Australian Open Match Previews: Expect Close Battles for Hurkacz & Kostyuk
Cameron Spencer/Getty. Pictured: Hubert Hurkacz.
- Round 2 action at the Australian Open starts up on Tuesday.
- Hubert Hurkacz and Marta Kostyuk are among those taking the court.
- Jon Reid details why they are two players you should be fading.
Looking for Wednesday match analysis? Click here!
Onto the third day of action down under at the year’s first slam, and we’re into the second round.
The volume of matches at the Australian Open may be slowing down a tad, but there are still 64 matches across two days from the men’s and women’s singles draws.
Let’s take a look at two of them that will be played on Tuesday!
Match times are subject to change. Read here for advice on viewing Australian Open matches.
Australian Open Match Previews
Hubert Hurkacz (-425) vs. Lorenzo Sonego (+310)
10:40 p.m. ET
For a matchup between a pair of top-50 players and strong servers, the pricing of this is surprisingly one-sided.
Yes, Hubert Hurkacz is a much more accomplished hard courter and is ranked well ahead of his Italian counterpart, but on these Australian courts that reward servers – using Dunlop balls that also fly and reward bigger servers and hitters – this one should play out as a relatively tight affair.
Sonego’s serve is the reason he’s been able to add surface versatility to his game, as well as the reason he was able to win an ATP title on the hard courts of Metz last year.
Those courts weren’t as quick, but he still managed to play Hurkacz to two tight sets – winning them both – in a match that reached 23 games.
More importantly, that match between these two saw just one break point in the whole match between them. The serve and forehand combos are huge. The return games? Not so much.
For my money, this matchup is closer than one might think when seeing the moneyline odds. The over and underdog spread are both appealing to me here.
I’m going with the over, because a long, hard-fought match that goes four or five sets will cash the over, but a lopsided set along the way could sink the spread.
Pick: Over 38.5 Games (-115 via PointsBet)
Marta Kostyuk (-770) vs. Olivia Gadecki (+500)
10:05 p.m. ET
If there is one live longshot on the third day of main draw action down under, it has to be Olivia Gadecki for me.
This is not to say she will win her match against Marta Kostyuk or that she should be the favorite. I do think, however, that having her priced at +500 is going way too far.
There appears to be a bit of unawareness about her game within the market. Gadecki can ball, and there’s no shortage of power in her groundstrokes. She won’t be put off by the big hitting coming from Kostyuk, and she should be confident behind her own serve and more capable of dictating points.
The Aussie has Ashleigh Barty in her corner for this event to help her strategize and game plan.
Considering how raw Kostyuk’s power is – she is very erratic, sprays unforced errors for long stretches and has had trouble stringing together main draw victories at the WTA level in her young career – and Gadecki’s game being much stronger than the market believes, I’m happy to back the young gun to take a set.
At nearly +200, it’s well worth the shot.
Pick: Gadecki +1.5 sets (+185 via DraftKings)