Yesterday’s slate was filled with upsets and exciting matches, but Day 2 looks to be even better. The Australian Open is back, and Day 2 bring us a massive slate! This large 48-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!
Novak Djokovic $11,300
Novak Djokovic is without a doubt the best player in the world, and he is playing like his 2011 self. Djokovic won the last 2 majors of the year last season (Wimbledon and the US Open), and he is looking to continue that streak tonight. A few players managed to defeat Novak at the end of last season in best of 3 matches, but when it comes down to best of 5 in a major tournament, it’s safe to say that no one has a chance. Djokovic is the games best serve returner by a long shot, which means that every single game is up for grabs. His first round matchup is against world number 230, Mitchell Krueger. In Krueger’s 3 qualifier matches, he faced 38 break points combined. If he serves that poorly against Novak Djokovic, this match might end in under an hour. Novak should have no issue winning this match easily, but it comes at a price.
Alexander Zverev $10,300
Alexander Zverev is the best “next gen” player in tennis. Zverev has captured multiple titles in his young career, and the 21 year old is looking to capture that 1st grand slam title. He has a reputation of doing poorly in the major tournaments, but it’s only a matter of time before he breaks through. The big server from Germany won the ATP Tour Finals at the end of last season, defeating both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic along the way. Zverev’s return game is very solid, he wins 30% of points on the 1st serve and almost 60% on the 2nd serve, which will eventually get him to that maiden title. Tonight he faces off against Ajlaz Bedene, world number 67. Bedene is a tricky player to play against, it will not be a walk in the park for Zverev unless he serves at an outstanding level. Bedene struggles against big servers, winning only 5-15% of first serves against the top players on the tour. Zverev should win this match in straight sets.
Borna Coric $10,100
Borna Coric is becoming one of the games top players, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him crack the top 8 by the end of the year. Coric has a very strong serve and return game, he is an excellent player all across the board, and it is no easy feat to beat him. Coric won 5 matches against top 5 players last year, which proves that he is made for the big time moments. He faces off against Steve Darcis tonight, the 34 year old Belgian. Steve Darcis was a top 50 player 2 years ago but dropped down in the rankings due to an elbow injury. He played in a tournament last week for the first time in over a year, and he’s slowly getting back to his old form. However, Darcis has a very poor return game, and against a player like Coric he will have a hard time keeping up.
Stan Wawrinka $9,300
Stan Wawrinka, aka Stan the Man, is on his way to becoming one of the games best players once again. After missing a lot of the 2017 and 2018 seasons due to injury, he is starting to look like his old self. Wawrinka is a 3-time grand slam champion, the only player on tour to have multiple major titles outside of the big 4 (Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, Murray). Stan’s biggest weapon is his backhand, and when it’s firing it is hard to stop. His first round matchup is against world number 86, Ernests Gulbis. Gulbis is a strong player and knows how to win big matches as seen at the end of last season. His serve return isn’t the greatest against the big time players, and with the serve and down-the-line backhand combination that Wawrinka has, it might be too much for Gulbis to handle.
Bradley Klahn $6,000
Bradley Klahn is my bold pick of the day. The world number 78 from the United States has a great chance to pull off an upset in the first round, facing off against Hyeon Chung. Chung ran through last years Australian Open, making it to the semi-finals but falling short to Roger Federer. He has gone through some injury issues over the last 8-10 months, and he is clearly not the player that he was 12 months ago. To start off this season, Chung lost both matches to players ranked outside of the top 100; one of them being outside of the top 350. Bradley Klahn is an excellent server, facing only 8+ break points 3 times in the last 7 months. If Klahn can keep his serve going and manage to convert some break point chances, he can pull off the upset.
Possible upset/punt plays:
Marco Cecchinato $7,000
Ugo Humbert $6,600
Shuai Zheng $6,300
Mikhail Kukushkin $6,200
Bradley Klahn $6,000
Benoit Paire $5,300
Players to fade:
Nick Kyrgios $7,000
Written by: Caleb Alderman