Tennis Triple Threat: July 15
The week after Wimbledon is always a fascinating one from both a viewing and fantasy perspective. It is the only week during the year with tournaments being played on the three major surfaces simultaneously.
The last grass-court tournament of the season is taking place in Newport, Rhode Island for the men. On the hard courts are the ladies in Prague, Czech Republic. And on the clay are four more tournaments: one in Bastad, Sweeden, and Hamburg, Germany for the men. The women are in action in Laussane, Switzerland, and Budapest, Hungary.
It is important to keep in mind the strengths of each player, how that is affected by the surface they are playing on, and constructing a roster that can provide upside and leverage by taking advantage of the quirk in scheduling for this week. Players only looking at fantasy salaries and moneylines will be a step behind the true grinders.
Wednesday’s picks went 1-1, with the third match still awaiting a conclusion. Jil Teichmann and Maryna Zanevska are early in the third set but rain delays in Lausanne got this match suspended until tomorrow. Kevin Anderson took care of Sebastian Ofner in straight sets while Tennys Sandgren fell to Jason Jung in the same fashion. This brings the weekly count to six wins, two losses, and one result TBD.
Now, let’s get into Thursday’s slate.
High-Tier: Barbora Krejcikova
With tournament-favorite Petra Kvitova bowing out in the R32, Barbora Krejcikova is the clear-cut favorite to win the Prague tournament. Krejcikova won Roland Garros this year but she has also been stellar on hard courts. This year on hard courts, Krejcikova is 12-6 with a finals appearance in Dubai.
Her opponent tomorrow, Ysaline Bonaventure, is ranked #127 and at one point earlier this year lost nine matches in a row. Bonaventure will be simply outclassed by the superior player. Krejcikova is deservingly the most expensive player on the slate and she will likely be worth every penny.
Mid-Tier: Henri Laaksonen
Seemingly out of nowhere, Henri Laaksonen has become a respectable clay court player. He made the round of 32 at Roland Garros, coming through qualifying and knocking out Roberto Bautista Agut along the way. Last week, he made a challenger final in Braunschweig and he already has a fantastic win at this tournament in Bastad: He took out Lorenzo Musetti in the R32.
Elias Ymer received a wild card into this event and he is a below average player at ATP level. He is ranked #169 and he has only played one tour level match on clay this year. Laaksonen won’t have home court advantage, but he is the more talented player and he is in better form. All signs point to the Swiss man getting another win.
Low-Tier: Benoit Paire
Benoit Paire needs to start caring about winning at some point, or his career on the ATP tour might be coming to an end. He has a great opportunity at this tournament in Hamburg. He received a walkover from Ricardas Berankis in R32, and now he gets a tasty matchup with the #130 ranked player in the world, Juan Pablo Varillas.
Paire’s best tennis is what brought him inside the top 20 a few years ago, but a lack of motivation and a disliking of the “bubble life” has caused him to lose copius numbers of matches since last August. If he can’t take advantage of this situation, it may be a while, if ever, for him to get back at making deep runs in tournaments.
Thank you all so much for reading! If you have any suggestions for the blog, please let me know in the comments. I will be running this “Triple Threat” edition of the Break Point Blog throughout the week, so keep your eyes peeled here for a quick slate breakdown each day. Best of luck in all of your contests and may the ball bounce your way!