ATP Fantasy Tennis Picks for Basel, Lyon, and St. Petersburg

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This week’s submission deadline is Monday morning, October 20, 2am (EST) in the U.S./8am (CET) in Europe.

There are three tournaments this week: Basel, Lyon, and St. Petersburg. Next week is the last event of the fantasy tennis season and it’s the Masters Series event in Paris, so save your best players for that. I need eight players for my fantasy team so let’s pick the semifinalists in each event and pick the best eight players from those semifinalists.

Basel draw (carpet, first prize: $223, 384)
Lyon draw (carpet, first prize: $177, 692)
St. Petersburg draw (indoor hard court, $171, 000)

Roger Federer is the top seed in Basel but I can’t imagine anyone hasn’t used him five times this year. If you haven’t, save him for next week. Tomas Berdych reached the quarterfinals last year but I’ve used him up already. Jarkko Nieminen is here and he reached the finals last year, but he’s 0-9 against Federer and 0-3 against Berdych. Marcos Baghdatis is a possibility because he reached the semifinals last year and the final three years ago, but he’s been injured so often lately that I don’t think you can count on him. I’m skipping to the next quarter.

The second quarter isn’t any easier to pick because I’ve used up James Blake. Nicolas Kiefer reached the quarterfinals last year but he’s got one win indoors this year. I’m picking Feliciano Lopez who just reached the semifinals in Vienna and the quarterfinals in Madrid.

Igor Andreev and Juan Martin Del Potro are in the third quarter. I’ve used all my Andreevs and I’m saving Del Potro for next week. I don’t think anyone else in this quarter can beat Del Potro so I’m skipping down to the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter has the two best bets in Stanislaw Wawrinka and David Nalbandian. Nalbandian has reached the quarterfinals or better in four of the last five years and he’s 6-1 indoors, so I’m going with him.

I don’t like to do it because Basel has a bigger payday, but I’m picking two players from Basel: Lopez and Nalbandian.

Sebastien Grosjean is in the first quarter in Lyon and he won this event last year, but he’s lost in the first round of the last four tournaments he’s played and hasn’t won anything indoors this year. I’ve used up all of my Andy Roddicks and Robin Soderlings and they’re in the first quarter too so, let’s skip down to the second quarter.

I’ve used up Gilles Simon. Ivo Karlovic just beat Robin Soderling and Novak Djokovic in Madrid before losing to Simon, so Karlovic is the best choice left. Ivan Ljubicic reached the quarterfinals last year and he’s always dangerous on carpet, but he couldn’t get out of qualifying in Madrid this week, so I’m going with Karlovic.

The third quarter is tough to pick. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is 6-2 indoors this year and he reached the quarterfinals last year, but Marc Gicquel is his first round opponent and Gicquel reached the final the past two years. Tsonga and Gicquel played each other in futures and split their two matches. Fabrice Santoro is also in this part of the draw and he reached the semifinals in Moscow. Paul-Henri Mathieu is at the top of this quarter and he’s had a good year indoors, but he retired during his match with Santoro in Moscow and lost in the first round in Madrid. I’m going with Tsonga because he’s beaten higher quality opponents than either Gicquel or Santoro and I’m not sure Mathieu can beat Sam Querrey.

In the bottom quarter, Tommy Robredo is having a miserable year indoors so I’m going to have to depend on Radek Stepanek to beat Richard Gasquet because I’ve used up all my Gasquets. There is hope. Gasquet won this event two years ago but that’s the only time he’s been past the second round and he’s having an average year indoors.

I’m taking Karlovic, Tsonga, and Stepanek in Lyon.

Andy Murray is the top seed in St. Petersburg and he won this event last. It’s a bit surprising he’s here because he’s in the final in Madrid, he has Paris next week, and he’s already sewed up a place in the year end Masters Cup. Mario Ancic is here too and he won this event two years ago but he can’t beat Murray. I’ve used up all my Murrays so I’m skipping this quarter.

Fernanado Verdasco is in the second quarter and he has two low ranked wild cards in his section. He also beat Rainer Schuettler in Dubai this year. Igor Kunitsyn beat Dmitry Tursunov in Moscow so I’m going with Verdasco.

In the third quarter Mikhail Youzhny has reached the quarterfinals or better here in four of the last five years. Marat Safin is waiting for him in the quarterfinals, however, and Safin is 3-0 over him including one win indoors. I’m taking Safin because he’s 5-2 in Russia this year, has won 80% of his matches in Russia, and Youzhny lost in the first round in Moscow and Madrid.

Marin Cilic is in the fourth quarter. He got to the semifinals here last year and he just reached the third round in Madrid beating Verdasco along the way. Cilic is also 2-0 over Nikolay Davydenko and beat him here last year, so Cilic is my pick.

That gives me Verdasco, Safin, and Cilic in St. Petersburg.


Here are my picks: Lopez, Nalbandian, Karlovic, Tsonga, Stepanek, Verdasco, Safin, Cilic.

Happy fantasies!

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