We are just one week away from the last major of the season, the US Open, and some of the players want one last run on the hard courts. The ATP tournament for this week is taking place in Winston-Salem, while the WTA is in New York. The third slate of this DFS tennis week has 12 matches with ATP and WTA players in action.
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Karolina Muchova (DraftKings $9,200; FanDuel $20)
Karolina Muchova has been one of the more dominant players on the WTA tour over the last 12 months. Jumping from the world number 202 ranking to her current rank of 47, Muchova holds a 20-6 record on the hard courts. Her last four hard court losses came against top 10 players, which proves her level of consistency. This is Muchova’s first tournament in over a month, and she’s already off to a hot start. She won 93% of first serve points and faced zero break points against Viktoria Kuzmova, so let’s hope that momentum carries over.
Muchova has a second round meeting with Kristie Ahn, the world number 152 qualifier from the US. Ahn has been impressive over the last few weeks, with an 8-3 record on the hard courts while taking down two top 50 players. However, her last two losses against high caliber players were not very attractive. Ahn lost 11 service games against Donna Vekic and Lauren Davis while winning just 49% of her serving points. Muchova is firing on all cylinders right now, and I expect her to win this match with ease.
Hubert Hurkacz (DraftKings $9,100; FanDuel N/A)
Hubert Hurkacz is on a roll in 2019, with an 18-11 record on the hard courts. The ATP world number 41 is 4-1 against top 10 players since February, with the one loss coming in a tight match with the great Roger Federer. February 4th was the last time Hurkacz lost to a player that is currently ranked outside the top 20, and at this rate I don’t see that streak coming to an end anytime soon. He had a slow start against Duck Hee Lee today, but came out on top 4-6 6-0 6-3.
He’ll face off against Feliciano Lopez, the ATP world number 63. Lopez had a stellar grass court season to say the least, but it’s a question on whether he can produce that same level on the hard surfaces. He is 6-6 on the hard courts in 2019, while losing to three players ranked outside the top 65. Lopez struggled in his first match in Winston Salem against the clay court specialist Pablo Andujar. Lopez came out on top in three sets, but he only made 49% of first serves in play and lost three service games. I have Hurkacz winning this in staight sets.
Possible upset/value plays: Benoit Paire (DraftKings $5,600; FanDuel $18)
DraftKings has two massively underpriced players on this slate, and the first one is Benoit Paire. The odds haven’t came out for this match yet, but there is no way that he is going to be an underdog that mirrors this price. The ATP world number 30 has been solid since the beginning of the clay court season, with a 22-11 record while taking down two titles. Paire is 4-3 on the hard courts over the last few weeks, but two losses came against top 10 players. He has rather erratic behavior, but he is looking much better as of late. Paire served aces at a 20% rate while winning 83% of first serve points in his first match against Prajnesh Gunneswaran, and I think he’ll keep that ball rolling.
Paire is up against the ATP world number 62, Ugo Humbert. Humbert is one of the up and coming stars in tennis, as the 21 year old has jumped over 30 rankings in 2019. However, he struggles big time against high ranked players. Humbert is 1-5 against top 50 players on hard courts over the last 12 months, with his one win coming against an out of form Borna Coric. Humbert managed to escape against Bjorn Fratangelo in three sets, but there were multiple service games where he showed signs of struggle. I think Paire will win this match in two sets if he can play at his best and stay in it mentally.
Frances Tiafoe (DraftKings $5,500; FanDuel $16)
The second underpriced player on DraftKings is Frances Tiafoe, the ATP world number 52 from the US. Tiafoe is definitely one of the most inconsistent players on the tour, with an 11-10 record on the hard courts in 2019. Three of those losses came against players ranked outside the top 100, which shows how hard it can be to trust this guy. However, when he’s on it’s a pleasure to watch as he can compete with any player on the tour. Big Foe looked solid in his lone set against Jeremy Chardy today, as he served aces at a 20% rate during the six games that were played. Tiafoe is well rested, so he is bound make some noise in his home country.
Tiafoe will have a second round meeting with Filip Frajinovic, the world number 51 from Serbia. Krajinovic was playing some outstanding hard court tennis before he carried it over to the clay courts, as he is 13-6 in 2019. He took down four top 20 players, and his last two losses came against Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. It was a miracle that he escaped his first round match in Winston Salem though, as Tomas Berdych was serving for the match up 5-4 in the second set when he blew it and lost nine out of the last 10 games. Krajinovic lost five out of the 12 break points he faced, and while I’m not extremely confident Tiafoe can win, it’s definitely a lock at this price.
Best of luck!