Category Archives: Fantasy Tennis

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.

Pay attention, the deadline for picking your team this week is SUNDAY, August 19, 10am EST, 4pm CET.

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

Awful. Just awful. One for seven and that’s if Roger Federer makes it to the final and he’s looked shaky all week. Despite my concerns, James Blake’s abdominal pull was not a problem and Nikolay Davydenko is in the semifinals with that stress fracture in his foot. What’s his explanation for retiring due to foot pain in Sopot on clay then getting to the quarterfinals and better in two straight hard court tournaments where the court must have felt like hot coals in the 99F° / 37C° weather?

On the other hand, who knew that Novak Djokovic would run out of gas and Rafael Nadal would lose temporary use of his left forearm?

Alright then, forward and upward. Let’s head into the last tune-up before the U.S. Open and see which eight players we can pick out. By the way, watch out for Mario Ancic because he’s in the qualifying tournament. Take a quick peak at the final draw before you submit your team to see where he is if he makes it through qualifying.

New Haven (hard court, first prize: $84, 000)

Nikolay Davydenko’s Quarter

Davydenko actually won this thing last year. Amer Delic is his first opponent and Delic beat him in their only meeting at Miami but that was Delic’s only good result of the year.

Nicolas Almagro is here and up until last week I’d have called him a clay court specialist. But then he got to the quarterfinals at Cincinnati and took a set off Roger Federer. Still, he’s won only two other matches on hard court this year so I have no confidence in him yet.

Paul-Henri Mathieu is 0-2 against his first opponent, Nicolas Lapentti, but one of those matches was on clay and the other was on hard court in 2001. Plus Lapentti has exactly one win on hard court this year so I’m going with Mathieu.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is a bit of a dark-horse. He’s been tearing up the challenger circuit on hard court and got to the fourth round at Wimbledon. He’s actually ranked higher than Juan Martin Del Potro but untested on hard court in the big leagues. If you were wild and crazy, you could pick him.

James Blake’s Quarter

This is James Blake’s home tournament, he lives in Connecticut. He won here in 2005 and has a pretty easy draw. Be sure to save him for the U.S. Open and at least one of the fall indoor tournaments. He’s won Stockholm both times he’s entered and that pays over $132, 000.

Jarkko Nieminen is 3-0 over Feliciano Lopez and 2-0 over Fernando Verdasco so I’m going with him.

David Ferrer’s Quarter

Wow, David Ferrer is 17-5 on hard court this year which is the sixth best record on tour. I missed that last week. Maybe that’s why he got to the quarterfinals in Cincinnati. He beat Igor Andreev here two years ago so I’m picking him.

Clay court specialist Potito Starace is putting in a token appearance before the U.S. Open. He took the title at a clay court challenger in San Marino instead of playing Montreal even though he’s ranked number 30 in the world. That’s called thumbing your nose at hard courts because Masters Series events are supposed to be required attendance.

This court is pretty fast so Ivo Karlovic pops out. Starace certainly won’t beat him and Thomas Johansson is unlikely to break his serve.

Tommy Robredo’s Quarter

This will be Tommy Robredo’s tenth tournament in a row. He extended his clay court season to get a clay court victory in Sopot but then lost his first match at Montreal and Cincinnati. Marc Gicquel has awful hard court results and lost to Gael Monfils here last year so the question is: can Monfils beat Robredo? I’m going with Monfils because he’s rested and he got to the semifinals in Washington.

The other part of this quarter is hopeless. Dominik Hrbaty is the only one with a hard court victory this summer and one of those victories was a win over Robredo so he gets the pick.

New Haven Draw

My Picks

Here’s my team: Davydenko, Mathieu, Blake, Nieminen, Karlovic, Ferrer, Hrbaty, Monfils.

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, August 13, 10am EST, 4pm CET.

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

I got only half of the quarterfinalists in Montreal and that ain’t good but look at it this way: I’m still in 23rd place in the standings and Fernando Gonzalez, Tommy Robredo, Tomas Berdych and Richard Gasquet were all gone by the time the third round rolled around.

Radek Stepanek got to the semifinals, for heaven’s sake, so we’ll have to make a decision about him. Novak Djokovic knocked Rafael Nadal out and that’s important because Nadal has a big lead in this year’s race and he could have made a significant step towards the number one ranking.

Cincinnati (hard court, first prize: $400, 000)

Court speed is a significant factor this week. Tennisinsight.com gives Cincinnati a percentile of just under 2% versus other hard courts. This means that it plays faster than 98% of the other hard court tournaments. Montreal is playing at about 19% which means it’s about 17% slower.

That may explain why Andy Roddick has won this tournament twice and also explains why I won’t be choosing Nikolay Davydenko.

Roger Federer’s Quarter

As usual, the idea is to pick two guys from each quarter to make up our 8 player team. Federer should be an easy pick but he’s not wild about back to back one week Masters Series events. Last year he lost here in the second round to Andy Murray and his record in Canada is far better than here. But he has won this thing and Nadal is breathing down his neck so you have to pick him.

As for the bottom part of his quarter: good luck. Everyone told me I shouldn’t have picked Tommy Robredo last week and they were right and they’re probably still right.

Ivan Ljubicic was having a good year on hard court until he lost to a qualifier in the first round at Montreal. He reached the quarterfinals at Indian Wells and the semifinals at Miami. Jarkko Nieminen is in this quarter but Ljubicic beat him at Miami so I’m going with Ljubicic.

Novak Djokovic’s Quarter

Djokovic is in the final against Federer today so he he’ll be tired. He did reach the Indian Wells final then win Miami which are consecutive Masters Series events, but they’re two week events, not one. Still, there’s really no competition in his part of the quarter so you have to take him.

Lleyton Hewitt and Richard Gasquet should meet in the second round and that’s a tough pick. Hewitt beat him last year at the US Open but Gasquet is the better player, it’s just that he’s so maddeningly inconsistent.

Tommy Haas got to the third round in Montreal before losing to Stepanek so he could easily get one round further. He plays Mario Ancic in the first round but Ancic has never done well on this hard court swing.

Since the Gasquet-Hewitt match is a tossup and either one could be gone early, I’m going with Haas.

Andy Roddick’s Quarter

My writing partner, Pat Davis, is picking Stepanek to beat Roddick. Stepanek almost beat Roddick in Washington and I like Stepanek’s game but I’m not picking him for two reasons: the court is fast and he could be out of kilter emotionally because his engagement to Martina Hingis was called off.

I’m not picking Davydenko because he’s got that stress fracture in his foot and hard courts are hard on feet. I think he played well last week to prove that he doesn’t tank matches and that motivation is now gone.

Tomas Berdych is something of an enigma. He plays better on clay and grass than he does on hard court. You can’t count on him to reach a quarterfinal in the summer hard court swing. His main competition here is Paul-Henri Mathieu but you can’t count on him to reach a hard court quarterfinal either. Berdych and Mathieu have never played each other.

Mathieu is 11-7 on hard courts this year while Berdych is 7-6 so Mathieu is my pick.

Rafael Nadal’s Quarter

Mikhail Youzhny beat Nadal the last two times they met on hard court but Nadal is now better on that surface and Youzhny is not.

James Blake has an abdominal muscle pull and they’re notorious for taking a long time to heal. Nicolas Kiefer isn’t available for ATP fantasy tennis because his ranking dropped too low due to injury and he’ll probably take out Marat Safin in the first round.

I don’t want to pick Fernando Gonzalez till he straightens himself out but he has a 3-0 record over Ferrero on fast courts so Gonzalez it is.

Cincinnati draw

My Picks

Here’s my team: Federer, Ljubicic, Djokovic, Haas, Mathieu, Roddick, Gonzalez and Nadal.

Happy fantasies!


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Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 269 user reviews.

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 Sunday, August 5, 10am EST, 4pm CET.

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

I’ve still got a chance to win Sopot with Tommy Robredo. I predicted that Nikolay Davydenko would break out of his slump. He did get out of the first round for the first time in his last four tournaments but even I could not have predicted that he’d become embroiled in a gambling controversy.

Gamblers on the British online site Betfair.com laid $7 million on Davydenko to lose his match against Martin Vassallo-Arguello AFTER Davydenko had already won the first set 6-2. You can read more about it here.

I’m all the way up to number 18 in the standings due to good U.S. Open picks but this week things could go topsy turvy because we have the Masters Series event at Montreal and the first prize is $400, 000. Masters Series events are second only to the slams in prize money.

Montreal (hard court, $400, 000)

First the no-brainers: Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Nadal won this event in 2005 and he won the Masters hard court event in Indian Wells. Andy Roddick has also won this tournament and falls in to the category of no-brainer. We need eight players for our team, two from each quarter, so let’s see who the other five players will be.

Roger Federer’s Quarter

Andy Murray is the wild card because he hasn’t played since the middle of May when he hurt his wrist in Hamburg. It probably doesn’t matter because he’d meet Federer in the third round and that saves us a tough decision. Murray did beat Federer at Cincinnati last year but it’s hard to believe Murray’s in shape to do it again.

The top 23 players in the world are here and that’s why only Lleyton Hewitt, Juan Carlos Ferrero, James Blake or Tommy Robredo will make it to the quarterfinals. None of them has gone past the quarterfinals so we’re left with a tough decision because we need one more player from this quarter.

I’m going to forget about Blake because he’s had average hard court results this year. Robredo has been a bit more consistent than Ferrero and Hewitt on hard courts so I’m going with him.

Fernando Gonzalez’ Quarter

Mikhail Youzhny could easily lose to Hyung-Taik Lee so I’m picking Jarrko Nieminen as one of the players from this section. At least he got to the quarterfinals last year.

This is a crappy quarter because it’s full of clay court players and inconsistent players. Fernando Gonzalez is the only one who’s had good results here. He got to the semifinals last year but he’s had miserable hard court results except for the Australian Open and he lost in the first round two weeks ago in Los Angeles, of all places.

Haas is fighting against Radek Stepanek and Gonzalez to get to the quarterfinals and this is the toughest decision in the draw. Neither Haas nor Stepanek have good results here (clearly this is the theme this week) but Haas steps up in bigger tournaments so I’m dropping the inconsistent Gonzalez and playing wait and see on Stepanek.

Novak Djokovic’s Quarter

Roddick has to get past Tomas Berdych to get to the quarterfinals and Berdych beat Nadal here last year. But Roddick has played two hard court events already and he’s had a win and two finals here so I’m sticking with him.

Djokovic doesn’t have much competition in his section so he should meet Roddick in the quarterfinals.

Rafael Nadal’s Quarter

Richard Gasquet doesn’t have a lot of competition in his section either and he reached the final last year so he should be able to get to the quarterfinals and he has a good shot at beating Nadal. They played in a challenger back in 2003 for their only hard court meeting and Gasquet won it.

Mario Ancic is back after recovering from mononucleosis but this is his first tournament since February. The only person who could threaten Nadal before he gets to Gasquet is Guillermo Canas. Canas won this tournament but it was long ago in 2002.

Montreal draw

Picks

Here’s my team: Federer, Robredo, Nieminen, Haas, Roddick, Djokovic, Gasquet, and Nadal.

Happy fantasies!


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Check out our picks last week to see how we did: ATP Fantasy Tennis Picks: Sopot and Washington

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 241 user reviews.

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 submission changed from Monday to Sunday this week because Washington starts on Sunday. Be sure to get your teams in by 11am EST and 5pm CET on Sunday.

Ask any U.S. tourist who went to Europe this summer, an expresso costs a whole lot more in U.S. dollars this year. Why should a tennis fantasy player care about this? Earlier this year, the ATP fantasy game stated all prize money as if the U.S. dollar and the Euro were equivalent. Now they’ve changed that and the European tournaments are worth a whole lot more. Go to my list of tournaments ranked by prize money. Notice that the cheapest European tournaments have now jumped over the U.S., Indian and Asian tournaments and the Masters Series events in Madrid and Paris jumped over $120, 000 in first prize money!

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

Juan Monaco is in the final at Kitzbuhel and that’s big money. Andy Roddick is in the semifinals at Indianapolis and my other pick, Dmitry Tursunov, is in the other semifinal against Sam Querrey who beat James Blake to get there. I got nothing left at Umag but there isn’t much left. How could I have known that Viktor Troicki and Andrei Pavel would get to the semifinals?

There are only two tournaments this week and the prize money is similar so let’s see if we can pick the four semifinalists from each tournament since we need eight players for our fantasy team.

SOPOT (clay, $81, 637)

Gaston Gaudio hasn’t given up playing tennis yet. He actually entered the qualifying here. Steve Darcis is lurking in the qualies too. He’s the guy who took the title at Amersfoort last week despite a ranking of 297.

Even though Nikolay Davydenko has lost in the first round three weeks in a row and he’ll meet the aforementioned Pavel in the second round and he lost his only previous match to Nicolas Almagro – his probable quarterfinal opponent, I’m picking Davydenko because I think he’s due to break out. He won this tournament last year and I think he can get to the semifinals.

Florian Mayer got to the final here last year and he’s beaten Juan Ignacio Chela the last two times they’ve met so I’m going with him.

Igor Andreev should beat Potito Starace if they get to the quarterfinals but we can’t pick Andreev because his ranking was below 100 when the fantasy season started.

Tommy Robredo isn’t much better than Davydenko, he lost in the first round two of the last three weeks. But he got to the quarterfinals this week and his probable quarterfinal opponent, Agustin Calleri, has been too inconsistent so I’m getting as much out of Robredo as I can.

Sopot draw

WASHINGTON (hard court, $74, 250)

Roddick will win his quarter of the draw but you need to save him for the hard court Masters and the U.S. Open. I would go with Hyung-Taik Lee and see if Radek Stepanek can pick off Roddick. Could happen, he beat James Blake last week.

I’m picking Arnaud Clement over Ivo Karlovic in their quarter because Karlovic is up and down and Clement won this tournament last year.

I have no idea who to pick in Marat Safin and Mardy Fish’s draw except that it won’t be Fish. He doesn’t appear to be fully recovered from his knee injury and he hurt his other knee last week. Safin is confounding and inconsistent but he reached the quarterfinals last week and the semifinals here last year so I’ll go with him. I’d love to pick Gael Monfils but he’s even more confounding.

Tommy Haas is back and he’s the question of the week: do you pick him here or save him for the remaining slams and Masters events? He’s done well in Canada and Cincinnati but not since 2004. He got to the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open and semifinals in Paris last year, so save him for the Open and a few fall indoor tournaments but feel free to use him here and hope that he doesn’t pull another muscle. Also be aware that he lost his only match against probable second round opponent Alejandro Falla.

Washington draw

Picks

Here’s my team: Davydenko, Starace, Mayer, Robredo, Lee, Clement, Safin and Haas.

Happy fantasies!


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Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 169 user reviews.

ATP Fantasy Tennis Season is under way and I’ve posted a Fantasy Tennis Guide with 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.

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

I picked the winner at Stuttgart but that wasn’t so difficult since it was Rafael Nadal on clay. I got a finalist in Los Angeles – James Blake. We’ll see later today if he wins the title or not. Unfortunately, Nicolas Almagro went out in the first round at Amersfoort but so did Nikolay Davydenko and I told you to stay away from him. Tommy Robredo also lost in the first round for the second week in a row at Stuttgart.

This week we have the second tournament in the U.S. Open Series – Indianapolis, and two more clay court tournaments – Kitzbuhel and Umag. By the way, I’m ranked number 40 in the ATP fantasy game out of over 11, 000 teams. Is that cool or what?

KITZBUHEL (clay, $152, 380)

This is a 48 player field with the most money. Robredo might face Igor Andreev in the third round so forget him. Andreev is an annoying guy. His ranking is low because he’s coming back from injury so he keeps picking off higher seeds but we can’t pick him because he was ranked below 100 when the fantasy season started.

Nicolas Almagro looks like he has a good path to the semifinals. He lost that first round match last week to Werner Eschauer but Eschauer went all the way to the final. Besides, there’s not much else to choose from in that quarter of the draw.

As for Mikhail Youzhny, I made a mistake by picking him last week. He reached the semifinals at the U.S. Open last year, the quarterfinals at two of the remaining Masters Series events, and has won St. Petersburg which has big prize money. I should have saved him since I can only use him five times. Youzhny is in the top twenty on every surface in tennisinsight.com’s surface adjusted rankings. That was pretty dumb of me.

Juan Monaco should be able to get to the quarterfinals and he’s beaten Andreev both times they’ve met on clay.

Feliciano Lopez beat Juan Carlos Ferrero at Stuttgart last week and they could meet in the second round here. If Ferrero beats Lopez he should meet Werner Eschauer who got all the way to the final at Stuttgart. Still, I’m going with Ferrero because Lopez is inconsistent and Eschauer is untested.

Kitzbuhel draw

UMAG (clay, $76, 970)

Novak Djokovic will win this tournament but you have to save him for the Masters Series events and the U.S. Open.

Ivan Ljubicic has reached two quarterfinals and a semifinal here in his home country so I’m taking him from the top half of the draw.

Carlos Moya keeps chugging along but he gets Stanislaw Wawrinka – a finalist in Stuttgart – in the first round and could meet David Ferrer in the quarterfinals. Moya has beaten Ferrer every time they’ve played on clay but the last time was 2005 so I’m going with Ferrer this week.

Umag draw

INDIANAPOLIS (hard court, $73, 000)

Here’s the question: do you pick Andy Roddick to win $73, 000 here or save him for later? You have to pick him for the U.S. Open and the Masters Series events in Montreal and Cincinnati and you’ve already used him for Wimbledon so you have one pick left. He hasn’t done well indoors except at Paris and he’ll probably skip it because he will have already qualified for Shanghai. He’s never played St. Petersburg, Moscow or Tokyo and those are the only non-Masters Series events left that pay big money. I’m picking him here because he’s won it twice and though he lost to James Blake last year, I watched James Blake in Los Angeles this week and I don’t expect it to happen again.

Blake is a different story. You have to pick him for the U.S. Open but he hasn’t done well at any of the remaining Masters Series events. He did well at Bangkok and Stockholm last year but that leaves two more weeks you could pick him if you also picked him for Los Angeles. I would save him for New Haven and see if he heats up later in the year because he’d only get $42, 800 as a second prize this week.

Tursunov has a relatively easy path to the semifinals so I’m going with him.

Indianapolis draw

Picks

I’m taking Almagro, Monaco, Ferrero and Juan Ignacio Chela at Kitzbuhel. That’s a bit funky because Almagro and Chela are in the same quarter but Kitzbuhel has all the money and there are no good picks in Youzhny’s quarter. At Umag I have Ljubicic and Ferrer. At Indianapolis I have Roddick and Tursunov.

My team: Almagro, Monaco, Ferrero, Chela, Roddick, Tursunov, Ljubicic, Ferrer.

Happy fantasies!


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Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 266 user reviews.