Online Sports: Fantasy Tennis Online

Online fantasy tennis can be a fun way for tennis buffs to follow their sport, as well as others to learn more about the sport.

Over the past few years, online fantasy sports have become quite popular. Originally, the demand was for online fantasy access for the four "main" sports - Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball League, and the National Hockey League. Soon, fantasy players began taking their game to the college level, and Website owners had to start marketing college fantasy sports to their customers. It was only a matter of time before savvy Website developers sensed untapped profit potential in the so-called "fringe" sports and began offering fantasy players the opportunity for fantasy golf, fantasy auto racing, and even fantasy tennis.

Online fantasy tennis basically works much like most other fantasy sports. First of all, you have to join a Website. Performing a search for "fantasy tennis" on most any search engine should bring up a list of Websites offering fantasy tennis. Most seem to offer a "pool" format where everyone competes against each other, rather than in separate leagues. While some of these Websites are free, some are pay sites so be sure you find the right site for your needs. Some websites offer prizes, while on others you will be playing for fun.

The type of Website you join should depend on what type of league you are looking to join. Some Websites offer "men only" or "women only" player pools, while some offer a combination of both. After signing up, you get to pick the players you want on your team. The number of players you are allowed varies from Website to Website - some allow ten, some allow twenty, etc. Most leagues will assign a dollar or salary amount that each player is worth, and you will have a so-called salary cap to work with. This requires a bit of thinking on your part, as you have to choose players that you think will perform well, yet players that will fit under your cap. Most leagues will allow you to substitute, or drop/add players during the year. Depending on the league, these transactions can be unlimited, or limited to a certain number. Keep in mind that if you are working under a salary cap, substituted players still have to fit under your cap. Most leagues will allow for substitutions up to a couple of hours before the tournament is scheduled to begin, so you usually have time to check for updates on your players.

After you've drafted your team, then the fun begins. In most leagues, scoring is based upon how your player performs in a certain number of tournaments during the season. Depending upon the league, players can earn points for matches won, rounds won, and tournaments won. Some may only allow points based on rounds and tournaments. Each league has its own rules so make sure you familiarize yourself with the scoring in your league. Your job is basically to manage your team throughout the tournament season. You'll want to keep up on details like who is entering which tournaments - if one of your players isn't entering an upcoming tournament, you might want to consider a substitution. Paying careful attention to the type of playing surface is a good idea, as well. If the tournament is on a grass surface and you have a player who doesn't play well on grass, it might be a good idea to substitute for someone who does. The same thing goes with clay or hard court surfaces. You'll need to keep abreast of what's happening in the tennis world as you run your fantasy team. Keeping a close watch on your players and the tournaments they enter should ensure more success than simply sticking the same ten players out there and leaving them.

If the idea of following an entire tour (or two in the case of a co-ed league) for a season seems a bit daunting, you might want to try entering a fantasy tennis pool based upon one tournament, such as Wimbledon. In these tournaments, you get to pick up to eight seeded players based upon how you think they will perform in that particular tournament. If an entire tour is too much but one tournament is not enough, you can join leagues that revolve around a smaller number of tournaments (usually eight or so.) Again, no matter which type of league you pick, you'll want to pay attention to how your players perform in those various tournaments. Research and knowledge is the key to winning in fantasy sports, and it's no different in fantasy tennis. If you have a player who's never made it out of the second round at Wimbledon, you might want to consider substituting her for that tournament. Yet, if you do your research, you might see that same player has historically performed well at the French Open, and you might want to play her there.

Online fantasy tennis can be a fun way for tennis fans to follow their favorite sport, yet it isn't just for tennis buffs. Sports fans interested in learning more about tennis can use online fantasy tennis as a way to increase their knowledge about the game. Most online fantasy sports participants find they watch their sports in an entirely different way once they start playing. Playing online fantasy tennis can certainly change the way you watch tennis. One thing is for sure; there is almost certainly an online league out there that's right for you.

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