Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are both back on the court Wednesday. We take a look at the possible reasons to pick them, and other value options, in your roster for the second round of the French Open.
Rafael Nadal ($11,200)
Nadal is going to be very hard to beat this year. Not just for Yannick Maden, his second-round opponent, but for anyone. The ease with which Nadal put away the class of Novak Djokovic in the final of the Rome Masters was a sign of his incredible prowess on clay. Using the wide serve, Nadal frequently would open up the rest of the court and let his ripping forehand finish the point. If it’s too good for Djokovic, it’s probably too good for Maden.
Roger Federer ($10,900)
Federer was worked in his first-round match, but it wasn’t a bad result for him. With the rust brushed off, Federer should soon find his best on clay. It might be different, but considering his preferred modus operandi of keeping the points short, it will be spectacular.
Karolina Pliskova ($10,200)
Pliskova, the world No. 2, cruised past Madison Brengle in the first round, losing just five games. However, a first-serve percentage of 63% will trouble her. When she finds her serve, Pliskova is extremely hard to get past. She won 65% of her points (24 of 37) when her first serve went in. That will be her focus in the second round.
Anastasija Sevastova ($9,000)
Priced at $9,000, Sevastova provides value, too. Sevastova quickly has risen to No. 12 on the WTA rankings on account of the level of consistency mandatory for grand slams. In the first round, she took advantage of several errors, converting six of 12 break points. Against Minella in the second round, she could get a few more chances.
Men’s value targets
Stanislas Wawrinka ($8,000)
There is no doubt Wawrinka’s efficiency is spiraling downwards. That is not atypical for a tennis professional at this stage of a career, with age, training schedules and fitness being a hurdle. However, Wawrinka is a former French Open champion. His mind is still sharp, and although his fitness is not at the same level as it was, he’s still rapid across the court. This price isn’t bad for a grand slam winner.
Other value options: Richard Gasquet ($7,800)
Women’s value targets
Shelby Rogers ($5,300)
Yes, Carla Suarez-Navarro ($9,100) is a clay-court specialist. She puts the ball back more often than you’d like. However, Rogers has a powerful baseline game that will make Suarez-Navarro scurry around the court. It will be a battle of the sum of unforced errors and a strong forehand against a low error rate. Rogers might just be the fantasy pick to even out your roster considering you’d probably want both Nadal and Federer in this slate.
Other options: Anastasia Potapova ($5,100), Kristina Mladenovic ($7,200)