’Twas the week before the French Open, and all through the tennis house, nothing was stirring, except a few ATP 250s and a couple of WTA Internationals.
Yes, the eyes of the tennis world well be trained on the red clay of Roland Garros, but fantasytennisleague.com players get to that there’s the small matter of ATP Lyon and Geneva, and WTA Strasborg and Nurnberg.
And while most of the ‘big’ guns will be similarly focused on preparing for the French Open, there is a smattering of decent sized names who could score big points in the coming week. Make sure you check the draws before finalising your team – some players will undoubtedly pull out of these events, others might choose to take a wildcard.
Perhaps the most surprising entrant to Lyon is Milos Raonic ($11.77m). The Canadian, who has been desperately short on match practice after a season beset by injury, will be hoping to find his clay feet ahead of the French Open. The former world No.3 might not be a serious contender for the Roland Garros title, but could represent a good long term investment with the grass court swing just two game weeks away.
Other players falling into that category of solid long-term investments are Jo-Wilfried Tsonga ($9.93m) and Nick Kyrgios ($11.13m). Despite struggling for form since the birth of his child, Tsonga is solid on all surfaces and seems like a value proposition. Kyrgios is more like Raonic; not a natural on clay but very much so on grass and hard. That said, he withdrew from Rome with injury so watch the draw in case he decides to skip Lyon.
If you’re working out where to spend your pennies and are looking for good investments, Viktor Troicki ($3.95m) is solid, and is scheduled to play the next four tournament weeks. So, too, is Karen Khachanov ($5.92m), who has impressed during the clay swing. Meanwhile, Steve Darcis ($4.54m) is a good cheap option who is comfortable on clay and grass alike.
The indefatigable Caroline Wozniacki ($12.92m) is the only big name woman currently scheduled to play next week. The Dane, who sometimes struggles on the red stuff, is an expensive purchase given she is not currently scheduled to play any Wimbledon lead-up events.
If you’re intent on buying WTA, taking a long-term view is undoubtedly the way to go. 2016 French Open semifinalist, Kiki Bertens ($5.32m), has been solid on the clay this year, and will play on the grass immediately after Roland Garros. Anastasija Sevastova ($7.21m) is another player who falls into that category, and has enjoyed an uplift in value in the last couple of weeks. And don’t forget about Kristyna Pliskova (don’t get confused with her more decorated sister – $7.46m). She’s playing well on clay, has a game suited to the grass and is on the up.
Top tip: Check the draws before Sunday’s lockout. Seeds will withdraw and top players may take wildcards this week.
Buy: Milos Raonic ($11.77m) – coming back to form and a gun on the grass.
Sell: Andy Murray ($13.18m) – pricey, and with the results not coming his value will continue to drop.
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