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.

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Deadline for picking your team this week is Sunday morning: 1am in Los Angeles/4am in New York/10am in London.

Rear View Mirror a look at last week’s picks

My fantasy team is currently #53 out of almost 14, 000 teams. That puts me in the top .4 %. I picked both finalists in Tokyo and one of the finalists in Metz.

I got an extra round out of Sebastien Grosjean with a bit of luck. Grosjean was losing to Stefan Koubek when Koubek blew his top after an overrule by the chair umpire went against him. Koubek was defaulted and lost the match. Wow, that doesn’t happen very often.

We have three tournaments this week and they’re all very big prize money. Let’s pick three from Vienna, three from Moscow and two from Stockholm.

Vienna (indoor hard, first prize: $183, 752)

The top ranked player this week is playing the most lucrative tournament but should I pick him? Novak Djokovic can make over $183, 000 by winning in Vienna or he could make around $234, 000 by reaching the finals at Madrid or Paris. He isn’t likely to win Madrid because Roger Federer is playing it and Djokovic may or may not play Paris since he’s already qualified for the year end championships.

Djokovic’s quarter of the draw is easy but Ivan Ljubicic and Marcos Baghdatis are lurking below him. I think Djokovic can beat both of them and I’m using him for the last time this year to get the sure money. I may regret it when Madrid and Paris roll around.

Ljubicic has won this tournament the past two years and Baghdatis is 9-1 indoors this year. It’s hard to pick between those two because Baghdatis was 3-0 over Ljubicic till he lost to him in Beijing three weeks ago. What the hell, I’m taking Ljubicic.

This is a tough tournament to pick. Richard Gasquet is in the same quarter as Carlos Moya. Gasquet just played two weeks in a row and he’s notorious for his poor conditioning. Carlos Moya doesn’t do well in the fall indoors season. Feliciano Lopez is in that quarter too and he has a 9-2 record here, but that was from 2003-2005 and he’s 1-5 indoors this year.

Guillermo Canas and Fernando Gonzalez are in the bottom quarter. Canas is in the final in Metz this week but he didn’t beat anyone important to get there. Gonzalez continues to be up and down. He lost to Dudi Sela in Davis Cup two weeks ago as Israel defeated Chile. But he got to the final here last year and he also got to the final in Beijing. He has an excellent record in the fall indoor season so I’m taking him. If you have only one pick left for Gonzalez, save him for Madrid.

Vienna Draw

Moscow (indoor carpet, first prize: $142, 000)

I can use Nikolay Davydenko twice more so I’m using him here and in Paris. He doesn’t do well in Madrid but he plays well in Russia. In the last four years, he’s won the title in Moscow twice. Of course, the two years he didn’t win, he lost in the first round. Typical Davydenko.

Andy Murray is in the next quarter and he’s my second pick. He’s a ridiculous 12-1 indoors this year and I’ve only used him twice so far.

There’s nobody frightening in the third quarter so I have to pick between Mikhail Youzhny and Philipp Kohlscheiber from the bottom of the draw. This looks like a no-brainer because Youzhny is 10-2 indoors this year, but Kohlschreiber has a 3-0 record over Youzhny all within the last 12 months. One of those wins was a first round victory over Youzhny here last year. Gotta go with Kohlschreiber.

Moscow Draw

Stockholm (indoor hard, first prize: $132, 384)

James Blake has won this tournament the last two years. I can pick him twice more and he doesn’t do well in Madrid and Paris so I’m taking him.

I only need one more player this week to make up my eight man team so I’m looking in the bottom half of the draw. David Ferrer is the second seed but he’s not a good indoor player and besides, Joachim Johansson and Ivo Karlovic are in his quarter. Johansson may not be in match shape yet and Karlovic isn’t great indoors.

There’s a better pick. Tommy Haas looks like he’s a good indoor player but that’s because he plays well in Memphis every year which isn’t that hard. Still, his quarter has two clay court players and a wild card substitute who’s ranked 687 so I’m taking Haas.

Stockholm Draw

My Picks

Here’s my team: Djokovic, Ljubicic, Gonzalez, Davydenko, Murray, Kohlschreiber, Blake, Haas.

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 Sunday, September 29, 8pm EST/Monday, September 30, 2am CET.

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

Last week was all messed up because there was an ATP tummy bug going around. I figured Tommy Haas would drop out of Bangkok. He didn’t but he lost in the second round. I figured Llleyton Hewitt would play in Mumbai. He did but he lost in the quarterfinals. I passed on Andy Roddick which was a good thing because he hurt his foot and dropped out of Bangkok.

The real surprise was Benjamin Becker. He beat Carlos Moya and Tomas Berdych to get to the final in Bangkok. I love Benni but I hope my player Dmitry Tursunov beats him to win the Bangkok title.

There are two tournaments this week and we need eight players for our team. Tokyo is paying almost twice as much to its winner than Metz so let’s find five players for Tokyo and three for Metz.

Tokyo (outdoor hard court, first prize: $145, 000)

You gotta take David Ferrer. He reached the semifinals at the U.S. Open and quarterfinals at Cincinnati and is having a great year on hard court. I wouldn’t save him for Madrid and Paris. He’s reached the quarterfinals at both those events, but if he reaches the final here, that’s more prize money than a quarterfinal at either Madrid or Paris.

Lleyton Hewitt is 10-2 in Tokyo but he hasn’t played here since 2004. Sam Querrey, Hyung-Taik Lee and Ivo Karlovic are in his quarter. Querrey had an excellent summer but Hewitt’s was even better. Hewitt is 3-0 over Hyung-Taik Lee. Karlovic has a 2-0 record over Hewitt but that was on grass and Karlovic is only 10-9 on hard court this year.

Benjamin Becker is lurking in this quarter and he got to the semifinals here last year but the only tough player he faced was Jarkko Nieminen. I’m taking Hyung-Taik Lee in addition to Hewitt because I need five players for Tokyo. Lee had a very good summer and he plays well in Asia. He also has a 10-5 record in Tokyo and reached the semifinals last year.

Nieminen is in Richard Gasquet’s quarter. Metz is the only fall tournament in which Gasquet has gone past the second round so don’t save him for Madrid and Paris. Gasquet is 3-1 over Nieminen so he should be able to win his quarter.

Tomas Berdych is the second seed here but save him for Madrid and Paris. He does well at both events. Fernando Verdasco and Thomas Johansson are in Berdych’s quarter. They’re both average hard court players but Verdasco had a solid summer season and got to the semifinals at Bangkok last week so I’m picking him.

Tokyo Draw

Metz (indoor hard court, first prize: $76, 970)

We should just name this the French Indoor Hard Court Championships. Sebastien Grosjean reached the semifinals last year, Arnaud Clement is 14-6 at this event and Gael Monfils is 6-2. All three of these players are spoilers because top seed Tommy Robredo could face Clement in the second round and Grosjean in the quarterfinals and Guilermo Canas gets Monfils in the first round.

All of which makes this a tough tournament to pick because indoor hard court is Robredo’s worst surface. I can use Robredo one more time so I’m saving him for Paris where he reached the semifinals last year.

There’s one sure pick: wild card Andy Murray. Take him because he’s 22-5 on indoor hard court. Wow, that’s an exceptional record.

I’m not picking Canas in the bottom quarter because he hasn’t done anything on hard court since Miami and he hasn’t played an indoor hard court event since 2004. I’m taking Marc Gicquel – another French guy – because he reached the semifinals here last year. He’s also 2-0 over Monfils on indoor hard court.

From the top half of the draw I’m taking Grosjean because he’s 2-0 over Robredo on fast indoor surfaces. Grosjean is near the end of his career but there aren’t a lot of other choices. Igor Andreev is 2-6 lifetime on indoor hard court and Mathieu has gone out in the second round here the last two years.

I’ll just have to depend on Murray to win the tournament.

Metz Draw

My Picks

Here’s my team: Ferrer, Hewitt, Lee, Gasquet, Verdasco, Grosjean, Murray, Gicquel.

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 Sunday, September 23, 10pm EST and Monday, 4am CET. I’m late with these picks because Bangkok didn’t put it’s draw out until today.

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

There weren’t any picks last week because all of the men were playing Davis Cup but I do have one thing to say about my last set of picks. I caught a case of TMI when I made picks for Bucharest. TMI is “too much information.”

If you go to tennisform.com and click on the pulldown menu labeled “Select a tournament” then click on Bucharest, you’ll get the record of every player who’s ever played in Bucharest (tennisform hasn’t updated the 2007 results yet). Jurgen Melzer and Florent Serra have excellent records in this tournament and even though they’ve been playing terribly this year, I chose them instead of another player in their quarter, Gilles Simon. Simon has been playing well lately and he ended up winning Bucharest.

I should have used the tournament record as a tiebreaker between two equally matched players instead of favoring it over Simon’s recent record of good results. Isn’t hindsight wonderful?

There are two tournaments this week and the first prize is similar so we need four players from each tournament.

Bangkok (indoor hard court, first prize: $76, 500)

I am a happy camper this Sunday morning. The U.S. won its Davis Cup tie against Sweden and Russia came back from a 2-1 deficit to beat Germany and that means the Davis Cup final is in the U.S. and I can go to it!!!

Tommy Haas did not play the reverse singles for Germany, though, and I don’t know if that’s because he’s a woeful clay court player or he has an injury. The Davis Cup ties just ended so I don’t have information yet but Germany played Philipp Petzschner instead of Haas and Petzschner is ranked number 206 in the world and is not a clay court specialist. I bring this up because Haas is playing in Bangkok this week so check the draw before you go to bed tonight to see if he pulled out.

[UPDATE: Tommy Haas has a viral infection that got worse during the night.]

The Bangkok event is loaded with top players: Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick and Tomas Berdych are here. Carlos Moya is here too but he’s in Djokovic’s quarter. Obviously you should save Djokovic for Madrid and one of the more lucrative indoor hard court events such as Vienna.

And here we have an interesting choice because, remember, we want to pick one player from each quarter. Moya hasn’t played well on indoor hard court since 2003 so I’m going to ignore this quarter and pick two players from Berdych’s quarter.

Berdych is in a tough quarter. Thomas Johansson, Ivo Karlovic, and Feliciano Lopez are there. But Johansson hasn’t played well on indoor hard court this year and Lopez is too inconsistent. What I’m going to do is take Berdych and Karlovic instead of making a pick in Djokovic’s quarter.

Haas has Joachim Johansson in his draw and Johansson is killer in fall indoor hard court tournaments. Unfortunately he’s not available for ATP fantasy tennis. I would not save Haas for Madrid, he doesn’t do well there, but do save him for Paris where he has an excellent record. I’m using Haas this week because I’ve only used him three times and he doesn’t play a lot of fall indoor tournaments.

[UPDATE: since Tommy Haas has a viral infection I’m taking Carlos Moya.]

I can use Roddick one more time. Should I use him this week? He’s never gotten past the third round at Madrid and probably won’t play Paris if he’s already qualified for the year end championships. However, if he does poorly at Madrid he might choose to play Lyon or Vienna which both pay much more so I’m saving him. Instead I’m taking Dmitry Tursunov because no one else in that quarter inspires confidence.

Notice below that I’ve posted a website that is streaming the Bangkok event on the internet.

Live Webcast
Bangkok Draw

Mumbai (outdoor hard court, first prize: $65, 850)

Richard Gasquet hasn’t gone past the second round of a hard court tournament since Indian Wells but he doesn’t have any competition in his quarter and I haven’t used him much because he’s sick or injured so often. I’m using him now.

A possible third round matchup between Fabrice Santoro and Jarkko Nieminen is hard to pick. Santoro is 2-0 lifetime over Nieminen but Santoro is winding his career down. Neither one has a good hard court record this year but Santoro’s is better so I’m taking him.

Paul-Henri Mathieu is maddeningly inconsistent on hard courts: he had a first round exit in Cincinnati and the US Open and a semifinal in New Haven. He should be able to beat Nicolas Kiefer in the first round but I’m a bit nervous because Kiefer got to the semifinals at Beijing last week but we can’t pick Kiefer because he’s not available for ATP fantasy tennis so I’m going with Mathieu.

Rainer Schuettler actually has a 2-2 record against Llleyton Hewitt but Hewitt won both hard court matches so I’m going with him since I haven’t used Hewitt this year.

Mumbai Draw

My Picks

Here’s my team: Gasquet, Santoro, Mathieu, Hewitt, Berdych, Karlovic, Haas Moya, Tursunov.

Happy fantasies!


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Join us for the men’s U.S. Open final! We’ll be blogging live on Sunday, September 9th at 4pm EST

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

I picked five of the eight quarterfinalists at the US Open. Not great but no one else did well either because my team maintained its ranking in the ATP fantasy game. Could have been worse. Nikolay Davydenko got himself to the semifinals and Novak Djokovic dragged himself through some slow starts and a few marathon matches to get all the way to the final.

Bucharest (clay, $76, 970)

Nicolas Almagro has wild card Fabrice Santoro in his quarter but Santoro has only played on main draw clay event this year.

Jurgen Melzer and Florent Serra are in the same quarter and this is very tough because Melzer was the finalist last year and Serra is 8-1 lifetime in Bucharest. Serra is freaky, Bucharest is the only place he plays well but Melzer is having a better year so I’m taking him.

Potito Starace beat Albert Montanes in straight sets at a clay court challenger a few weeks ago so I’m picking him.

Andreev has split his two clay court matches with Filippo Volandri this year but he got to the final of Bucharest in 2004 and 2005, the last two times he played here, so he’s on my team.

***Correction: Damn, I did it again. Andreev is not available because he was out of the top 100 when the season started. I hope they’ll update the top 100 players throughout the season next year because then I won’t look so bad. I’m taking Volandri. Not only that but of course Russia is still in Davis Cup (see my error below) and Davydenko will again be dragging his tired butt to Moscow to lead them on.

Bucharest Draw

Beijing (outdoor hard court, first prize is $69, 200)

Last year Nikolay Davydenko played Beijing after getting to the semifinals at the US Open. By the time he retired in the quarterfinals and flew back to Moscow he was too tired to play in Russia’s Davis Cup match. This year Russia is out of Davis Cup and Davydenko is back in Beijing after another US Open semifinal run. Nicolas Kiefer is the main worry in his quarter of the draw. Davydenko should beat him if he doesn’t retire again.

The highest ranked player in Tommy Robredo’s quarter is number 92 Igor Kunitsyn. Robredo couldn’t possibly screw this up, could he? He could. He lost to 88th ranked Ernests Gulbis at the US Open but Gulbis is more talented than Kunitsyn so Robredo should be alright.

Marcos Baghdatis had a miserable summer hard court season last year then came to Beijing and won this tournament. He might not win it this year but he only has to deal with Ivan Ljubicic to get to the semifinals. This is a relatively slow court so Ljubicic doesn’t have much advantage on his serve and besides, Baghdatis is 3-0 over him.

Fernando Gonzalez is trying to win his first hard court match since March. Even if he does, Hyung-Taik Lee is playing much better than him and should get to the semifinals instead.

Beijing Draw

Picks

Here’s my team: Davydenko, Robredo, Baghdatis, Lee, Almagro, Melzer, Starace, Volandri (see correction above).

Happy fantasies!

Did Davydenko Do It?

It’s time for a new poll now that Roger Federer is in the US Open final. If you remember, Davydenko was involved in a match with Martin Vassallo-Arguello in Sopot earlier this year that drew irregular betting on the internet betting site Betfair (appropriately named I’d say).

The pattern of betting looked suspiciously like someone had a fix on and Betfair voided all bets on the match. Davydenko will speak with investigators from the ATP after the Beijing tournament. Meanwhile, here’s the question:

Do you think Nikolay Davydenko was involved in match fixing in Sopot?

To cast your vote, please go to the right sidebar.


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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 27, 10am EST, 4pm CET.

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

I picked James Blake last week at New Haven because I’d failed to pick him at Cincinnati. Too little too late for me but better than nothing and hopefully it wasn’t too much for Blake. He won the title and thus played through the entire week instead of resting up for the U.S. Open.

Remember that we need eight players for our fantasy team. We need to pick the top eight finishers in the draw – the quarterfinalists – so I’m breaking the draw into eight parts.

Roger Federer’s Section

Federer has five qualifiers and Richard Gasquet in his part of the draw. Gasquet could reach up and play the kind of tennis that beat Andy Roddick at Wimbledon, but he lost his first match at Montreal and Cincinnati. Not a good thing for him but it makes our choice easy.

Andy Roddick’s Section

Tomas Berdych is a curious case. You lose track of him because he hasn’t done much then you look and see that he’s at a career high of number 9. But he does well on grass and clay, not hard court, and Paul-Henri Mathieu will probably beat him if he reaches the third round.

Andy Roddick has had a disappointing summer hard court season. He reached the quarterfinals at Montreal but only the third round at Cincinnati. But he should be able to get past Jose Acasuso and he beat Ivo Karlovic in straight sets in Washington earlier this month.

Mathieu has had a good year but his best results were on grass and clay too. He reached a semifinal this week in New Haven but didn’t beat anybody important. Roddick is shaky but there’s no one here to beat him.

Nikolay Davydenko’s Section

There are all kinds of people who could beat Nikolay Davydenko. He could meet Nicolas Kiefer in the second round but Kiefer didn’t do well in Montreal and Cincinnati and he had to drop out of the Los Angeles semifinal because his knee was bothering him. Nicolas Almagro reached the quarterfinals at Cincinnati but he’s 6-8 on hard courts for the year and Guillermo Canas is slumping.

Andy Murray can definitely beat him and he got to the semifinals at Indian Wells and Miami. But he’s only won one match since April and there are reports that his wrist is still bothering him.

Davydenko is my shaky pick and I hate it because he’s the most baffling and inconsistent top player. He reached the semifinals at the Open last year but it was the first time he’d been past the third round. This is all the more reason to wonder about that curious Sopot match. Who’d put big money on such an inconsistent player?

James Blake’s Section

Tommy Haas and Marcos Baghdatis should meet in the third round and that’s hard to pick if Haas is healthy.

Baghdatis hasn’t gone past the quarterfinals of a hard court event this year. He’s also never been past the second round at the Open due to his notorious lack of conditioning. The Open is physically hard to play because of the hype and those five set matches in the heat. Baghdatis cramped in his second round match here last year and that was at night, not in the noonday sun.

Haas has two quarterfinal finishes at the Open including last year, but I have the feeling the air is slowly leaking out of his tires. He played well through Indian Wells but hasn’t beaten anyone ranked higher than number 23 since. I’m giving this to Baghdatis.

Sam Querrey and James Blake should meet in the third round. Blake must be tired. He had to play two matches in one day at New Haven and it was his third tournament in a row. But Blake has had a slammin’ summer, two finals and a title, and he’s reached the quarterfinals at the Open for the last two years. He may not win a five set match but even if he’s tired, he can probably outlast Baghdatis and Querrey.

Tommy Robredo’s Section

You can probably forget about Tommy Robredo, he’s had an awful summer. He lost in the first round at Montreal and Cincinnati and only managed to win one match at New Haven. Enough said.

The showdown here would be a third round match between Carlos Moya and Mikhail Youzhny. But that’s only if Youzhny can get past Philipp Kohlschreiber who’s beaten him both times they’ve met.

This year and last, Youzhny has followed a pattern: good results at Dubai followed by terrible results at the rest of the hard court events. Last year that was followed by an explosion at the Open where he got to the semifinals and beat Rafael Nadal in the process. Will it happen again?

It might but I’m taking Moya because he reached the quarterfinals at Cincinnati and he’s been playing excellent tennis. He’s reached the semifinals or better at six tournaments this year.

Novak Djokovic’s Section

Mario Ancic and Radek Stepanek are lurking in this section but it should come down to Novak Djokovic and Lleyton Hewitt and this is the toughest pick to make.

Keep in mind that Lleyton Hewitt’s record at the Open is 36-6 and he’s having an excellent year. But Djokovic is having an even better year and he beat Federer to take the Montreal title. He should reach the semifinals at this year’s Open.

Fernando Gonzalez’ Section

Fernando, Fernando! Three straight losses on hard courts this summer, what’s up with that? Gonzalez barely beat qualifier Frank Dancevic at Indian Wells and will probably lose to him in the third round, but we can’t pick Dancevic because he isn’t available for fantasy tennis.

Marat Safin is here but I have Dancevic over him and I’d consider Juan Ignacio Chela but Ivan Ljubicic has beaten him six straight times. This pains me but I’m left with Ljubicic. If you’ve got a better idea, leave a comment and do it soon. The submission deadline is approaching.

Rafael Nadal’s Section

Rafael Nadal failed to reach the quarterfinals twice this year and both times he retired. He retired at Cincinnati with a forearm problem and that’s the only way he’ll fail to reach the quarterfinals here. If you’ve got a spy in the trainer’s room, pass the information on.

U.S. Open Draw

My Picks

Here’s my team: Federer, Roddick, Davydenko, Blake, Moya, Djokovic, Ljubicic (ouch!), and Nadal.

Happy fantasies!


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