Gauff vs Sabalenka Gauff Odds, Pick, Prediction | US Open Expert Preview
Xinhua News Agency/Getty. Pictured: Coco Gauff and Aryna Sabalenka.
Sabalenka vs Gauff Odds
|Over/Under||21.5 (-135 /-105)|
|Time | How to Watch||Saturday, 4 p.m. ET | ESPN|
|Odds via BetMGM. For tips on how to watch US Open, click here.|
Aryna Sabalenka came back from a 0-6, 3-5 deficit to beat Madison Keys 0-6, 7-6(1), 7-6(5) in the semifinals of the US Open.
Now, she will square off against America's darling, Coco Gauff, who defeated an out-of-sorts Karolina Muchova 6-4, 7-5.
Read on for my full Aryna Sabalenka vs Coco Gauff pick and expert preview ahead of the US Open final.
Gauff in Excellent Form
Although Gauff won 67% of her second serves, she won just 61% of her first serves and was broken three times against Muchova. The American won 50% of her return points, breaking on five occasions.
It was a sloppy match for both, with Gauff hitting 13 winners versus 25 unforced errors and Muchova striking 15 winners against 36 unforced errors. The American defends well and has dictated with her backhand this tournament, but her forehand has been inconsistent.
Gauff has had an amazing summer hard court swing. The American is 17-1 during this time, with WTA Tour titles in Washington and Cincinnati. Gauff is an incredible 43-13 this season, with a 33-6 mark on hard courts, specifically. For her career, Gauff is 102-50 on the surface.
Her first serve is a massive weapon, as she hits it with pace and precision. The concern for Gauff is that her first-serve percentage over the past two matches has been 55% or lower, which has coincided with the nerves of the tournament ramping up.
And Gauff's second serve sits up too much and is too centrally-located.
The American's backhand can dominate baseline play. Gauff successfully injects pace into that wing with controlled aggression, putting her opposition on the defensive.
Gauff is also very quick around the court, anticipates well and is an excellent counterpuncher. In addition, the American thrives in cat-and-mouse points and is comfortable at net.
But, while Gauff's forehand has looked marginally better this summer, she's still not hitting the ball cleanly from that wing. She often leaves the ball short in the court, if not outright making an unforced error.
In addition, opponents are able to effectively rush Gauff's forehand.
Sabalenka Handling Pressure Well
Against Keys, despite winning just 33% of her service points in the first set, Sabalenka won 69% of her service points over the next two sets, turning a 3:12 winner:unforced error ratio into a 35:39 ratio by the end of the match.
The soon-to-be-appointed World No. 1 had to deal with the pressure of her upcoming ranking, an in-form power opponent, the American crowd and the disappointments of two Slam semifinal losses earlier in the year.
Yet, the Belarusian persevered.
Sabalenka, who won the 2023 Australian Open, has played incredibly well for much of the season. She is 50-10 on the year, including a 30-15 hard-court record. For her career, Sabalenka has an impressive 257-109 mark on hard.
And, during this season's summer hard-court swing, she has a strong 10-2 record.
Sabalenka's game is all about power. However, compared to years past, the Belarusian has brought much more control to her aggressive game this summer. She's able to overwhelm opponents with pace from both wings, but is particularly potent with her forehand. And, the Belarusian positions herself very well on court, dominating from the baseline.
Her serve is also a massive weapon, as she is in the top-three this season in the following categories: aces, percentage of first-serve points, service points won and service games won. This is a far cry from 2022, when Sabalenka struggled to serve.
The main concern for Sabalenka is whether nerves, and the American crowd, can cause her to lose her focus and lead to an erratic performance.
Sabalenka vs Gauff Pick
Sabalenka has been the best player all tournament and should have too much power for Gauff. The first set against Keys was the first set that the Belarusian has dropped all tournament, as she's been able to harness her aggressive groundstrokes to completely dominate baseline play.
On the other hand, Gauff's level has been more uneven, with patches of brilliance followed by times of erratic, uneven play, especially with her forehand.
The American's forehand should be the worst shot on the court and Sabalenka has the power to successfully rush that wing. She also has the finishing power that, when Gauff produces short balls with her forehand, she can end the points with winners and forced errors.
In addition, Sabalenka's power should make it more difficult for the American to track balls down and establish herself from the ground with her backhand.
And Sabalenka looks mentally ready for this moment.