Aryna Sabalenka vs Coco Gauff Odds, Prediction, Pick | Australian Open Semifinal Preview

Aryna Sabalenka vs Coco Gauff Odds, Prediction, Pick | Australian Open Semifinal Preview article feature image

Shi Tang, NurPhoto/Getty. Pictured: Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff.

Sabalenka vs Gauff Odds, Prediction

Sabalenka Odds-220
 Gauff Odds+175
Over/Under20.5 (-155 / +122)
Time | How to WatchThursday, 3:30 a.m. ET | ESPN
Odds via PointsBet. For tips on how to watch tennis, click here.

Aryna Sabalenka dominated Barbora Krejcikova 6-2, 6-3 in yet another impressive performance to reach the semifinals in Melbourne.

Sabalenka takes on Coco Gauff, who fought past Marta Kostyuk 7-6(6), 6-7(3), 6-2 in the quarterfinals and won the 2023 US Open, beating Sabalenka herself in the final.

Read on for my full Aryna Sabalenka vs Coco Gauff prediction and Australian Open semifinal preview.

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Sabalenka Continues to Dominate

Against Krejcikova, Sabalenka won 65% of her service points, including 72% on her first serve, getting broken twice. In addition, the Belarusian won 59% of her return points, breaking six times.

Sabalenka dominated from the baseline against Krejcikova, often taking the racquet out of the Czech's hands with huge groundstrokes. She hit her spots on her first serve, which isn't surprising given that she has one of the best serves on the WTA Tour.

Last season, Sabalenka was in the top-four for aces, percentage of first-serve points won, service points won and service games won.

Sabalenka has been hitting such a clean ball, getting excellent pop on her groundstrokes and hitting with overwhelming power. It's been incredible to see how well she's limited her unforced errors.

The Belarusian aggressively positions herself on court, taking time away from her opponents and forcing them on the defensive. She's also returned very well, putting tons of pressure on her opponents' return games, including Krejcikova in this past match.

And, in the early part of the 2024 season, Sabalenka has been near her peak level. The Belarusian is 9-1 in 2024 (all on hard), having not dropped more than six games in any of her nine wins.

Last year, Sabalenka went 35-9 on hard courts, including a Slam title here in Melbourne. And, for her career, the Belarusian is an impressive 271-114 on the surface.

Sabalenka can lose her rally tolerance at times, although less-so early this season. And, while she can get nervous at the end of Slams, she has the comfort of having won this tournament previously.

Gauff Fighting Hard in Classic Fashion

When facing Kostyuk, Gauff won just 50% of her service points, hitting nine double faults and getting broken on seven occasions. However, the American did win 52% of her return points, breaking nine times.

Gauff's success on return was in part due to early-ball unforced errors from the Ukrainian. This was a sloppy match with both players near their worst. Gauff's defense and consistency (relative to Kostyuk) won her that match, but by her standards she was still sloppy from the baseline.

Gauff hits a huge first serve, dictates play with her backhand and is able to keep her forehand deep in the court without overhitting. However, in this match, the American's forehand lacked depth – when she was able to get it in at all – and she didn't place her backhand well either.

Typically an excellent counterpuncher, Gauff also struggled to absorb pace in this match.

Gauff, who is in the top-five so far this season for the percentage of first serves won, service points won and service games won, also struggled to find any rhythm on serve.

It seemed that Kostyuk's pace and ability to rush Gauff's ground game completely threw the American for a loop. Caroline Dolehide, another player with lots of power, also served for the first set against Gauff in the second round.

However, Gauff has still started the season strongly. She won a WTA title in Auckland and has started the  year 10-0 (all on hard). Gauff is a terrific hard-court player, going 119-53 as a professional on the surface.

That's why it was so shocking to see Gauff's meltdown in this past match.

Sabalenka vs Gauff Prediction

While Gauff leads the head to head 4-2, Sabalenka is not the type of player that Gauff typically matches up well against and there was a stark difference in level in the quarterfinals.

Sabalenka has the power on both her serve and groundstrokes to rush the American's weaker forehand, which was spraying errors and short balls under pressure against Kostyuk. Sabalenka knows how to take advantage of shots shorter in the court.

Her control over the baseline should also make it difficult for Gauff to try to dominate with her backhand.

The Belarusian should be able to fend off Gauff's big serves. This tournament, Sabalenka has won over 50% of her return points and broken at least four times in four of her five matches so far.

Sabalenka is playing nearly impeccable power tennis and without the US Open crowd to rattle her, she should comfortably sail past Gauff.

Pick: Sabalenka -3.5 games (-110)

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