The Australian Open is finally here! This is the first major of the year, and we get a massive first slate to start if off. This large 28-game slate is filled with some of games best players, but who will come out on top and move one step closer to the prestigious title?
The players listed below can be used in any contest, whether it’s for cash or GPP. I personally like to use the same lineup in both, since the goal is to pick players who are going to win their match. If you choose to go down the route of playing the “stars and scrubs” strategy, you might be forced to choose players who are bound to get crushed. This strategy is very risky as upsets happen quite often in tennis, and if one of your most expensive players gets beat you have a very low chance to cash. Lets get into my top 5 plays for the slate!
Note: Tennis is available on DraftKings ONLY. The Australian Open is best of 5 set scoring for men’s players, keep that in mind when picking players!
Roger Federer $11,100
Roger Federer doesn’t need an introduction, it’s clear to most people that he’s the best player to ever step foot on the court. Roger is going for grand slam #21 this year, and no better place to get it by winning a 3rd straight Australian Open. His first round matchup is against world number 99, Denis Istomin. Istomin is 0-6 against Federer, while also owning a negative record in his career on a hard court. Federer is quite expensive, but you can almost guarantee yourself a straight set victory by paying up for him.
Alex De Minaur $10,700
Alex De Minaur has made a name for himself over the last 12 months. He has taken over as the #1 Australian player on the planet, overtaking Nick Kyrgios. De Minaur is coming into the Australian Open with a ton of momentum, as he just captuted the title in Sydney 2 days ago. He is currently 7-1 on the season, and his first round matchup should add another one to the win column. He faces off against world number 103, Pedro Sousa. Sousa rarely plays tournaments outside of the clay court season, and with De Minaur being one of the best backcourt players in the game, he doesn’t have a good chance to make this match close. In the 3 matches that Sousa has played this year, he has had his serve broke 10 times. Against a player like De Minaur, he might have it broken 10 times in tonight’s match alone.
Anett Kontaveit $10,100
Anett Kontaveit is one of the top players on the WTA tour, getting to a career high ranking of #20 this past October. She started this year off a little shaky, currently holding a 3-2 record, but she’s only lost to 1 player ranked outside of the top 50 in the last 6 months. She gets a 1st round matchup against world number 80, Sara Sorribes Tormo. Sorribes Tormo is one of the worst hard court players on the WTA tour, earning herself a 10-17 record last season. In Kontaveit’s 3 wins this season, she hit over 60% of her 1st serves in. Anything under that has resulted in a loss. If she can get a strong service game going against a very poor hard court player, Kontaveit should have no issue winning in straight sets.
Cameron Norrie $7,600
Cameron Norrie has taken the tennis world by surprise these last 3-4 weeks, defeating Alexander Zverev, Benoit Paire, Jan-Lennard Struff, and many others. He fell short to Tennys Sandgren in the finals of the Auckland Open 2 days ago, but he’s looking to continue his momentum going into the first major of the year. On his path to the finals he faced off against Taylor Fritz and won 7-6 6-3, and he gets another shot at Fritz tonight. Fritz wasn’t able to break the serve of Norrie during their match, and that ultimately led to an exit from the tournament. Fritz and Norrie both rely on their service games to keep them in matches, and with the current form Norrie is in I give him the slight edge in this match.
Kyle Edmund $6,300
Edmund’s price of $6,300 seems way too low for this matchup. Kyle Edmund is one of the games tops players, currently holding the #14 ranking on the ATP tour. Edmund ran through the field at the Australian Open last year, making it to the semi finals but falling short to Marin Cilic. He gets a tough first round matchup tonight against Tomas Berdych, former world number 4. Berdych made it to the finals of the Doha ATP tournament last week but fell short to Bautista Agut, which shows that he is slowly returning to his old self. Both Berdych and Edmund have big serves, and while Berdych is a better returner I think Edmund’s power will be too much to handle in the end.
Possible upset/punt plays:
Tennys Sandgren $6,700
Damir Dzumhur $6,400
Kyle Edmund $6,300
Mackenzie McDonald $6,200
Feliciano Lopez $5,800
Bernard Tomic $5,200
Andy Murray $4,900
Written by: Caleb Alderman