. McNally is also averaging almost two double faults per game more than Alexandrova.
DFS Tennis Pick: Ernesto Escobedo ($7,100)
Opponent: Salvatore Caruso
Odds to win: -120
These two have some history, with Caruso winning the first match in 2016 in three sets and Escobedo winning the second match in 2017, almost having a clean set in the first set. Escobedo has been playing well this year, posting a 6-3 record on the hard surface compared to Caruso’s 6-7. Caruso had 11 double faults in his first match of the U.S. Open compared to Escobedo’s six. I believe these mistakes will be the difference and will allow Escobedo to win in four sets.
Escobedo leads Caruso in almost every stat, including first serve points won and first service return points won. He also has an ace percentage almost 10% higher than Caruso. Escobedo should win this easily.
DFS Tennis Pick: Aryna Sabalenka ($7,400)
Opponent: Victoria Azarenka
Odds to win: -125
This will be their second time meeting with Sabalenka winning the first match up in three sets despite 13 double faults to four for Azarenka. In 2019 Azarenka had the better return game, posting a 42.3% return game compared to Sabalenka’s 36%, while Sabalenka had the better service game with a difference of almost 4%. This year the gap has closed. Sabalenka now has an advantage in return games won, posting a percentage of 38.9% and a first serve won rate of 67.7%. Azarenka is saving more breakpoints and converting more breakpoints than Sabalenka, but I don’t think that will be enough for her to get the win. I expect Sabalenka to win in three sets.
DFS Tennis Pick: Olga Govortsova ($6,400)
Opponent: Sloane Stephens
Odds to win: +130
Stephens has been terrible this year, posting a 2-7 record. She has a history with Govortsova, winning both matches and one in straight sets. But Govortsova is much better now. The last time they played each other, Govortsova was winning only 55.1 % of her service games and only 27.9% of her returning games, but now she is winning 66.7% of service games and 36.4% of her return games.
Govortsova has been playing real well this year statistically compared to her previous years and is even posting some numbers better than Stephens. Govortsova is winning 66.7% of her service games and 36.4% of her return games compared to Stephens’ 64.1% and 22.1%. Govortsova has a real chance at the upset, and I wouldn’t be surprised by a sweep.
DFS Tennis Pick: Alex De Minaur ($8,700)
Opponent: Richard Gasquet
Odds to win: -210
De Minaur hasn’t been in the best form in 2020, posting a record of 3-4 compared to Gasquet’s 4-2. Gasquet’s last two losses came to the No. 9 and No. 11 players. Gasquet is winning more first serve points than De Minaur with 72% to 69%. Gasquet’s return game is also slightly better than De Minaur’s with a 1% difference. This is a match that, if Gasquet brings his A-game, he can make it a five-set battle and eliminate De Minaur’s chances of being optimal.
DFS Tennis Pick Ons Jabeur ($8,400)
Opponent: Kaia Kanepi
Odds to win: -200
I had to throw in a bonus pick for Johnny Sack and ChickenDinner from the Slack chat.
Jabeur beat Kanepi in straight sets back in 2015 when Jabeur had a losing record of 10-11 compared to Kanepi’s 15-8. This time around Jabeur has the winning record and Kanepi has the losing record. Kanepi is 1-2 so far for 2020 compared to Jabeur’s 17-7. Jabeur also is leading the stats battle against Kanepi with a first serve won percentage of 68.7% compared to Kanepi’s 64.6%. Jabeur has a break points saved percentage of 50%, which is almost 20% higher than Kanepi’s 33.3%. Kanepi will be overpowered this match, and I expect Jabeur to win in straight sets.
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