Playing fantasy tennis is different than football or basketball. That’s because tennis is not a team sport and thus you can’t assemble a fantasy team the traditional way. Although it works differently, it’s nevertheless fun to play. Below we’ll explain more about how it works.

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The game

Fantasy tennis is a game where participants pick a line up of players that compete based on performance. For most leagues, you get to pick both women and men. How many players your line-up consists of varies. DraftKings, for example, lets you pick 6 players. They will score points based on their performance in a tournament or league.

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The draft

You get a certain salary, for example, $50.000, to purchase players. There is a list indicating what points you get for winning a set or a game. There are different categories to score points in. The amount of set won, aces, and double faults can result in + or – points. A fantasy sports site often lists these stats and categories in an overview.

Tennis leagues

The highlight revolves around the year’s grand slam tournament like the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Other leagues are The Association of Tennis Players (ATP) and Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). Regardless of the league or tournament, the purpose is the same. That is to collect more points than your opponents. Each fantasy sports site offers its own prizes, which can be a money prize and sometimes even tickets to an event like Wimbledon.

tennis player in action

Difference between fantasy tennis and fantasy football

The lack of leagues makes fantasy tennis less dynamic than fantasy football. That for example makes it hard to host daily fantasy tennis as you have in football. However, one great thing about fantasy tennis is that you to get to use your player expertise. After all, correctly predicting which player will win or lose a set requires expert knowledge. You don’t have that same individual player involvement in football. That’s because the success of your fantasy football team depends on the interaction of your team instead of the performance of a single player.

How it works

Fantasy tennis is one of the more recent sports added to the fantasy sports business. Therefore there is still some unclarity amongst players about the rules and whether it’s attractive for them to play. FanDuel and DraftKings nowadays offer fantasy tennis on their sites. It’s slowly expanding to a wider variety of leagues because players have started showing more interest. There are two major rosters when it comes to fantasy tennis, which is the so-called Early Rounds and Late Rounds. Before the quarterfinals, you have to simply put together your teams with a number of 6 players. You are free to pick both women and men, but you have to stay under the indicated salary cap. The late rounds are the quarterfinals and semifinals, which looks quite different from the Early Rounds. Your roster now includes only 3 players instead of 6. FanDuel works with a so-called MVP with a 1.5X multiplier and a STAR with a 1.25X multiplier. DraftKings, on the other hand, keeps the same format with 6 players throughout the entire tournament.

Type of contests

There are a variety of tennis contests to choose from. You’ll find the same ones as in many other fantasy sports, for example, 50/50, multipliers and satellites. There are several categories where you can score points in, for example, straight set wins, aces, break of serve, matches won and so on. Although it can vary per site how they count points in these categories, my experience is that it’s pretty similar.

Type of court

Just as in real-life tennis, it’s important to take into account the type of surface your contest takes place on. Depending on the surface, you’ll likely be adjusting your favorite picks. Not every player performs as well on hard courts as they do on grass courts. The ball responds very differently depending on the surface and this elevates some players strengths or confronts their weaknesses. If you pick players with a strong serve, they’ll do better on a hard court. On the other hand, players who’re strength is their speed, will benefit from playing on a clay court.