The French Open starts tomorrow, and you probably think you’ll be all maxed out on tennis for the next two weeks, what with playing tennis and watching tennis and voting on Fashion Face-offs. But this year, there’s even more excitement to be had, thanks to a new (and free) fantasy tennis league!
That’s right. Fantasy tennis! Why should football fans have all the fun?
Here’s how it works. You get a $100,000 salary cap to spend on an eight-player team. Obviously, a player like Rafa’s going to cost you more than, say, Sam Querrey. Since you have a salary cap, you can’t just pick the top eight players. You’re going to have to pick some Sam Querreys.
When the tournament starts, your players will earn a point for every match point he wins. So if Rafa beats Querrey, but it’s a very close match, Querrey can still earn almost as many points as Rafa for that round. (Of course, he won’t be accumulating any points after that.)
I had such geeky fun figuring out my team, thinking about which player always puts up a good fight, which one is rising in the rankings, which one has had recent injuries, which one excels on clay. I suddenly understood why fantasy leagues are so popular.
What I didn’t realize, because I’m not very smart, is that (duh) you can study the draw before making your choices. If Rafa is playing Sam Querrey in round one (he’s not, btw), maybe you don’t want both men on your roster since only one can advance and continue to earn points. I could go back and revise my team—revision is possible only up to the start of the tournament—but I have a lot to do today, including choosing my team on the women’s side. I’ll leave my men’s team as it is.
A savvy fantasy league player advised me not to reveal my roster so you sneaky people don’t copy it. But after all this time, I feel I can trust you. I mean, if you can’t trust your blog readers, who can you trust???
Plus, the winner doesn’t actually win anything, so what would be the point of copying someone else?
Here’s my roster, with my rationale:
- Rafa Nadal — I don’t need to explain this one, do I?
- Stefanos Tsitsipas — Or this one? He’s beaten Rafa before, including on clay.
- Gilles Simon — Usually solid results on clay, rarely losing very early
- Jannik Sinner — Rising star, loads of confidence, power hitter
- Seb Korda — Rising star with Grand Slam-DNA (Seb’s father is 1992 French Open finalist Petr Korda)
- Roberto Carballes Baena — I don’t actually know his game, but I think he has had good results on clay this year.
- Roberto Bautista Agut — I don’t love his game—and he’ll never make my best-dressed man face-off—but he always gives 100%. Lots of upsets, solid clay-courter.
- John Isner — His big serve guarantees decent point accumulation even if he loses.
Think you can put together a better team? Go to https://www.fanslam.us/home.php, pick your fantasy teams and tell me about it in the comments section. You have to choose your teams before the tournament starts, so time’s running out! Tick, tock!