We’re now into day three, and some of the game’s top players will be on display. The third slate of this tennis DFS week has 11 matches with WTA players in action. We have thoughts on Alison Riske and Danielle Collins, so let’s dive in.
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Ekaterina Alexandrova (DraftKings $9,400; FanDuel N/A)
Ekaterina Alexandrova played some lights out tennis in 201 with a 34-16 record on the hard courts. She reached six quarterfinals on the year while taking down the title in Ligomes two weeks ago. Sitting at the world No. 34 ranking, Alexandrova is looking to take that next step on the WTA tour. Alexandrova took care of business as usual in her first match this week against Katerina Siniakova in a 6-4, 6-4 win. She won 82% of first serve points and forced 12 break points in that match, which is a normal amount for the young Russian.
Alexandrova has a second-round meeting with Shuai Peng, the WTA world No. 108 from China. Peng didn’t have a great 2019 season with a 10-12 record. Posting a 1-5 record against top-50 players isn’t going to help her cause in this match either. The former world No. 14 has had countless injury problems and she’s getting towards the latter stage of her career. Peng won her first match this week in three sets against Lin Zhu while saving six of nine break points. I think this is a smash spot for Alexandrov, and she should roll in straight sets.
Alison Riske (DraftKings $8,500; FanDuel N/A)
Alison Riske has been one of the top players on the WTA tour as of late with a 26-11 record since early June. She took home two titles on the grass courts and backed it up with a finals run in Wuhan. While the grass is her bread and butter, she’s been just as good on the hard courts. Riske has seven wins over top-25 players since August on this surface, including the straight-set beatdown over Karolina Muchova two days ago. Riske is winning just 58% of first serve points but her return game makes up for it.
Riske is going up against Barbora Strycova, the WTA No. 31. Strycova, similar to Riske, had an outstanding grass court season in 2019. However, the results were not great on the hard surfaces. She was just 6-14 last year, losing seven of her last eight matches. In the end, winning 58% of first serve points isn’t going to get the job done against top players. Strycova did take down Johanna Konta in her first-round match but she had to save nine out of the 13 break points she faced. I’m picking the hot hand with Riske to come out on top.
Anna Blinkova (DraftKings $8,200; FanDuel N/A)
Anna Blinkova had an outstanding 2019 season with a 38-21 record on hard courts. While she was just 1-4 against top-20 opponents, every one of her losses was in a three-set match. The Russian captured a title in New Haven while reaching the semis in both Luxembourg and Guangzhou. Blinkova was my upset pick yesterday and she managed to take care of business against Belinda Bencic. She served at an outstanding rate, firing down aces at a 13% rate while winning 64% of all service points.
Blinkova will go up against Zarina Diyas, the WTA No. 75 from Kazakhstan. Diyas is coming in hot off of a title win in Hong Kong but the level of competition was nothing compared to this week’s draw. She was 17-14 in 2019 in WTA main tour matches. Zarina won her first match this week in dominant fashion against Ying Ying Duan 6-3, 6-4. However, the last match Diyas lost was against Blinkova in straight sets. Blinkova forced 16 break point opportunities while converting on five and I expect the same result today.
Possible upset/value plays: Danielle Collins (DraftKings $7,800; FanDuel N/A)
Danielle Collins has to be one of the most inconsistent players on the WTA tour. With a 14-11 record on hard courts last year, you never know where her head is going to be. She reached the semifinals at the Australian Open, taking down three top-20 players in straight sets before she bowed out to Petra Kvitova. But outside of that performance, Collins didn’t make much noise on the tour. However, she started this year out by obliterating the world No. 5 Elina Svitolina 6-1, 6-1 while serving aces at a 10% rate. She has the game to beat anyone and I hope it continues onto today’s match.
Collins has a meeting with Yulia Putintseva, the WTA No. 32 from Kazakhstan. Putintseva had a somewhat solid 2019 season with a 21-20 record on the hard courts. She had to go through the qualifiers this week and lost just one set on her way to the main draw. Putintseva took down the world No. 20 Donna Vekic in the round of 32 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 while winning just 59% of first serve points. Her serve will be severely undermatched against Collins, and I think Collins will take advantage of that. Putintseva has the 1-0 advantage in the head-to-head, but it was a grass court match.
Best of luck!