Well, we’ve come to the end of the line. We’re into the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, signaling the final slate on DraftKings for the tournament. This one will stretch across Monday and Tuesday to include all the quarterfinals on both sides, and it means we’ll get the chance to roster some previously-expensive options at super-low costs. With so many values that stand out, let’s narrow the options to consider. You can follow my tennis Twitter, @KDPicks, for any late thoughts on the matches.
Naomi Osaka ($10,500)
The unorthodox play of Su-Wei Hsieh ($4,400) has puzzled everyone in her path to this point, but Osaka will not be the next in line to fall. She is at the top of the women’s game at the moment, looking unbeatable. Her calm, calculated power should absolutely tear the weak-hitting Hsieh apart. Osaka hits her off the court here, and she maybe loses three games. I don’t want to waste too much more of your time.
Jen Brady ($9,200)
I’ll go with Brady for a second-straight round. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever suggested passing on Brady all tournament. If Osaka is No. 1, Brady is probably No. 2 right now in the women’s game. Her hardcourt prowess has been on full display with the fast courts in Australia, and she looks destined for the Final. Jess Pegula ($5,800) did win the only meeting between the two, but Brady was fresh off a title run in Lexington — almost every player coming off winning a title normally experiences fatigue in the first round of their following tournament and loses. I’m not putting stock into that match and think Brady should win in straights.
Simona Halep ($7,300)
The overall record here is doesn’t look great for Halep — she’s won just twice in 11 tries against Serena Williams ($8,000) — but when you look back at the last time these two played, there’s plenty of reason to believe in the World No. 2. Halep played Williams on the fast grass surfaces at Wimbledon in the 2019 Final and absolutely demolished her, winning 6-2, 6-2, moving Williams around the court and using her top-line speed to simply overmatch her. Williams is not moving well at all, relying on her pure power. Against a complete player like Halep, I don’t think that strategy will work. The surfaces should be similar and tilt in Halep’s favor.
Alex Zverev ($6,700)
I think the value is all on the men’s side this round. Zverev gets an injured Novak Djokovic ($8,500) here, who has been struggling with some sort of abdominal issue and clearly isn’t himself. Though he did have to return some massive serves coming off the racquet of Milos Raonic last round, Zverev is a different animal. The German has been playing some of the best tennis of his career in Australia, and his power is amplified on these surfaces. He’s using two first serves now, as well, which seems to have taken away his issues with double faults. Though he’s still going to hit some, ditching his second serve, it’s working extremely well for him.
Aslan Karatsev ($6,400)
If you don’t know, now you know. Karatsev’s talent is undeniable; his blend of power and precision has stunned some of the best and most gifted players in the world over the past week, and he’s nearly unstoppable when he’s hitting his targets. Karatsev should be ready to go here, clearly dealing with nerves in his last match and shaking them off to erase a two-sets-to-love deficit. He’s got absolutely no pressure on him here with nothing to lose, and after already taking his gut punch last match, I expect him to look comfortable here. Grigor Dimitrov ($8,800) is hard to rate at the moment, winning by retirement and essentially winning by retirement against Dominic Thiem in his last match, who just rolled over in the second set. Grigor is a world-class player, but Karatsev is worth a dart.
Others to consider: Andrey Rublev ($5,500), Kaorlina Muchova ($5,100)
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jetsfan196) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
21+ (18+ NH). CO/IL/IN/IA/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.