The fourth and final major of the year is here, as the US Open will be taking place over the next two weeks. The WTA side of the draw is wide open as usual, but the same question still remains for the men; will anyone be able to knock out Novak Djokovic? It seems almost impossible at this rate, as the best of five set version of Novak is the deadliest combinations on the tour. The second slate of this tennis DFS week has 35 matches with ATP and WTA players in action. Let’s take a look at a few options, including Bianca Andreescu and John Isner.
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Bianca Andreescu (DraftKings $10,900; FanDuel $27)
Bianca Andreescu has been the best player on the WTA tour in 2019, with a 36-4 record while capturing three titles. Outside of her second set retirement against Anett Kontaveit, Andreescu has lost just one match since the Australian Open in January. She is 7-0 against top 10 players in the last nine months, and it’s safe to say that she is the top women on the planet at this time. Bianca is coming off of a tournament win in Toronto earlier this month, and I’m sure the 19 year old would love to get a major title on that resume.
Andreescu will face off against Katie Volynets, the WTA world number 413 from the US. Volynets hasn’t had a lot of experience on the WTA tour, as she has a 2-2 record in 2019. Although she got those two wins, both opponents were ranked outside the top 320. One of her losses came against Andreescu in Newport Beach, with a score of 6-2 7-6. Volynets won just 41% of service points in that match, and I expect that percentage to drop even further in this one. This match has blowout written all over it, and I expect Bianca to end this match quickly.
John Isner (DraftKings $9,800; FanDuel $24)
John Isner hasn’t been great on the hard courts since capturing his title in Newport, with a 3-4 record. Out of the three wins, Isner managed to win only one of them in straight sets. While he’s been pretty poor, Isner is bound to get back to that dominant game we’ve seen before. In 2019, John is firing down aces at a 28% rate while holding serve 94% of the time. Isner made it to the quarterfinals at the US Open last season, falling short to the world number three Juan Martin Del Potro in four sets. I think Isner gets back on track in this match, and that makes him a lock of a pick.
Isner has a first round meeting with Guillermo Garcia Lopez, the ATP world number 165. Garcia Lopez has been solid on the hard courts in 2019, with a 13-8 record while taking down one top 50 player. His game is almost the exact opposite of Isner’s as he is a clay dominant player, which can be seen in his 4% ace rate. Garcia Lopez is winning 70% of first serve points on the hard courts while holding serve 75% of the time. Those numbers will go up against the poor service game of Isner, but John only needs one break to get the momentum rolling. Their head to head is 1-1, but these two haven’t played each other since 2010. I think Isner wins this match in straight sets.
Veronika Kudermetova (DraftKings $8,600; FanDuel $19)
Veronika Kudermetova has been rather consistent on the hard courts in 2019, with a 19-9 record while capturing a title in Guadalajara. While her last match this past week in New York was nothing short of terrible, it is a bit of an outlier. Kudermetova had a solid week in Cincinnati two weeks ago, as she played four matches with fired down aces at a 13% rate. She lost serve just seven times during that tournament, which is relatively low for the WTA tour. When she’s firing it’s hard to stop, and I think she’ll make some noise at the US Open.
Kudermetova is up against Francesca Di Lorenzo, the WTA world number 125 from the US. Di Lorenzo is 24-19 on the hard courts in 2019, but 5-2 over her last seven. While most of her matches were against lower ranked players, she is 4-4 against players ranked inside the top 100. However, her service game is going to get crushed against the power of Kudermetova. Di Lorenzo is serving aces at a 0.2% rate against the top 100 players, while winning just 55% of first service points. Kudermetova is in good form, and I think she’ll dominate this match from start to finish.
Possible upset/value plays: Andrey Rublev (DraftKings $6,200; FanDuel $13)
Andrey Rublev has been the talk of the tour over the last two weeks, as he took out both Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer on his way to his first Masters 1000 final. Rublev is 8-2 on the hard courts over the last two weeks, while dropping serve only 11 times in total. The amount of power that he puts behind his shots is outstanding, and when it’s firing he can compete with some of the games best players. Rublev is bound to come back down to earth sometime soon, but he’s up against a vulnerable opponent in the first round.
He’ll face off against Stefanos Tsitsipas, the ATP world number eight from Greece. Tsitsipas hasn’t looked the same ever since his loss to Wawrinka at the French Open. He is 5-6 since that match while currently riding a three match loss streak. He has been extremely poor on the return end during this losing streak. Stefanos has broken serve just four times while winning only 39% of second serve points. We’ve seen what Tsitsipas can do when he’s at his best, but he is far from that as of now. These two are 1-1 against each other, and if Rublev can keep up this pace, he’ll add another one to the win column.
Best of luck!