It’s Day Two of this tennis DFS week and we get to see some star players in action right from the start. The second slate has 14 matches with ATP and WTA players in action. We’ve got thoughts on Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem, so let’s dive in.
Alexander Zverev (DraftKings $10,000; FanDuel N/A)
Alexander Zverev has certainly found his form once against since the U.S. Open. He is 8-2 since that tournament while reaching the finals in Shanghai two weeks ago. Zverev fired down aces at an outstanding rate in Shanghai, just above 23.5%. He took out both Roger Federer and Matteo Berrettini and I hope to see that level this week. He has been known to be inconsistent as of late, but I think he’s finally starting to get in a groove.
Zverev will go up against Taylor Fritz, the ATP world number 31 from the U.S. Fritz has completely lost all form, as he’s lost eight out of his last nine matches. The American just cannot seem to get back on track and Zverev doesn’t intend to change that. Fritz lost seven service games in his last two matches while winning just 58% of first serve points. We’re rolling with Zverev to win in straight sets, given both of their current forms. From a tennis DFS perspective, Zverev is probably the safest pick today.
Dominic Thiem (DraftKings $9,000; FanDuel N/A)
Dominic Thiem has been one of the players to beat during this Asia swing, as he’s 7-1 while capturing a title in Beijing. Thiem is known as the game’s top clay court player outside of Rafael Nadal, and he’s starting to show that he has that level on hard courts. He’s winning a stellar 82% of first serve points during this stretch, and the amount of power he possesses makes him a tough out.
Thiem has a meeting with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the ATP world number 36 from France. Tsonga has been playing excellent tennis on the challenger tour, and he’s captured some impressive wins on the main tour. He took down the title in Metz last month while taking down two top-25 players, but he does have his letdown moments. I watched a brutal match from Tsonga against Gilles Simon last week where Simon pounded back Tsonga’s second serve. I think Thiem can end this quickly if he can get Tsonga on the ropes.
Nikoloz Basilashvili (DraftKings $8,500; FanDuel N/A)
Nikoloz Basilashvili is a tough player to pick in tennis DFS due to the way he plays his matches, but he’s in a good spot today. Basilashvili is 17-13 on the hard courts this year with only 10 matches ending in straight sets. I don’t know why he does it, but Basilashvili just seems to refuse to win in two sets. He has five wins against top-25 opponents on hard courts this year and we’ve seen what he can do when he’s firing on all cylinders.
Basilashvili is going up against Fernando Verdasco, the ATP world number 40 from Spain. Verdasco hasn’t had a great year on the hard surfaces with an 11-12 record. He is currently riding a three-match loss streak, while losing nine service games in total. Basilashvili is 1-0 against Verasco with the lone win coming at Beijing last year in straight sets. The counterpunching ability of Basilashvili will be the key to a win today.
Possible upset/value plays: Fabio Fognini (DraftKings $7,600; FanDuel N/A)
Fabio Fognini is coming off of one of his tank matches of the year, as he got blown out 6-1 6-1 against Janko Tisparevic. Fognini seems to have those types of moments once in awhile, but he’s still in the hunt to reach the ATP Finals. The price for Fognini in this match is a bit low considering what he can do when he’s hot. He just came off of a quarterfinal run in both Beijing and Shanghai, and I think he’ll find that form again.
Fognini will face off against Alexei Popyrin, the ATP world number 88 from Australia. Popyrin is an up and coming star in tennis, but he hasn’t quite reached that top level yet. He’s just 10-13 in ATP tour level matches on hard courts this year. With a 3-10 record against top-50 players, the odds don’t favor Popyrin to have success in this match. He lost just one set in the qualifiers this week while winning 73% of all service points, but Fognini is an excellent defender. I’m going with the Italian to get back on track.
Best of luck!