Tennis Mexican Fiesta: July 20

This week officially kicks off the North American hard-court swing. It starts with an ATP 250 tournament in Los Cabos, Mexico. After the Olympics, the bigger tournaments start to roll around, but at the very least, the tournament in Los Cabos provides one of the most unique atmospheres in tennis.

The stadium court has a bright pink color, something not seen at any other tournament. It may not seem cool on paper, but it is visually stunning. Additionally, because it is too hot to play during the day, all matches take place at night which provides a fantastic vibe for tennis.

On DraftKings, only an eight-game “night session” slate is offered. Because this is a more palatable start time for people in the western hemisphere, we’ll dig into these slates for the next few days.

Let’s dig into Tuesday night’s slate.

Slate Overview

Carlos Alcaraz > Lucas Pouille

Ever since his Australian Open semifinal appearance in 2019, Pouille has not been the same player. He’s had a multitude of injuries and is simply not even an average ATP tour player anymore. Alcaraz is one of the most highly touted prospects in the game and on his favorite surface, he should roll against Pouille.

Astra Sharma > Lucrezia Stefanini

Sharma came out of nowhere to win the Charleston 2 tournament in April. She showed she could play on clay and she is a strong favorite against a Stefanini who is ranked #256 in the world.

Peter Gojowczyk > Ilya Marchenko

This simply comes down to current form. Neither of these players are good, but Gojowczyk won multiple matches at ATP Newport and Marchenko fell in round one to eventual champion Kevin Anderson.

Yasutaka Uchiyama > Alexander Sarkissan

Sarkissian is ranked #478 and only made it into the main draw due to a walkover via injury. Uchiyama is a below-average player but should be able to manage his way to a win here with an outside shot at the 10+ ace bonus on DK.

Mackenzie McDonald > Ernesto Escobedo

Escobedo has been teetering in and out of ATP main draws for a few years now. McDonald is more experienced and more talented. As long as his fitness is up, he should be able to get the win.

Jordan Thompson > Ivo Karlovic

Karlovic is a half-decent GPP dart as a win will almost certainly get him into the optimal lineup. But Thompson should be able to manage one break of serve per set and have no trouble holding on his own.

Elias Ymer > Matthew Ebden

Ymer has a far better ATP ranking than Ebden, and at the moment very little separates these two in terms of talent. In this case, I’ll default to the underdog and the salary savings he provides.

Emilio Gomez > Nicolas Mejia

Gomez has made two challenger tour finals this season (one win, one loss) and he has a ranking over 125 spots better than Mejia. Gomez has a fairly good serve for hard courts and he should come through in this spot.

Eight Match Slate Strategy

These slates are often crapshoots, but they can be fun lineup construction exercises. You can see from my predictions that I only picked one underdog, so this slate is even more of a crapshoot in my view. If you are shooting for first place with a unique lineup, consider playing some of the larger underdogs (in this slate’s case, try Karlovic or Escobedo).

Thank you all so much for reading! If you have any suggestions for the blog, please let me know in the comments. Best of luck in all of your contests and may the ball bounce your way!

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