Fantasy Tennis: Clay Swing Update
Fantasy Tennis: Clay Swing Update

Madrid and Monte Carlo are in the books and Rome will be wrapping up this week, which means there are only two weeks until the culmination of the clay swing at the French Open from May 27 through June 9. Here's a look at a handful of top performers so far this clay-court season and a few of my sleepers to consider from now until the final ball is hit at Roland Garros. 

Top Performers

Stefanos Tsitsipas: I highlighted the youngster following the Australian Open, and he's been in excellent form during the clay swing. Following his ATP250 win at Estoril, Tsitsipas followed it up with a runner-up performance last week in Madrid. The 20-year-old is up to his highest career ranking, sitting at No. 7 in the world, and was able to beat clay savants Alexander Zverev and Rafael Nadal en route to the final last week. Tsitsipas sits at 10-3 this season on clay and is shaping up to be a strong bet for not only Rome this week, but the French Open as well.

Kiki Bertens: Bertens is another player that reached her career-high ranking this past week, sitting at No. 4 in the world, after she took down No. 2 Simona Halep in the final of Madrid. During her path to the title, the Dutch-born player didn't lose a set in the tournament and was only pushed to a tie break once in six matches. Bertens is only 11-7 in her career at the French Open, but she will likely be full of confidence and is worth a long look in DFS formats, especially when considering she leads the tour in aces (219).

Dominic Thiem: The young Austrian has won 75 percent of his matches on clay throughout his career and is emerging as a top-three player on the surface along with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. The 25-year-old is 11-4 on clay this season, and will likely draw a solid seed for the French Open in a couple weeks. From a fantasy perspective, Thiem has won 81 percent of his service games and converted 42 percent of his break-point opportunities on clay this season.

Madison Keys: Although the American was ousted in the first round of Madrid, she was able to march to a title at the WTA Premier event in Charleston back in early April. Keys is one of the top clay-court players on the tour, and she was able to achieve a semifinal performance at the French Open just last season. The 24-year-old currently sits at No. 14 in the world rankings while winning 46 percent of her return points and 60 percent of her service points so far this season. Keys is 12-6 in her career at the French Open and will be a player to target.

Sloane Stephens: I swear I don't have an American bias, but Stephens has just been that good on clay this season. She was a semifinalist at Madrid last week, losing to the eventual champion Kiki Bertens, and was a quarterfinalist and the Premier event in Charleston back in early April. The No. 7 ranked player in the world has been strong on serve this season, winning 57 percent of points on service. Following a runner-up finish last season at the French Open and a 20-7 career record at the venue, she'll be one of the best fantasy options as the clay swing concludes.

Sleepers

Matteo Berrettini: Berrettini is 9-2 so far on clay with a title in Budapest and a runner-up finish in Munich to his name. This season alone, Berrettini has smashed 87 aces and won 87 percent of his service games on clay, making him an attractive fantasy option. The 23-year-old sits at No. 33 in the world rankings currently, but has a chance to keep moving up with solid performances in Rome and at the French Open. The Italian is bordering on must-play territory in DFS, especially when he's a more affordable option compared to some of the top-tier players.

Petra Martic: The 28-year-old was a quarterfinalist last week in Madrid and was able to take home the title in Istanbul as the No. 6 seed. Along with those solid results, the No. 27 ranked player in the world Martic was able to reach the semifinals in the Premier tournament in Charleston, losing to eventual runner-up Caroline Wozniacki. Even though she's 28 already, she may be reaching her prime as No. 27 is a new career-high for Martic. The Croat has been a solid fantasy asset this season also, winning 58 percent of her service games and 40 percent of her return games in 2019.

Christian Garin: The 22-year-old has been riding high this season on the clay swing, going 19-5. Garin recently took home the title in Munich, defeating our other sleeper Matteo Berrettini in three sets. He was also a winner in Houston, dropping just three sets in five matches during the tournament. The Chilean-born player has won 80 percent of his service games this season on clay while smashing 90 aces. He'll be a tough out for the rest of the clay swing.

Anett Kontaveit: Kontaveit has played just seven matches on clay this season but has racked up a 5-2 record including a runner-up finish in Stuttgart at the hands of Petra Kvitova. Although Kontaveit lost her opening-round match last week, she was already able to roll into the second round of Rome this week, defeating Mona Barthel 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. The Estonian-born player has racked up impressive stats this season, winning 69 percent of her service games and converting 43 percent of her break-point chances. The 23-year-old is poised to make noise as the clay swing winds down. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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, and Tennis. He is also the host of Beyond the Badgers on WSUM 91.7 FM.
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