Fantasy sports is an ever-evolving field, and tennis is one of the latest sports to hit the mainstream fantasy landscape. If you're looking to get into fantasy tennis but don't know how, the column below can serve as a guide for what sites to play on and which terms to know. Without further ado, let's get into the swing of things and help you ace your next fantasy tennis competition.
FanDuel and DraftKings
The majority of fantasy tennis is currently played in the DFS space, where industry leaders FanDuel and DraftKings both feature growing tennis sections. FanDuel's roster construction differs between Early Rounds and Late Rounds. Up until the quarterfinals, fantasy players must simply put together teams of six while staying under the salary cap, and they're eligible to mix men and women as they see fit. For the quarterfinals and semifinals, the roster is trimmed down to three players, which include an MVP with a 1.5X multiplier and a STAR with a 1.25X multiplier. Meanwhile, DraftKings uniformly uses the standard six-player, salary cap format. Both sites allow you to participate in a variety of contests such as 50/50's, multipliers and satellites.
FanDuel and DraftKings have extremely similar scoring systems, rewarding games, sets and matches won, matches played, straight sets wins, love sets, aces and breaks of serve, while penalizing lost sets, lost games and double faults. The weights given to each of these categories are similar over the two platforms, though FanDuel values aces just a tad more and DraftKings gives out bonuses for accomplishments such as going a whole match without a double fault. Users physically located in Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada and Washington are not eligible to compete for money on DraftKings or FanDuel, while those located in New York may not be able to play paid tennis contests.
PrizePicks offers an alternative form of daily fantasy tennis. This site provides a target score for individual tennis players and asks participants to pick 2-4 players and predict whether they will go over or under the target score. The score is calculated based on games won/lost, sets won/lost, and aces/double faults. Given its unique nature, PrizePicks is an appealing option for players with strong convictions on a small number of matches on a particular day.
Fantasy Tennis League
Fantasy Tennis League has wrapped up for the 2019 season to make improvements to the site, but this Australian site was previously open to participation and prizes for North American users, and that should remain the case when it reopens. Contestants form teams of 16 players while staying under the salary cap and start eight per week in a season-long format that rewards tournament champions and runners-up, as well as the usual categories like straight sets wins, aces and converted break points.
WTA Fantasy Tennis
You can also play WTA Fantasy Tennis at WTAtennis.com, which is the official site of the women's tour. The goal of this contest is to pick the eight women who will qualify for the 2019 WTA Finals at the end of the season by accruing the most ranking points. This format is all about predicting which players will go the furthest in the biggest tournaments, and it's broken up into three Swings – Dec. 17, 2018 - March 30, 2019, March 18 - July 13, and July 15 - Oct. 20.
If you're new to the tennis landscape or simply need a refresher, here are some common terms that every fantasy tennis player needs to know before diving into contests:
MATCH - A full competition between opponents. Winning a match usually requires winning two sets, except for men's matches at Grand Slams, which require three sets to win.
SET - Winning a set requires getting to six games first and winning by two. If it gets to 6-6, the set is decided by a tiebreak to seven points, win by two.
GAME - A game is won by getting to four points, win by two. The scoring goes 15, 30, 40, game. Players alternate serving games throughout a match.
ACE - A serve which the opponent fails to get the racket on.
DOUBLE FAULT - Missing both attempts at making the serve into play, resulting in the loss of a point.
STRAIGHT SETS - A match won without losing a set.
LOVE SET OR PERFECT SET - A set won without losing a game.
BREAK OF SERVE - Winning a game on the opponent's serve.