Fantasy Tennis: Grass Swing Update

Fantasy Tennis: Grass Swing Update

Four grass-court tournaments are in the books and two will be wrapping up this week, which means there are only a few more days until the culmination of the quick grass swing at Wimbledon from July 1 through July 14. It's important to note the conditions these players will face in the coming weeks, as it has been another hotter-than-expected summer in Europe. As such, form and fitness will be even more important than usual when deciding your best bets and DFS lineups for the tournament. 

Here's a look at a some of top performers on grass in 2019, and a few sleepers to consider from now until the grass-court season wraps up in a matter of weeks.   

*Rankings and records as of 6/26/19

Top Performers

Roger Federer

ATP Rank: 3
Season record: 32-4
2019 Record on Grass: 5-0

Federer's name is synonymous with grass-court tennis, and this season has been no different. The 37-year-old wrapped up his whopping 10th title at the ATP 500 event in Halle, defeating David Goffin 7-6 (2), 6-1 in the final. The Swiss Maestro has won 87 percent of his 207 career matches on grass, and along with Novak Djokavic, will be one of the favorites at Wimbledon. Federer will be a player to target in DFS, even at his likely massive salary, considering he's won 93 percent of his service games on grass in his career. The draw will be announced Friday, but he will likely snag the No. 2 seed.

Ashleigh Barty

WTA Rank: 1
Season record: 32-5
2019 Record on Grass: 5-0

It's been an incredible season for the new world No. 1, who has won three titles, most recently at the Premier event last week in Birmingham. She will have some question marks heading into Wimbledon, however, as she was forced to withdraw from the Nature Valley International this week with a bone stress injury in her right arm. She's been stellar otherwise this season, smashing 178 aces and holding serve just under 80 percent of the time. She will have the top overall seed heading to the All England Club, but has just two victories in five tries in her career there.

Adrian Mannarino

ATP Rank: 42
Season record: 11-13
2019 Record on Grass: 5-0

The Frenchman is no stranger to success on the grass stage, making it to the Round of 16 at Wimbledon last season before losing to the aforementioned Federer. Mannarino's highlight this season was his title at s'Hertogenbosch, as he defeated Jordan Thompson 7-6 (7), 6-3 to secure the title. This season alone, he has held serve 65 percent of the time on grass, and has broken his opponent's serve 32 percent of the time. With a career 48-31 record on grass, he's a borderline "must start" in DFS, especially in the early rounds if his price point is low. It's important to point out that Mannarino is participating in the scorching heat of Turkey this week, which could affect his fitness heading into Wimbledon.

Angelique Kerber

WTA Rank: 5
Season record: 23-11
2019 Record on Grass: 5-1

The reigning Wimbledon champion has started strong in her build-up to the event, currently in the quarterfinal stage of this week's Premier tournament in Eastbourne. She's not an overpowering player by any means – she has just 42 aces this season – but she's still held serve 73 percent of the time. Kerber is about as reliable as they come on grass, sporting a 30-10 record in her career at Wimbledon, and was 10-2 last season on the surface. She will own the fifth seed heading into the draw that takes place Friday, and will be one of the favorites to hold the trophy when it's all said and done in two weeks.

Feliciano Lopez

ATP Rank: 52
Season record: 7-8
2019 Record on Grass: 4-1

The 37-year-old turned back the clock last week, defeating Gilles Simon in the final in London, and even winning the doubles championship with fellow grass savant Andy Murray. Lopez has put up impressive numbers on grass in his career, racking up a 16-percent ace rate, 90-percent hold percentage and 15-percent return winning percentage. This season alone, the Spaniard has blasted 73 aces and has won 95 percent of his service games on grass. Even though he took this week off, it will be interesting to see how Lopez's body holds up after playing so many matches in a short span. If he gets a favorable draw, he'll be a good bet to win at least a couple matches at Wimbledon. 

Matteo Berrettini

ATP Rank: 20
Season record: 26-13
2019 Record on Grass: 9-1

Berrettini has had a phenomenal start to his grass season, defeating the likes of Karen Khachanov (twice), Nick Kyrgios and Nikoloz Basilashvili. His stats on grass display his dominance thus far, as he has blasted 81 aces while holding serve 98 percent of the time. The Italian started the swing with a title in Stuttgart, defeating fellow youngster Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 7-6 (11) en route to his third career title, and first on grass. If he can improve his return stats (career 17 percent brake percentage) he'll have a real shot of going far in the tournament. Berrettini is a player that gives maximum effort every time he steps on the court, so don't shy away from him in DFS even though he's played 10 matches in the last three weeks.


Jan-Lennard Struff

ATP Rank: 32
Season record: 22-15
2019 Record on Grass: 4-2

Struff is exactly the type of player you would expect to enjoy grass: big-hitting. He made a nice run at Stuttgart earlier this month, losing in the semifinals to the eventual champion Matteo Berrettini 4-6, 5-7. The German has made his presence felt this season on this surface, smashing 67 aces and winning 94 percent of his service games in just six match. Struff has yet to really take a liking to the Wimbledon courts in his career, however, accumulating just a 3-6 record in the tournament. With his powerful serve likely to produce some easy points, Struff shouldn't be written off, and will be a tough out next week.

Barbora Strycova

WTA Rank: 54
Season record: 13-13
2019 Record on Grass: 3-2

Strycova is another player coming in with an injury, as she was forced to retire during her first-round match in Eastbourne on Tuesday. She's no stranger to the grass-court swing, luckily, going 9-5 in her last two seasons. The 33-year-old should flash her brilliance in the return game if she's healthy, as she's broken her opponent 34 percent of the time this season. The Czech-born player will be a tough out in a tournament she's gone 16-15 in her career, including a quarterfinal appearance in 2014. Her fitness is certainly a huge question, but if healthy, she could bring value in DFS contests early in the tournament thanks to her outstanding return stats.

Richard Gasquet

ATP Rank: 54
Season record: 7-5
2019 Record on Grass: 4-2

The 33-year-old has always shown an affinity for this surface, as evidenced by his 70-33 career record on grass. He was a semifinalist in s'Hertogenbosch, losing to eventual runner-up Jordan Thompson 5-7, 3-6. He's been a great value play in DFS – usually at a mid-level salary – producing 35 aces and winning 81 percent of his service games on grass this season. Gasquet will certainly be one to watch at Wimbledon, as he owns a career 41-28 record in the tournament, and reached the semifinals in both 2007 and 2015.

Ekaterina Alexandrova

WTA Rank: 45
Season record: 16-13
2019 Record on Grass: 5-2

Alexandrova is currently up to the highest ranking of her career after making it to the quarterfinals of the Premier event in Eastbourne this week. She's been breaking her opponents at a 35 percent clip this season, which makes her a pesky opponent in any tournament. The Russian isn't too bad in her service games either, serving up 121 aces this season to go along with a 67 percent hold percentage. Alexandrova is just 1-3 in her three appearances at Wimbledon, but will certainly be a solid value play in DFS considering her break/hold stats and her likely mid-to-low price relative to the rest of the field.

Felix Auger-Aliassime

ATP Rank: 21
Season record: 26-14
2019 Record on Grass: 6-2

The Canadian has enjoyed an outstanding season to this point, highlighted by two runner-up finishes and a semifinal appearance in his last three tournaments. At the youthful age of 18, he is a bit of an unknown commodity on grass, but the early results are promising, as he has won six of his first eight career matches on the surface. Auger-Aliassime's stats on the grass have been exceptional for such a young player, as he has blasted 133 aces while holding serve 94 percent of the time. It will be his first career appearance at the All England Club next week, so there could be some opening-round jitters.

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Dan Labosky
A former D1 hockey player for the University of Wisconsin, Dan started writing for RotoWire in 2018, covering the NFL, NCAA Football, NHL, NCAA Basketball and Tennis. He is also the host of Beyond the Badgers on WSUM 91.7 FM.
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