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Australian Open Match Previews & Picks: How to Bet Bianca Andreescu vs. Marie Bouzkova (January 15)

Australian Open Match Previews & Picks: How to Bet Bianca Andreescu vs. Marie Bouzkova (January 15) article feature image
Credit:

Sarah Reed/Getty. Pictured: Bianca Andreescu.

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The Australian Open is here! After a short offseason, the fight for the women’s Australian Open title is on.

I’ve found value on a couple of matches from Day 1, including Bianca Andreescu vs. Marie Bouzkova

Read on for my best bets and predictions!

Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing Australian Open matches.

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Australian Open Match Previews & Picks

Bianca Andreescu (-136) vs. Marie Bouzkova (+116)

7 p.m. ET

To start off 2023, Bianca Andreescu beat Garbine Muguruza 0-6, 7-6(3), 6-1 before falling 4-6, 0-6 to Veronika Kudermetova in Adelaide. In the two matches combined, Andreescu won just 55% of her first serves and 43% of her second serves, getting broken 11 times.

Best known for her 2019 US Open title, Andreescu was 8-6 on hard courts last season and 20-13 as a whole. She has a heavy, well-placed forehand and excellent variety, utilizing slices, drop shots, and angles to keep her opponents uncomfortable.

Marie Bouzkova has started this season 2-2, most recently losing 5-7, 4-6 to Anna Blinkova in Hobart. Bouzkova won just 48% of her service points in that match and was broken six times. And while Bouzkova was able to break four times herself, the service woes were too much to overcome.

Bouzkova is known for her baseline tenacity and physicality on court. The Czech is very consistent, plays with great depth and is a very fit, high-intensity player. In fact, Bouzkova is just two ranking spots away, at World No. 26, from her career-high ranking. She also won the WTA hard-court title in Prague last season.

Her depth will ensure that Andreescu doesn’t get the type of short balls that allows her to effectively utilize her variety. In addition, Bouzkova is the more reliable from the baseline right now and Andreescu will press on her groundstrokes to compensate.

Similarly to the Kudermetova match, Andreescu won’t be able to get away with the drops in intensity that she has showcased in her first two matches. The intensity and consistency that Bouzkova brings every point won’t allow for a widely-fluctuating level.

Pick: Bouzkova ML (+116 via DratKings)

Bernarda Pera (-425) vs. Moyuka Uchijima (+290)

9 p.m. ET

Bernarda Pera reached the quarterfinals of Hobart this past week before falling 7-5, 6-7(8),4-6 to Elisabetta Cocciaretto. While Pera won just 44% of her second-serve points and faced 22 break points, this was largely due to Cocciaretto’s relentless play,

Overall in her three Hobart matches, Pera broke a combined 14 times and held every opponent to 60% or less of their first serves won. She was also confident and powerful with her lefty forehand.

Pera went 33-20 overall in 2022, with a decent 14-13 record on hard. The American went on a mid-season run where she won 16-straight matches and 19-of-20 overall across (mostly) clay and hard courts. Pera has a huge lefty forehand that she uses to dominate from the baseline and she also is aggressive with her backhand. However, there are times when Pera overhits from the baseline.

In her only tournament so far in 2023, Moyuka Uchijima failed to make it out of Auckland qualifying, losing 4-6, 1-6 to Elena Gabriela Ruse in the final qualifying round. While Uchijima won 62% of her second-serve returns, she won just 18% of her first-serve returns,  50% of her first serves and was broken four times.

Uchijima went an impressive 54-28 last season, which includes a 35-21 record on hard courts. However, it is important to note that Uchijima was playing against (generally) lower-level competition compared to Pera.

While Uchijima has some attacking skills, Pera will control the baseline in this matchup. The American’s forehand is rounding into form and she will dominate when hitting cross-court into Uchijima’s backhand.

Pera has the stronger serve of the two and should have no difficulties taking her return form from Hobart into this matchup, given that Uchijima’s serve is mediocre.

When looking at Elo ratings, Pera’s overall Elo is 220.2 points higher than Uchijima’s and her hard-court Elo is 164.7 points higher.

Pick: Pera -4.5 Games (-135 via PointsBet)

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