Naomi Osaka vs. Amanda Anisimova: Australian Open Round Three Odds & Best Bet (Jan. 21)
Patrick Hamilton/Getty. Pictured: Amanda Anisimova hits a forehand at the Australian Open.
Naomi Osaka vs. Amanda Anisimova
|Time||3 a.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. For tips on how to watch tennis, click here.|
Amanda Anisimova has had a dream start to the season in Australia. She won the Melbourne Summer Set 2 warmup event, defeating Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the final 7-5, 1-6, 6-4.
Then, after a disastrous first set of the Australian Open which saw her down 2-6 to qualifier Arianne Hartono in half an hour, Anisimova settled in and started to control her groundstrokes better once again.
In the first set, Anisimova only won 42% of her service points and was broken three times in four service games. However, in the second and third sets, she won at least 60% of her service games and was only broken three times in the two sets combined. On the other hand, after only breaking Hartono once in the first set, Anisimova broke Hartono five times in the last two sets.
Ultimately, while it wasn’t the American’s best performance, it was enough to advance with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory.
In the second round, against Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic, Anisimova would have to be much better. And the world number 60 answered the call.
Anisimova comfortably beat Bencic 6-2, 7-5 on the back of 28 winners compared to 24 unforced errors. Anisimova also won 74% of her first-serve points while holding Bencic to 58% of her first serves won and 38% of her second serves won. Anisimova broke the Bencic serve five times in ten service games.
Naomi Osaka has also had an impressive beginning to her Australian Open. After an injury to her abdomen caused her to pull out of the Melbourne Summer Set 1 warmup event, Osaka has looked healthy and dangerous in her opening two matches of the Open.
Facing Maria Camila Osorio Serrano in the first round, Osaka put together a professional performance, only getting broken once while winning 67% of her service points and 44% of her return points.
Osaka won 6-3, 6-3, putting a ton of pressure on all aspects of Osorio Serrano’s game while not allowing the grinder to establish herself from the baseline. While there were times Osorio Serrano frustrated Osaka, she was ultimately able to hit through the Colombian.
In Osaka’s next match she played Madison Brengle, another player who is very baseline-centric and lacking power. Osaka punished the weaker Brengle game during her 6-0, 6-4 victory over the American.
Despite return being the strength of the Brengle game, she was only able to break one time, and Osaka dominated on return. The four-time slam champion was able to win 78% of her first serves and she hit 37 winners compared to 32 unforced errors.
This is a fascinating showdown between two players who, given a different draw, could be meeting at a much later stage of the tournament.
Anisimova still has times where she’s spraying unforced errors, such as the 16 she hit in the first set against Hartono, but overall she’s doing a much better job of hitting with controlled aggression.
Can she hang in there against an in-form Osaka, though? Osaka has the ninth-best overall Elo rating and third-best on hard courts. It’s important to note that Anisimova’s Elo is much better than her current ranking of 60. Anisimova has the 31st-best overall Elo and has the 26th-best on hard courts.
Those ratings accurately, if not underestimate, Anisimova’s current level. With tennis savant Darren Cahill now on her team, the American’s game has gone to another level. She’s doing an excellent job of being aggressive on weaker serves and short balls, putting opponents on the run almost instantly during points.
We know that Osaka is going to serve huge, hit powerful groundstrokes and try to take control from the baseline.
But given how Anisimova’s playing, I feel confident that she can at least match Osaka to the extent of sending this match over the total.
Pick: Over 20.5 games
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