Category Archives: Fantasy Tennis

It’s time for the ATP Fantasy Tennis Season so check out our Fantasy Tennis Guide. You’ll find Fast Facts, Strategies, and Statistics to help you play the game.

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This week’s submission deadline is Monday morning, April 28, 4am (EST) in the U.S. and 10am (CET) in Europe.

I made a mistake last week. Well, I made a few, but one in particular stood out. I picked Carlos Moya for my team without noticing that he’d gone out in the first round the past three years. Pay attention to such information even if I forget. Of course, who’d a thunk that Sam Querrey would beat Moya and I find it interesting that James Blake took a wild card to Barcelona this week. Querrey reached the quarterfinals, for heaven’s sake, and that should embarrass both Blake and Andy Roddick enough to get their butts over to Europe immediately.

Keep slogging along here with your complete season strategy because, remember, there are seven Masters Series events and three slams in the season. For instance, you should probably use Rafael Nadal for the three clay Masters events, Roland Garros, and Wimbledon because you can only use him five times.

There are two tournaments this week. Barcelona is on clay and pays $209, 692 for a first prize. Munich is also on clay and pays $90, 923 to its winner. Given the disparity in the first prize money, let’s pick five of our eight players from Barcelona and three from Munich.

I keep waiting for Nicolas Almagro to step up at required events and it hasn’t happened yet except for a quarterfinal here and there, so pick him for Barcelona because it’s one of the highest paying optional events. Almagro won’t get past Nadal but he’s a good candidate for the semifinals over Andy Murray who has an 8-13 career record on clay.

I suppose it’s time to start thinking about how to use David Nalbandian and David Ferrer this year. Nalbandian is up and down at Roland Garros and the U.S. Open and hasn’t done well at Hamburg. He’s golden at Madrid – in last four years he’s never done worse than semis – but his win in Paris last year was an anomaly. And forget about the summer hard court Masters events. That means I have to try and get three tournaments out of him in the clay court season and since I didn’t pick him last week – one of those mistakes – I have to use him this week. I just hope Stanislaw Wawrinka doesn’t take him out.

Ferrer is having a good year and he got to the semifinals at the U.S. Open last year so I’d save him for that. The question is whether to save him for the remaining Masters events or not. He hasn’t done well and Rome or Madrid the past few years and he’s never done well in Canada but he has a legitimate shot at the remaining three Masters events. However, I think he’ll make the final in Barcelona because he’s 4-0 over Nalbandian on clay and Barcelona pays more than a quarterfinal in Cincinnati (the dollar ain’t worth much today) so I’m picking him this week and then saving him for Hamburg and Paris.

I’m going with Juan-Carlos Ferrero over Carlos Moya even though Moya is 3-0 over Ferrero in their last three clay matches because, for some reason, Moya cannot seem to play well in Barcelona. Guillermo Canas has been sinking so I’m taking Tommy Robredo over him in their quarter.

Barcelona draw

Let’s go from the Spanish tournament with all those Spanish clay court players to the German tournament with all those German not-so-good-at-clay court players. I’m hesitant to pick Igor Andreev because he lost to Steve Darcis, who is in his quarter, last year and he’s in Fernando Gonzalez’ quarter. And Fernando is 6-0 on clay this year, but Andreev is on a roll and he beat Fernando the last two times they played on clay.

From the top half I’m going with two players. Paul-Henri Mathieu lost early in Monte Carlo but he’s never gone past the first round in Monte Carlo and he had a big clay court season last year in optional events. Philipp Kohlschreiber is my second pick here because he has good results here and his quarter is weak.

Munich draw

My Pick
Almagro, Ferrer, Nalbandian, Ferrero, Robredo, Andreev, Mathieu, Kohlschreiber

Happy fantasies!

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In no particular order, here is the first installment of notable events from the year 2007.

Bad Tennis Predictions

I went on the Sports Talk Cleveland radio show early in the year and participated in a serpentine draft for their tennis fantasy league. In a serpentine draft, whoever picks first in one round picks last in the next round. After I won the right to take the first pick in the draft and learned that I’d get the last pick in the second round, I blurted out, “Does that mean I have to take Serena?” Silly me. Serena Williams dropped in to the Australian Open and rolled into the final where she gobsmacked Sharapova 6-1, 6-2. Roger Federer won the men’s title but, then, you knew that.

Megamerger Multimedia Disease Attacks Tennis

IMG bought Tennis Week, the venerable tennis publication started by the late, great Gene Scott 32 years ago. Not such a big deal until you realize that IMG also represents Maria Sharapova and Roger Federer (and Nick Bolletieri’s tennis academy). Is this yet another nail in the coffin of independent media? There is hope I suppose. The New York Times owns part of the Boston Red Sox and they still trash the Sox regularly. But it does make you wonder if Tennis Week would get interference from the head IMG guy if they trashed Sharapova for pulling out of Toronto because she stubbed her toe.

The Interview That Wasn’t

The P.R. firm for a wine that Jim Courier endorses offered me an interview with Courier. It started off as a telephone interview, then it was demoted to an email interview, and then it turned into nothing because Courier never answered my email. And that was after I spoke to my friend Bob Blumer, star of the Food Network show Glutton for Punishment, so I could get up to speed on old world wine versus new world wine. That was also after I picked Courier to be Richard Gasquet’s new coach because I thought Gasquet needed one. Gasquet didn’t need a new coach. He made it to the year end championships just fine thank you.

Pregnancy, Cocaine, and the Comeback Mommy of the Year

Anastasia Myskina and Kim Clijsters are both pregnant. That’s a better way to leave the tour than testing positive for cocaine. I’m sure Martina Hingis might have been happier if her engagement to Radek Stepanek had ended in marriage and she was taking a pregnancy test instead of a hair test to prove that she never touched the white stuff. Lindsay Davenport gave birth in June and returned to the tour three months later. So much for retirement. She went 13-1 in her comeback and plans to play in three slams in 2008.

The Media Wars

At the same time that Sports Illustrated laid off 298 employees, it paid $20 million for fannation.com, sports information and fan blogger site. The timing of these transactions made it look like S.I. was exchanging paid writers for unpaid fan bloggers, but the reality is a bit more complex. S.I. was trying to beef up its online presence and narrow the gap between si.com and the hugely popular espn.com. S.I. even poached ESPN radio personality Dan Patrick, but that must have pissed off ESPN because they turned around and stole S.I.’s back page columnist, Rick Reilly, with an unbelievable $3 million per year offer. Hey guys, I’m available and I’d take a lot less than $3 mil.

Back to Back to Back to Back

By the time I reached Indian Wells on Sunday afternoon in early March, Guillermo Canas had already beaten Federer for his biggest win since coming off a 15 month suspension for using a banned substance. He beat Federer again two weeks later in Miami and if that wasn’t bad enough, David Nalbandian raised himself from the dead, or at least from his lethargy, and beat Federer in consecutive meetings at the last two Masters Series events of the year, Madrid and Paris. And Nalbandian had never won a Masters Series event before! Not only that, but because I didn’t pick Nalbandian for my fantasy team in Paris, I dropped out of the top 100 in the ATP Fantasy Tennis Season for the first time all year and lost my subleague title. Serves me right for not believing in the guy.

To be continued…

Teddy Awards

Please go over to the poll on the right side of the page and vote for the player who is in most need of a new coach. I skipped Female Centerfold of the Year because Ana Ivanovic was the only player nominated.

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We’re deep into the ATP Fantasy Tennis Season so check out my Fantasy Tennis Guide. You’ll find Fast Facts, Strategies, and Statistics to help you play the game.

Sign up and join our subleague! It’s called tennisdiary.com. We send weekly email updates to all subleague members before the submission deadline.

Pick your team before going to bed Saturday night because the deadline is early Sunday morning: 1am in Los Angeles/4am in New York/9am in London.

Rear View Mirror – a look at last week’s picks

I started the week in 22nd place and ended in 38th. Not bad considering that Jarkko Nieminen, Marc Gicquel and Sebastien Grosjean all made it to a final this week. I wasn’t expecting that. I still have Andy Murray and he could win the St. Petersburg title tomorrow.

My goal was to end up in the top 100 and it looks like I’ll make it so I consider this a successful year. How about you? And what would you change about the ATP fantasy tennis game?

This week we have the Paris Masters Series event and it’s the last event of the ATP fantasy tennis season. I’ve had a lot of fun and I’ll see you next season. Hopefully the ATP fantasy tennis people will get themselves together and start way before Wimbledon next year.

I’ll still be picking the winners every week, including the year end championships, so stick around.

Paris Masters (indoor carpet, first prize: $468, 860)

I’m going to assume that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will drop out of Paris because they’ve already qualified for the year end championships. In any case, I’ve used them both five times this season and can’t use them again. I’d like to think that Novak Djokovic is smart enough to stay home too but I’m not sure he is. I’ve also used him five times so prepare for picks that do not include those top three players.

We need eight players, two from each quarter, so let’s divide the draw into quarters.

Roger Federer’s Quarter

Carlos Moya is hopeless indoors so forget him. I’m going to pick between Fernando Verdasco and Ivo Karlovic in the top part of the quarter because David Nalbandian has never been past the second round in Paris.

This is a very tough pick because Verdasco is 8-2 indoors this fall and Karlovic is 12-3. They’re 1-1 in head to head meetings so that doesn’t tell me much. Karlovic will be playing his sixth straight tournament in Paris and that’s not good but I’m picking him because not even Federer could break his serve in Basel this week. Also, Verdasco hasn’t beaten any highly ranked players this fall and Karlovic has.

In the bottom part of the quarter there are three good players: Tomas Berdych, Paul-Henri Mathieu and Mario Ancic. I’m ignoring David Ferrer because he’s never been past the second round here either.

Ancic beat Mathieu two weeks ago indoors so forget Mathieu. Ancic and Berdych both reached the quarterfinals here last year and Berdych won it the year before. It’s a tossup because Berdych is inconsistent and Ancic is still making his way back from mononucleosis but I’m taking Berdych because he’s 8-1 in Paris.

Novak Djokovic’s Quarter

Since I’ve used up Novak Djokovic, I’m taking Andy Murray in the top part of this quarter. Good thing Murray was injured this year else I’d have used him all up and he’s pretty hot. If he takes the title in St. Petersburg tomorrow, he’s within three points of the number eight ranking and that means he’s in the running for the year end championships.

This is the French quarter. There are five French players here. We need to choose between four of them in the bottom part of the quarter and James Blake. Richard Gasquet is having a terrible fall season but I have a feeling he’s going to wake up this week and wipe out all of the other French players. I’ve already used Gasquet five times so I’m taking Blake who will probably only make it to the third round.

Nikolay Davydenko’s Quarter

The top part of this draw is between Tommy Robredo and Guillermo Canas because everyone else is a qualifier or a clay court player. Canas has a 3-1 record over Robredo and he’s a better player on carpet so I’m taking him.

I saved my last Nikolay Davydenko for this week so I’m using him.

Rafael Nadal’s Quarter

Fernando Gonzalez is 0-5 in Paris. Tommy Haas made the semifinals last year. I’m taking Haas in the top part of the quarter.

In the bottom part of the quarter I’ve used up Nadal. I’m skipping Juan Ignacio Chela because he’s not good indoors.

I’d like to pick Nicolas Kiefer because he beat Stanislaw Wawrinka in Madrid two weeks ago but Kiefer is not available because his ranking was too low at the beginning of the year. Oh well, I’ll have to hold my nose and go with Jurgen Melzer who should be able to win at least one match.

Paris Draw

My Picks

Here’s my team: Karlovic, Berdych, Murray, Blake, Canas, Davydenko, Haas, Melzer.

Happy fantasies!


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We’re deep into the ATP Fantasy Tennis Season so check out my Fantasy Tennis Guide. You’ll find Fast Facts, Strategies, and Statistics to help you play the game.

Sign up and join our subleague! It’s called tennisdiary.com. We send weekly email updates to all subleague members before the submission deadline.

Make your picks before you go to bed Sunday night. The deadline to submit your team is: 11pm in Los Angeles/2am in New York/7am in London.

Rear View Mirror – a look at last week’s picks

I started the week in 14th place and ended in 22nd place.

My strategy of taking the sure $183, 000 for Novak Djokovic in Vienna instead of a possible final in Madrid paid off. Djokovic lost in the Madrid semifinals and won “only” $117, 000. That was about the only thing I did right but come on, David Nalbandian beating Roger Federer in the Madrid final? I’m half expecting Nalbandian to test positive for synthetic testosterone.

I also made the correct choice of using Rafael Nadal in Stuttgart instead of Madrid. He made $183, 000 in Stuttgart and $58, 000 in Madrid. Of course, that’s assuming Djokovic and Nadal skip Paris.

I’m off to San Francisco for the week so I won’t be posting very much. If any of you readers would like to weigh in on any tennis subject, just click on the email link at the top of this post and send me your thoughts. I’ll be happy to publish them. Meanwhile, my co-writer Pat Davis will be covering the Federer loss on Tuesday.

There are three tournaments this week and we need eight players. Let’s pick three players from Basel and St. Petersburg and two players from Lyon.

Basel (indoor carpet, first prize: $166, 514)

The big question here is whether David Nalbandian has anything left after beating Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in consecutive matches. Will he even bother to turn up? I’m guessing he will because there are only two tournaments left and then he can rest until January. And, Nalbandian is 18-4 in Basel

Just below Federer is a very tough quarter to pick and we can’t take Federer because everyone I know has used him five times already. Stanislaw Wawrinka beat Nalbandian here last year and got to the semifinals and he beat Nalbandian in Vienna two weeks ago. James Blake, Ivo Karlovic and Tomas Berdych are in this quarter too. Whoa!

I’m picking Wawrinka because he’s beaten Nalbandian the last three times they’ve played. Also, Feliciano Lopez could beat Berdych, and Karlovic could beat Blake.

In the bottom half, Fernando Gonzalez has three qualifiers in his section and he’s fighting to get to the year end championships. So is David Ferrer but he has Paul-Henri Mathieu and Marcos Baghdatis in his quarter and Baghdatis won this tournament in 2005.

If I were you I take Fernando Gonzalez but I’m taking Guillermo Canas because I’m not sure Ferrer can get past Baghdatis and, more importantly, I can’t use Gonzalez anymore. It could get ugly this week as I limp to the finish.

I’m also taking Paul-Henri Mathieu even though he’s not that good on carpet because he should be able to get to the quarterfinals and I need a third player from this draw.

Basel Draw

St. Petersburg (indoor carpet, first prize: $142, 000)

Nikolay Davydenko reached the quarterfinals here two years ago otherwise he’s played poorly. That’s a good thing for me because I can only use him one more time so I’m saving him for Paris.

Thomas Johansson has won this twice and reached the final last year so he’s an easy pick.

Mario Ancic was the player who beat Johansson in that final and he’s reached the quarterfinals the last two weeks. He should play Mikhail Youzhny in the second round but I think he can beat him so I’m picking Ancic.

Andy Murray is my third pick. He has an easy quarter.

St. Petersburg Draw

Lyon (indoor carpet, first prize: $132, 384)

This is a very fast carpet surface and that could be why Andy Roddick won this tournament the only time he entered it. I’ve used him up already. His appearance here, by the way, indicates to me that he’s likely to skip Paris.

Unfortunately I’ve used all my Richard Gasquets too and that could be a big problem because he has a very easy quarter. You might want to use him because he’s never been past the third round in Paris.

I’d like to pick Tommy Haas but I’m not sure he can get past Igor Andreev and besides, I was going to save Haas for Paris because he reached the semifinals last year. On the other hand, he didn’t beat anyone important to reach those semis and he’s fighting for the last berth in the year end championships. I’m picking him because I’m desperate for a player.

Lots of people have picked Tommy Robredo to get the last spot in the year end championships but he has a dismal record here. He did reach the Paris semifinals last year so I’m saving him for Paris. I’m picking Juan Monaco. He should be able to get to the quarterfinals.

Lyon Draw

My Picks

Here’s my team: Wawrinka, Canas, Mathieu, T. Johansson, Ancic, Murray, Haas, Monaco,

Happy fantasies!


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We’re deep into the ATP Fantasy Tennis Season so check out my Fantasy Tennis Guide. You’ll find Fast Facts, Strategies, and Statistics to help you play the game.

Sign up and join our subleague! It’s called tennisdiary.com. We send weekly email updates to all subleague members before the submission deadline.

The deadline for picking your team this week is Monday morning: 1am in Los Angeles/4am in New York/9am in London. Make you picks before you go to bed Sunday night.

Rear View Mirror – a look at last week’s picks

I picked two of the three winners and jumped from number 53 to number 14 in the standings. Remember, though, that I took Novak Djokovic and the sure $183, 000 in Vienna so I may pay for that in Madrid and Paris because I can’t pick him any more.

This is a huge week because Madrid is a Masters Series event with lots of points and there are a number of players who can still qualify for the year end championships – only the top eight players qualify. It’ll be too late for most people by the time the Paris Masters rolls around in two weeks.

We need eight players so let’s pick the top two players in each quarter of the draw – in other words, the quarterfinalists.

Madrid (indoor hard, first prize: $468, 860)

Roger Federer’s Quarter

I still have one Federer left so I’m picking him because he’s 10-2 here and he won last year.

Now I have the toughest pick in the draw. David Ferrer is on fire but he has a losing career record indoors. He got to the quarterfinals in Madrid two years ago but he beat clay court players to get there. Also, Feliciano Lopez is in his part of the draw and he beat Ferrer in Stockholm last year.

Ivan Ljubicic has a clear path to the third round so I’m picking him.

Nikolay Davydenko’s Quarter

Nikolay Davydenko has never gone past the third round in Madrid and he could meet Ivo Karlovic in his first match if Karlovic can get past Marat Safin. I can only use Davydenko one more time so I’m saving him for Paris which he won last year.

Safin got to the quarterfinals in Madrid last year and won it the year before. On the other hand, Karlovic is 11-3 on indoor hard court this year and he won the title in Vienna. Safin has been playing so badly this year that I have to go with Karlovic.

I’m ignoring Mikhail Youzhny and Stanislaw Wawrinka because Youzhny has lost in the first round in Madrid the past three years and Wawrinka has never played Madrid and hasn’t done well in Paris.

Tommy Haas got to the semifinals in Stockholm last week and he has an 11-2 record on hard court this year, but he’s never been past the third round in Madrid. I can only use him one more time so I’m saving him for Paris where he got to the semifinals last year.

The question in this part of the draw is whether we can count on Fernando Gonzalez to turn up. He got to the final here last year but he’s still up and down this year. What the hell, he doesn’t do well in Paris and I can only use him one more time so I’m going with Gonzalez.

Novak Djokovic’s Quarter

I’m in trouble here because I’ve used Djokovic up and James Blake is 0-3 in Madrid.

I’ll have to choose between Richard Gasquet and Paul-Henri Mathieu to get my first pick in this section. Gasquet is 3-0 over Mathieu so I’m taking Gasquet.

Carlos Moya has one victory indoors in the last two years and Juan Carlos Ferrero got to the semifinals in Vienna so I’m taking Ferrero who will only get to the third round before he loses to Djokovic.

Rafael Nadal’s Quarter

I used up all my Rafael Nadal picks on the clay and hard court season.

David Nalbandian reached the semifinals the past two years but he’s playing badly. I’m picking Tomas Berdych over Tommy Robredo because Robredo hasn’t gone past the third round the past two years.

Assuming Marcos Baghdatis continues to flounder, the tough pick is between Andy Murray and Radek Stepanek who unfortunately meet in the first round. Murray beat Stepanek on grass in their only meeting and Murray’s record indoors is far better so I’m picking him.

Madrid Draw

My Picks

Here’s my team: Federer, Ljubicic, Karlovic, Gonzalez, Gasquet, Ferrero, Berdych, Murray.

Happy fantasies!


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