The fourth and final major of the year is underway, as the US Open will be taking place over the next two weeks. The fourth slate of this tennis DFS week has 31 matches with ATP and WTA players in action. We’ve got thoughts on Nick Kyrgios and Andrey Rublev, so let’s dive in.
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Nick Kyrgios (DraftKings $10,600; FanDuel $24)
While he might not be loved, Nick Kyrgios is by far the most talented player on the ATP tour. He can beat any player when he tries his hardest, and that was seen in his Washington title run three weeks ago. Kyrgios is 8-2 in his last 10 hard court matches, while firing down aces at a 23% rate. Nick won 80% of all service points against Steve Johnson in the first round, while breaking serve four times in a straight set win. It’s not a Kyrgios match without a little drama, so be prepared for that when rostering him.
Kyrgios has a second round meeting with Antoine Hoang, the ATP world number 104 from France. Hoang has been solid on the challenger tour in 2019, but his ATP level stats do not mirror that success. He is 2-4 on hard courts at this level, with both wins coming against players ranked outside the top 100. Hoang barely managed to escape his first round match in five sets against Leo Mayer, and Kyrgios will be a completely different task. When Nick’s serve is firing it’s almost impossible to return, and he is flat out better than Hoang in every aspect of the game. I expect Kyrgios to win in straight sets.
Andrey Rublev (DraftKings $9,300; FanDuel $19)
Andrey Rublev has been outstanding over the last two weeks to say the least, as he has taken out four top 25 players including two in the top 10. Rublev is 9-2 over his last 11 matches, and I don’t see this train stopping anytime soon. The 21 year old Russian is blasting through opponent’s with the speed of his shots, and he’s been able to hold serve 90% of the time. He had an impressive win over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the first round, winning 74 points on the return end while breaking serve five times.
Rublev will go up against Gilles Simon, the ATP world number 40 from France. Simon has not been great on the hard courts, with a 10-11 record on the surface. Simon was riding a five match loss streak before the US Open, and I’m still not convinced that he is in good form. He had to battle for over four hours against Bjorn Fratangelo, and Fratangelo does not come close to the skill of Rublev. Rublev will overpower Simon all day, and I expect another straight set win at a discounted price.
Hyeon Chung (DraftKings $7,600; FanDuel $16)
Hyeon Chung has had his fair share of injury problems over the past year, as he went from the ATP world number 19 to his current rank of 170. Before the US Open, Chung made a 7-1 run in challenger tour to get prepared, and it looks to have paid off. He won all three qualifying matches in straight sets and looked sharp at the end of his first round match against Ernesto Esbobedo. He is starting to show signs of his old self, and I think he can make some noise in this tournament.
Chung has a second round meeting with Fernando Verdasco, the ATP world number 34 from Spain. Verdasco has been rather inconsistent on the hard courts, with a 9-7 record in 2019. He has gotten past the round of 16 just once this year, and all nine of his wins were against players ranked outside the top 50. He showed a little struggle against the world number 231 Tobias Kamke in the first round, as he lost one set while serving seven double faults. Fernando is yet to capture an impressive win on the hard courts this year, and I think he will struggle against an up and coming Chung.
Possible upset/value plays: Frances Tiafoe (DraftKings $6,600; FanDuel $13)
It’s hard to back Frances Tiafoe on a consistent basis, but he has looked solid over the last few weeks. Two out of last three hard courts losses were against top 10 players, and he made both matches competitive. He is 13-11 on the hard courts in 2019, with quarter final appearances at the Australian Open and the Miami Masters tournament. Big Foe has the ability to compete with the top players in the game, he just needs to get in a rhythm. Tiafoe’s first match at the US Open was unreal, as he broke one of the biggest servers in the game in Ivo Karlovic three times before he retired. He has had a lot of rest due to three out of his last four opponents retiring, and that’ll help in his next match.
Tiafoe is up against Alexander Zverev, the ATP world number six from Germany. Zverev has been terrible as of late, and it’s almost impossible to roster him in DFS. Over the last three weeks he is serving double faults at a 15% rate, while losing 14 service games across three matches. Zverev almost blew a two set lead in his first round match against Radu Albot, and at this point you can’t trust him to beat anyone. While he has a 3-1 record against Tiafoe, both players are in opposite forms at the moment. I think Tiafoe has a good chance to pull off the upset in his home country, and take down the out of form Zverev in four sets.
Best of luck!