The draws are getting smaller and smaller, and only the best of the best will make it into the second week. Wimbledon, arguably the most prestigious and beloved tournament of the year, is back in action in 2019. The fifth Tennis DFS slate of Wimbledon has 16 matches with both the ATP and WTA players in action. In case you missed the news, FanDuel announced the launch of their DFS tennis product, so this article will have DFS tennis picks on both sites.
The players listed below can be used in any contest, whether it’s for cash or GPP. I personally like to use the same lineup in both, since the goal is to pick players who are going to win their match. If you choose to go down the route of playing the “stars and scrubs” strategy, you might be forced to choose players who are bound to get crushed. This strategy is risky as upsets happen quite often in tennis, and if one of your most expensive players gets beat you have a very low chance to cash. Let’s get into my top plays for the slate!
Note: Tennis is now available on FanDuel.
Karolina Pliskova (DraftKings: $9,800; FanDuel: $23)
Karolina Pliskova is the woman to beat on the WTA tour, and I’m not sure that anyone will be able to stop her. The world number three has won 14 straight sets on the grass courts, with nine of them being 6-2 or less. Pliskova captured a title in Eastbourne just one week ago as well, taking down two top five players along the way. She’s dropped her service game just four times during this run, while winning 82% of first serve points and a stellar 64% of second serve return points.
Her next match is against Su Wei Hsieh, the WTA world number 29. Hsieh is a tough opponent to play against due to her crafty style of play, but it simply won’t be enough to take down Pliskova in her current form. Hsieh is 4-2 on the season on grass, with her one meeting against a top 10 opponent ending in a 6-2 6-0 loss. She’s had her serve broken 18 times across those six matches while serving aces at a 1% rate. Numbers like that will not bring success against Pliskova, and I expect this match to end rather quickly.
Milos Raonic (DraftKings: $9,500; FanDuel: $21)
The big serving Canadian is back in action at Wimbledon, showing that he is a threat to take the title. Milos Raonic is playing some excellent grass court tennis in 2019, with a 7-1 record while firing down aces at a 28% rate. In his first two matches at Wimbledon, Raonic won an outstanding 83% of service points while dropping serve just once. Serving big and developing a net court game is ultimately the recipe for success on the grass, and Milos has the ability to do both.
His next match is against is against Reilly Opelka, the ATP world number 63 from the US. Speaking of big servers, it’s safe to say that Opelka fits that category perfectly. Over his last 50 matches across all surfaces, Opelka has fired down aces at a 26% rate and has held his service games 92% of the time. However, those numbers have dropped on both the clay and the grass. In 2019 he has a 2-1 record on the grass, serving aces at a 14% rate while dropping six service games.
He somehow managed to get past Stan Wawrinka in his last match, but I think the grass court play of Raonic will be too much for Opelka. Opelka doesn’t have a great game outside of his serve, and I think that’ll be exposed in this match. He’ll will have a tough time breaking the Raonic serve, and I expect Milos to win in straight sets.
Maria Sakkari (DraftKings: $7,900; FanDuel: $13)
Maria Sakkari has played a lot of grass court tennis this season, with a 5-3 record while making a quarterfinals run in Nottingham. The WTA world number 32 has been one of the hottest players on the tour over the last three months, and her game style makes her a threat to any opponent. In her five match wins she won 81% of first serve points compared to the 61% in her three losses, and the same correlation goes for service games lost. If the Greek can get her serving game going, she can make a run at Wimbledon.
Her third match is against Elina Svitolina, the world number eight from Ukraine. Svitolina has been poor on the grass to say the least, with a 2-2 record while falling to two players ranked outside of the top 50. She lucked out in her last match as she was losing to Margarita Gasparyan, who was forced to retire in the second set due to injury. The grass courts do not fit Svitolina well, posting a 12-16 record in her career while making it past the round of 64 at Wimbledon just once. Given Svitolina’s poor play on this surface, I think Sakkari can get this done in two sets.
Possible upset/value plays: Jiri Vesely (DraftKings: $7,400; FanDuel: $15)
Jiri Vesely is on a roll at Wimbledon, winning his first five matches while dropping only two sets. He posted one of the best wins of his career two rounds ago, defeating the ATP world number five Alexander Zverev and then backed it up with another impressive win against Pablo Cuevas. The Czech has made a few deep runs at Wimbledon before, and I can see him adding another win this year. In his two main draw matches, Vesely won 81% of first serve points while getting broken just three times. On the return end he converted on eight of the 21 break point chances, which eventually lead him to victory.
His next match is against Benoit Paire, the world number 32. Paire hasn’t had a lot of success in his pro career on the grass, with a 23-25 record on the surface while making it past the round of 32 just once at Wimbledon. Paire has been rather poor on the service end in his first two matches, serving 17 double faults while facing 16 break points. The Frenchman avoided a second round battle against a healthy Miomir Kecmanovic, who was forced to retire in the third set of their match, and I think the inconsistent play from Paire will catch up to him. Vesely is the better grass court player who knows how to win big matches on this stage, and I expect him to do just that in this match.
Best of luck!