DFS Tennis is BACK on Draft Kings and we have another 8 match slate, so let’s dig in!
Article Format: Player Name (Draftkings Salary, American Betting Odds, UTR Rating)
(UTR is a weighted ELO rating system. These particular ratings are based on recent performance (or recent-ish, in this case) and are surface agnostic. They are a fine basic indicator of talent, but take them with a lump of salt. You can find them on myutr.com.)
Kontaveit ($10,200, -345, 13.17 UTR) vs. Tig ($5,500, +265, 12.68 UTR)
Form: Kontaveit played a single match against an Ostapenko that lost to Kaia Kanepi in straights just the day before. Better than TIg’s nothing, I suppose.
Talent: Both women have clay experience, but it is difficult to make a case for Tig here. She did have a solid (if not short) 2019 on clay and has about an even 1 dominance ratio on the surface against top 100 opponents. If we are going on 2019 clay results alone, she is actually not far off from Kontaveit’s results. However, due to Kontaveit’s far superior overall results, I am more inclined to believe that is a statistical anomaly than an indication of future performance.
Verdict: Kontaveit appears to be on another level in terms of talent and is priced accordingly.
Martic ($9,900, -300, 13.14 UTR) vs. Van Uytvanck ($5,800, +230, 12.96 UTR)
Much like the Kontaveit matchup, Uytvanck isn’t necessarily the worst clay courter, but Martic is just on another level. She cruised in the 2019 clay season with a 13-3 record and 1.10 DR against top 100 competition. Meanwhile, Uytvanck has been just below average on the surface historically. This is Martic’s match to lose.
Verdict: Does anyone really think AVU will win this? I guess Martic could no-show after the off time, but I won’t bet on it personally.
Mertens ($9,400, -220, 13.16 UTR) vs. Sasnovich ($6,200, +180, 12.90 UTR)
Form: Sasnovich had to get through qualifiers to get here and won 5/5 sets. Mertens has not played any exhibitions.
Talent: Sasnovich is an average pro and has historically done poorly on clay. Mertens has been a solid player on hard and clay for years and looked like a top 10 player during the start of the year. She has the talent to roll over Sasnovich, just don’t disregard the advantage qualifying brings to a tournament like this.
Verdict: Mertens should win this one, but Sasnovich’s qualifying performance at least makes her interesting.
Samsonova ($9,100, -225, 12.68 UTR) vs. Flipkens ($6,000, +190, 12.83 UTR)
Talent: Samsonova is a borderline pro just outside the top 100, but she has had a winning record against top 100 players both 2020 and 2019 and could be starting to break through. She has been decent on clay to boot. Flipkens is on the opposite trajectory of her career. She’s 34 years old and fighting to keep her rank. Her results the past couple years have been uninspiring but not tragic. Hard courts seem to be her leaning, and, besides a surprisingly solid 2018, has struggled and not played much on clay.
Form: Samsonova swept her qualifiers, dropping a set and facing a tiebreak along the way. Flipkens has not played since February.
Verdict: Samsonova has the edge in career trajectory, form, and talent right now. It’s hard to make a case for Flipkens without an angle in any of these categories, but as a +190 dog she probably has some path to victory.
Ferro ($8,800, -240, 12.79 UTR) vs. Podoroska ($6,500 +200, 12.58 UTR)
Form: Ferro played 11 exhibitions over the break, winning all 11, even against reputable players like Goerges, Mladenovic, and Cornet. Whew. Podoroska did not play any exhibitions, but she did win her 3 qualifying matches, dropping a set each to near-top 100 players Bonventure and Dodin. This is a rare match where both players are actually fresh, though Podoroska does have the edge of getting to play on clay more recently.
Talent: Fiona Ferro has been below average over her career, but her 2019 performance on clay could definitely be seen as a breakout. She posted an 8-5 record and a 1.01 DR against top 100 players on the surface. One could argue that was a flash in the pan, but even her career .90 DR dwarfs Podoroska’s 1-7 record and .66 dominance ratio versus top 100 opponents. (And no, not especially good ones either.)
Verdict: This is another match where it is hard to see an angle for Podoroska. She is only a +200 dog and does have those qualifiers to help familiarize herself with the clay, but Ferro seems to be on a cusp of a breakthrough and dominated throughout the break. She seems like an easy favorite.
Zidansek ($8,600, -205, 12.43 UTR) vs. Dodin ($7,000, +165, 12.69 UTR)
Form: Zidansek did not play, and Dodin went 2-1 in qualifiers.
Talent: Zidansek’s recent results right now are laughably bad because she has been stuck on hard courts for ages at this point. However, she loves the dirt. She went 9-5 in 2019 on the surface with an above average 1.04 DR against top 100 opponents and even claimed a title along the way. Nothing about Dodin’s resume really stands out. She had a pretty good 2017, but has not done a lot since then. She has had some quality wins and matches on the hard courts this year, so maybe she’s turning things around?
Verdict: Zidansek seems rightfully priced as the favorite. However, with Dodin fresh from qualifying and no insurmountable gap in talent, Dodin is a live dog.
Vondrousova ($8,300, -185, 13.02 UTR) vs. Juvan ($6,700, +165, 12.54 UTR)
Form: Vondrousova has played about 6 exhibition matches with alright results, while Juvan won all 3 qualifiers, dropping a couple sets along the way.
Talent: Vondrousova has shown some high level play in her young career. However, it is tough to call her a top talent at the moment. Juvan is a year younger than Vondrousova and has not really broken through as a WTA regular yet. She has excelled on clay at the challenger level, so she’s at least worth a look against a 2020-form Vondrousova.
Verdict: Price seems about right here, but Juvan is a live dog if Vondrousova can’t find her 2019 form.
Giorgi ($8,000, -110, 12.79 UTR) vs. Peterson ($7,500, -115, 12.95 UTR)
Talent: Both women have played a decent amount of clay but have performed better on hard historically. Peterson has been poor on Clay during her career (9-19 with a .90 DR against top 100 opponents for her career, but put up a respectable 6-5 record for top 100 competition in 2019 and could be turning things around for the better. Giorgi has been just below average on clay (21-26 with a .97 DR) and has not played on the surface at all since 2018. Peterson should probably be a slight favorite for this matchup, at least on paper.
Verdict: With Peterson playing more competent clay tennis on a more recent date, I am inclined to give her the slight edge. However, she is playing an erratic yet talented Giorgi, so who knows?
Author: Sean Coggins (DK Username: Giant Octopus)