Aryna Sabalenka vs Xinyu Wang: WTA Australian Open Round Two Odds, Preview & Analysis (Jan. 19)
Clive Brunskill/Getty. Pictured: Aryna Sabalenka plays a backhand against Storm Sanders at the Australian Open.
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Aryna Sabalenka vs. Xinyu Wang
|Time||8:15 p.m. ET|
|Odds via PointsBet. For tips on how to watch tennis, click here.|
Aryna Sabalenka found a way to come away with the victory during her first-round clash with Storm Sanders at the Australian Open. She rallied from a set down to beat Sanders 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.
After two worrisome warmup matches which saw the number two seed go 0-2 and hit a combined 39 double faults during those matches, Sabakenka showed relatively more control in this match.
The Belarusian “only” hit 12 double faults and won 58% of her service points, over 10 percentage points higher than both warmup matches. However, she still faced 11 break points and was broken five times and her serve isn’t totally back to where it once was.
Sabalenka hit 29 winners compared to 37 unforced errors, with both totals higher than Sanders’ winner and unforced error numbers. In spite of the recent troubles with her game, Sabalenka isn’t afraid to go for her shots.
Xinyu Wang picked up a huge first round victory over Ann Li to start off her Australian Open campaign. Wang won the match 7-6(5), 6-3, she served 72% of her first serves in, won 65% of her service points, while holding Li to 55% of her service points won.
Coming into the match, Li was 9-2 overall in Australia over the past two seasons. She also had won ten of her last 12 matches, all on hard courts. This is a match that, quite frankly, could have been even more straightforward if Wang had converted the set point on her serve at *5-4 40-30 in the first set.
This type of match indicates to me that Wang can compete with a player like Sabalenka and that the losses to Aliasksandra Sasnovich and especially Harriet Dart in the warmup events weren’t indicative of any greater concerns.
Long term, Wang is a player that has been rising since the end of last season. Her results during the second-half of last season include a final appearance at the Columbus Challenger, and trips to the quarterfinals of the WTA Tour’s Courmayeur and Linz indoor hard-court events.
Wang’s ranking improved from world number 153 at the end of 2020, to breaking the top 100 at world number 99 to finish the 2021 season. She has gotten better and better, and it’s reflected in her ranking.
The question really becomes, how much can we trust Sabalenka against a solid player in Wang with technically sound groundstrokes and decent power? The Belarusian still had a significant number of double faults against Sanders (12), and despite covering the game spread of 4.5, she still lost a set and was a few holds away from losing the match outright.
In addition to Wang’s game being tough to break down, she just beat a good opponent in Li and has had a lot of hard-court success towards the end of last season. Sabalenka, meanwhile, still has a double-fault problem and is struggling to beat anyone, regardless of level.
That’s why I think that Vegas is still overrating Sabalenka’s game and simultaneously not giving Wang enough respect.
We’re getting 5.5 games here? Look, if Sabalenka covers the spread again, then I will stop opposing her. But I’m still not convinced after her first-round performance.
Pick: Wang +5.5 games (-125 at PointsBet)
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