Ashleigh Barty vs Danielle Collins Odds, Picks, Prediction: Home Favorite Will Close Out Australian Open With Ease
Clive Brunskill/Getty. Pictured: Ashleigh Barty celebrates after her semifinal Australian Open match with Madison Keys.
Ashleigh Barty vs. Danielle Collins Odds
|Time | TV||3 a.m. ET, Saturday | ESPN|
|Odds via PointsBet. For tips on how to watch tennis, click here.|
Ashleigh Barty’s stress-free journey to an Australian Open title continued in the semifinals against Madison Keys. Barty easily beat the American 6-1, 6-3 to reach her maiden Aussie Open final.
It was yet another masterclass from the world number one. She won 86% of her first-serve points, 67% of her second-serve points, and wasn’t broken. Barty played a very clean match, hitting 20 winners compared to 13 unforced errors.
On return, the Aussie was also strong. Barty held the normally big-serving Keys to 49% first serves won and broke her serve four times. So not only did Barty neutralize the Keys baseline game, but she blunted Keys’ power on-serve as well.
Barty has still not dropped a set this tournament and hasn’t even dropped more than four games in a set yet. She only lost four games once, in a 6-4, 6-3 win in the round of 16 over Amanda Anisimova.
In fact, she’s only lost games 21 games so far in the entire tournament. More than just hitting her spots serving and clamping down on big serves, Barty’s backhand slice has been giving opponents fits.
The shot skids through the court, giving opponents massive problems getting clean strikes at the ball. She also does a great job of keeping opponents from attacking and drawing short balls from that slice.
Barty’s topspin groundstrokes aren’t so bad either, as she hits with a remarkable combination of depth, power, and placement around the court.
Danielle Collins, Barty’s opponent, is having the best tournament of her career. In the semifinals against Iga Swiatek, Collins comfortably won 6-4, 6-1 to advance to her debut Slam final.
When Collins is striking the ball as well as she did against Swiatek, there’s nothing the opposition can do. Collins had 27 winners and 13 unforced errors during the match. Her backhand has emerged as one of the best shots in women’s tennis, with the American understanding how to control the baseline from that wing.
In terms of Collins’ service performance, her first serve was firing, winning 78% of her first-serve points during the match. But perhaps where she did the most damage was on the second-serve return. Collins won 18/21 points on Swiatek’s second serve, breaking the Pole six times.
At 64% first serves in, it was the highest first-serve percentage of the tournament for Collins. Given that she’s won under 50% of her second-serve points in three of her last four matches, it’s important that Collins lands a lot of first serves in the final against Barty.
The American has a very vocal attitude on court and believes in herself no matter what, which has served her well all tournament. Whether it be recovering from a set-and-break deficit in the third round against Clara Tauson, or willing herself over the finish line to reach her first Major final, Collins believes in herself and her game.
In this matchup, Collins will try to be the aggressor and take control of the baseline, but Barty will put all aspects of her game to the test. Ultimately, Barty’s versatile, well-rounded game will be too much for Collins.
The American will look to land a lot of first serves and control points with her huge groundstrokes, especially the backhand. However, Collins won’t be getting nearly as many clean strikes on the backhand as she’s used to, as Barty will direct her skidding backhand slice towards that wing, producing mishits and short balls.
A player like Barty forces opponents to beat her with their weakness, so Collins’ forehand will be put to the test. And while she is still powerful on the forehand side, she does lose some accuracy, and Barty will find a way to extract errors.
Collins will find it hard to dictate play from the baseline, as Barty’s variety will take Collins out of her comfort zone. The Aussie can employ shorter slices, angled groundstrokes, perfect volleys, or deep and powerful groundstrokes which force Collins to be in a defensive position on the court.
While Collins took advantage of the Swiatek second serve, I’m confident that Barty’s second serve will fair much better. Barty has only won under 55% of her second-serve points once this tournament, against Anisimova, where she still won 50% of the points on her second serve.
When looking at Elo ratings, although they haven’t been updated since January 17th, it is worth noting that Barty is first in both overall and hard-court Elo. Collins is 13th in overall Elo and 11th on hard courts. She is the highest-rated player that Barty has faced during this tournament.
Even with that information, it’s hard to imagine Barty not covering a 4.5-game spread here. She’s covered 4.5 games in all 10 matches she’s played this season, her game is clicking on all cylinders, and she has the skill set to neutralize the Collins game.
Nerves shouldn’t play a role, as Barty is trying for her first Major in her home country, while Collins is in her first Slam final. This will come down to whose game is better, and I anticipate Barty winning her first Australian Open title, covering the spread in the process.
Pick: Barty -4.5 games (-145 at PointsBet)
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