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Tennis DFS Picks: Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka, DraftKings, January 8 (FREE)

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Josh Anderson gives tennis DFS picks and favorite plays for daily fantasy lineups for the upcoming slate on FanDuel for the Miami Open 3/25

We’re now into day four and some of the game’s top players will be on display. The fourth slate of this tennis DFS week has 11 matches with WTA players in action. We have thoughts on Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka, so let’s dive in.

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Ashleigh Barty (DraftKings $10,000; FanDuel N/A)

It took me a while to accept the fact that Ashleigh Barty is the real deal, and she showed me up in 2019. Barty, the world No. 1, was 57-13 last year while capturing four titles, including the WTA Finals and the French Open. There’s not much that she can’t do, as she lost just three matches on the grass and clay courts combined in 2019. 2020 will be the year for people to realize that she is the next big thing in tennis, and that starts today.

Barty will go up against Jennifer Brady, the WTA No. 53 from the U.S. Brady had a solid 2019 season on the hard courts with a 25-15 record. She was rather impressive against top-20 players by going 4-4, but one loss came against Barty in March. Barty took care of business 6-3, 6-2 while converting on four of her 13 break point chances. Brady ran through all of her qualifying matches this week and took down Maria Sharapova but Barty is too tall of a task. For tennis DFS I’m taking the Australian to win in straight sets.

Ekaterina Alexandrova (DraftKings $8,300; FanDuel N/A)

Ekaterina Alexandrova played some lights out tennis in 2019 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, Ekaterina is looking to take that next step on the WTA tour. Alexandrova took care of business as usual in her first two matches, winning both in straight sets. She won 76% of first serve points and forced 19 break points in those matches, which is another day at the office for Alexandrova.

Alexandrova will face off against Qiang Wang, the WTA No. 28 from China. 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. She’s started this week off on a high note, dropping just one set so far in Shenzhen. However, I don’t know how she came out on top against Aliaksandra Sasnovich and it was far from impressive. Wang won just 38% of second serve return points and lost five service games. I think Alexandrova is in a smash spot, so I’m rolling with the Russian in tennis DFS.

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Naomi Osaka (DraftKings $8,000; FanDuel N/A)

When Naomi Osaka is playing her best tennis, she is by far the best player on the WTA tour. Osaka, currently sitting at the world No. 4 ranking, was 29-6 on the hard courts in 2019. Osaka took down the Australian Open title by defeating three top-10 players in a row and she didn’t let her foot off the gas. She’s currently on a 13-game win streak dating back to last season, including a title win in Beijing. I don’t see anyone being able to take her down this week, so we’re going to roll with her the whole way for tennis DFS.

Osaka has a second-round meeting with Sofia Kenin, the WTA No. 14. Kenin had her breakout season in 2019 with a 38-16 record on the hard courts. She captured two titles on the year and had a somewhat impressive 4-7 record against top-10 players. One of those wins came against Osaka, who was forced to retire in the third set due to injury. Kenin doesn’t have the best serve on the tour, winning just 55% of service points but she’s an all-around solid player. I think Osaka is unstoppable with the form she’s currently in, so I expect a tight straight-set win.

Possible upset/value plays: Elena Rybakina (DraftKings $6,200; FanDuel N/A)

Elena Rybakina had an outstanding 2019 season, as she absolutely skyrocketed up the WTA rankings. Rybakina started the season as the world No. 192, and now she’s sitting in the 36th spot. She was 37-14 on the year in WTA tour matches, including seven wins against top-60 players. Rybakina’s play style fits best on the clay courts but she’s shown that it can work on the hard courts as well. She’s taken down two top-50 players so far this week, dropping only one set while firing down aces at a 9% rate. 

Rybakina will go up against Elise Mertens, the WTA No. 17 from Belgium. Mertens had a solid 2019 season with a 24-17 record on hard courts while capturing a title in Doha. She reached the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open and the semis in Osaka and she’s looking to build onto that this year. However, it took Mertens a few months to get settled into the season and I think we may see something similar here. Mertens won her first two matches this week in straight sets but she also faced 10 break points against competition nowhere near the level of Rybakina. It might be a long shot, but I’m taking Rybakina to come out on top on a close contest.

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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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