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Tennis DFS Picks: Aryna Sabalenka and Nicole Gibbs, DraftKings, January 5 (FREE)

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Awesemo's expert Tennis DFS picks & projections for 2021 Mallorca & Bad Homburg DraftKings lineups with Aryna Sabalenka | 6/22/21

Welcome back, tennis fans! The long two-month offseason is over and tennis DFS has finally arrived. We’re going to dive straight into day one and we have a ton of top talent to break down. The first slate of this tennis DFS week has 15 matches with WTA players in action. We have thoughts on Aryna Sabalenka and Qiang Wang, so let’s dive in.

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Aryna Sabalenka (DraftKings $10,200; FanDuel N/A)

Aryna Sabalenka ended the 2019 season with a bang, as she took home the WTA Elite Trophy title. The world No. 11 struggled to maintain a top level in the middle of last season but she eventually kicked it in gear. Sabalenka won 10 out of her last 11 matches, including a straight-set win over the world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty. Sabalenka won this tournament 12 months ago, which makes her a top contender to take it down again.

Sabalenka has a first-round meeting with Margarita Gasparyan, the WTA world No. 104 from Russia. Gasparyan had an inconsistent season in 2019, posting a 24-24 record on the year. She reached just one semifinal in Istanbul and won only 12 matches against top-100 players. The weakness in Gasparyan’s game is her serve which has a tendency to get broken with ease. In her last five matches of 2019, she lost 22 service games while double faulting at a 7% rate. This will be their first head-to-head meeting and I expect Sabalenka to win with ease and pay of for tennis DFS.

Qiang Wang (DraftKings $8,600; FanDuel N/A)

Qiang Wang did not have a stellar year in 2019 with a 24-19 record on the season. Wang showed signs of life at the U.S. Open, as she took down Barty on her way to the quarterfinals. However, she was just 2-3 during the Asian swing at the end of 2019, and I think she’ll have more motivation going into this season. Wang has six wins over top-10 opponent’s in the last two years, including three title wins, and she’s bound to get back on track. 

Wang will kick off the new year against Ons Jabeur, the WTA No. 76 from Tunisia. It’s hard to analyze Jabeur, as she’s one of the most inconsistent players on the tour. She was 26-26 in the 2019 season with a 6-9 record against top-50 players. Similar to a lot of WTA  players, her serve is not a huge threat. Jabeur faced 32 break points in her last three matches while winning just 60% of first serve points. Wang has the 1-0 advantage in this head-to-head battle and I’m rolling with her for tennis DFS.

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Nicole Gibbs (DraftKings $8,300; FanDuel N/A)

Nicole Gibbs has played some excellent tennis over the last two weeks with a 6-1 record and reaching the semifinals in Limoges. The world No. 126 blew through the qualifying rounds this week, losing just nine games in her two matches. She dropped just four service games in those matches and I expect her to have all the momentum on her side today. Gibbs’ only loss as of late was against Ekaterina Alexandrova, who eventually won the Ligomes tournament. I think Gibbs will be a popular tennis DFS play on this slate but for good reason.

Gibbs has a meeting with Shelby Rogers, the WTA No. 177 from the U.S. Rogers did not have a great year on the WTA tour in 2019 with a 1-6 record on hard courts. She did have some success in the summer on the grass courts but that won’t help her cause today. Rogers hasn’t played a match since early November and I don’t think this will go too well for her. I expect Gibbs to take care of business and win this match in straight sets.

Possible upset/value plays: Caroline Garcia (DraftKings $7,500; FanDuel N/A)

Caroline Garcia did not play great tennis at the end of the 2019 season with a 3-10 record on the hard courts. Her lone match two weeks ago was a 6-2, 6-2 loss against Pauline Parmentier but the tide has to turn eventually. Currently sitting at the world No. 46, Garcia has the ability to play like the top-five player she once was but the mentality has to change. Caroline faced 45 break points in her last three matches of 2019, so I’m hoping she can turn it around.

Garcia will face off against Taylor Townsend, the WTA No. 81 from the U.S. Townsend is most known for her win against Simona Halep at the U.S. Open in September. However, she’s just 7-6 on the hard courts outside of that win, including four losses to players ranked outside the top 100. Townsend’s serve and volley play style has its pros and cons, and once her opponent figures it out, it doesn’t end well. Seeing Garcia as an underdog in this match is a bit surprising even with her poor form, but I think she gets back on track.

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Best of luck!

Twitter: @CMGCaleb_

Caleb contributes to the tennis coverage at Awesemo.com, providing analysis and picks for some of the top tennis tournaments. Though he specializes in DraftKings' tennis offerings, Caleb's analysis extends to everywhere wise enough to offer tennis daily fantasy sports to the masses. You can contact Caleb by emailing [email protected].

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