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.

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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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