It's day three of this week's tournaments, and some of the biggest names in tennis will be on display. Both men and women will be playing this week in many different tournaments on multiple surfaces. The third slate of the week has 17 matches with ATP and WTA players in action.
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 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. Let it get into my top play for the slate!
Fabio Fognini (DraftKings: $ 9,500)
Fabio Fognini was nearly unstoppable on the clay starting in April, finishing off the clay court season with a 13-3 record. Fognini managed to defeat the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal, 6-4 6-2 on his way to a maiden Monte Carlo title, and his three unloaded at the hands of top 10 players. The clay has always suited Fognini's style of play, even though he has been rather erratic at times. However, when it's on it's almost impossible to stop.
His first match in Umag is against Stefano Travaglia, the ATP world number 105 from Italy. Travaglia has played nothing but clay court matches on the challenger tour since early April, posting a 22-10 record on the surface. During his 2019 clay campaign, he has a 2-3 record against top 100 players including an impressive win today against Thomas Fabbiano, winning 6-3 6-2. While he has a lot of experience on the clay, he is yet to face anyone at the level of Fognini. Fognini is one of the best clay court players on the planet, and I fully expect him to win a straight set.
Filip Krajinovic (DraftKings: $ 9,400)
Filip Krajinovic has been exceptional on the clay courts this season, posting a 17-3 record with 11 of those wins coming in straight sets. He made a finals run in both Sophia and Budapest, and backed up with a title at Heilbronn. He was bound to make a deep run at Roland Garros, but fell short to Stefanos Tsitsipas in four tight sets. During his clay court run, Krajinovic broke serve 32% of the time while winning 41% of all return points. On the serving end, it served aces at a 4% rate while winning 68% or first serve points, which is nothing amazing but it's managing to get the job done. He had a rough start in his last match against Taro Daniel, but he came back strong and showed the level of play that we've been watching out of him.
Krajinovic's second match in Umag is against Attila Balazs, the ATP world number 208. Balazs has been rather good on the clay in 2019, with an 18-8 record while taking down two top 50 players. He's just dropped one set so far in Umag across his three matches, while losing one service game in total. The serving game has been a bit shaky for Balazs at times, as well as serving double faults at 6% rate while winning 54% of second serve points. He just fought through in almost three hours against the 197th ranked player, winning a third set tiebreaker, and I think the fatigue might catch up to him. Krajinovic is the much more experienced player, so we are rolling with him to win in straight sets.
John Isner (DraftKings: $ 9,200)
The big serving American is back in Newport to try and capture his fourth title at the event, and he is the clear favorite to take home the hardware. John Isner had a shocking exit at Wimbledon, losing to Mikhail Kukushkin in five sets even though he fired down aces at a 25% rate. Isner has always been a fan of the grass, being able to serve 95% of the time throughout his career while getting 74% of first serves in play. He's coming back from an injury break, but I think the test at Wimbledon will get him back on track to win in Newport.
Isner will face off against Kamil Majchrzak, the ATP world number 102 from Poland. Majchrzak has not had a great career in court, with a 7-5 record on the surface while losing to three players ranked outside the top 100. . On the return is 18% of the time, which will not be good enough against Isner. Breaking the Isner serve is one of the toughest tasks on the ATP tour, especially on grass. Isner doesn't have much of a return game either, but if it gets one break it’s game over. I'm going to win Isner, and I'm willing to pay this price even if he's playing the tiebreaker game.
Possible upset / value plays: Tennys Sandgren (DraftKings: $ 7,600)
It doesn't have much value on it, but Tennys Sandgren is a viable option. Sandgren has played excellent grass court tennis in 2019, with a 6-2 record while making it to the fourth round at Wimbledon. During those eight matches, Sandgren served aces that a 10% rate while holding serves 84% of the time. He managed to take down two top 25 players on his Wimbledon run Fabio Fognini spirit Gilles Simon, which shows that he has the ability to compete with some of the top players.
His second match in Newport is against Adrian Mannarino, the world number 62 from France. Mannarino has been impressive on the grass, posting a 6-2 record while taking home the title in the Netherlands. He defeated three top 40 players during that run, but since then he has slowed down that level of play. He is running a two-loss streak, serving a 6% rate and double faulting at a 3% while dropping serve three times. Mannarino is rather inconsistent, and while he's been good or late, it's hard to back him. Both of these players are in good shape on the surface, but I'm going with the American to pull this match out in two sets.
Best of luck!