Australian Open Odds, Picks, Predictions | Round 1 Match Previews

Australian Open Odds, Picks, Predictions | Round 1 Match Previews article feature image

Hannah Peters/Getty. Pictured: Brenda Fruhvirtova.

  • Round 1 gets underway at the Australian Open on Sunday.
  • Jon Reid breaks down two matches that have betting value.
  • Read on for his Australian Open picks and predictions.

Looking for Monday match predictions? Click here!

The beginning of the "Happy Slam" in Melbourne truly signifies the beginning of a new tennis season, and the Australian Open gets underway on Sunday.

As we gear up for a fortnight of great tennis, and more importantly two days of nonstop action featuring 128 singles matches, I've found betting value.

For Monday's action, we'll take a look at a pair of Australian Open matches featuring two of the more promising young prospects in the women's game, Brenda Fruhvirtova and Sara Beljek, and look at why it may be a smart idea to fade them on Sunday.

Match times are subject to change. Read here for advice on viewing Australian Open matches.

Aliaksandra Sasnovich (-220) vs. Brenda Fruhvirtova (+160)

9 p.m. ET

To say that Fruhvirtova is all the rage when it comes to tennis prospects would be an understatement.

She is just 15-years old and only 140 ranking points off the top 100. One simply cannot take that away from her, and the future is certainly bright.

That said, it's time for me to rain on the parade a tad. For starters, the younger of the two Fruhvirtova sisters amassed a significant number of those points playing low-level South American ITF events that typically  boast some of the weaker fields you'll find.

Second, almost all of those points were accrued on clay courts. Considering the lack of power and aggression, along with the incredible consistency and defending, it makes sense she'd find success on a slower surface. Does that translate to a quick hard court against a top-40 player whose game is predicated on big hitting? I'm not so sure.

Finally, her qualifying performance wasn't exactly the most reassuring or convincing. She didn't play anyone with even half as much power as Aliaksandra Sasnovich, and she narrowly escaped her second round clash with Daria Snigur (she trailed 5-7, 1-5 in that one). Further, against a more clay-oriented grinder in Jessica Bouzas Maneiro, she needed a relatively tight third set to reach the main draw.

I'm bullish on Fruhvirtova's future. In this particular matchup, however, consider me a bear.

Pick:  Sasnovich -3.5 games (-115 via Caesars)

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Barbora Krejcikova (-500) vs. Sara Bejlek (+375)

10:15 p.m. ET

The second of the teenage prospects that we'll preview is Bejlek. Much like her compatriot, she's primarily a clay-court player, came through qualifying and leaves a little to be desired in the way of weapons on a hard court.

What makes matters worse is she plays Barbora Krejcikova, who isn't just one of the top players in women's tennis, but has added to her once clay-centric game.

The more experienced of the two Czech women will be more than comfortable in the more drawn out rallies, while also possessing a first serve that should win her far more free points than her southpaw opposition.

Krejcikova's ability to take both her forehand and backhand wings down the line, inside out and inside in with precision ensures that she'll also be able to keep the young Bejlek on her toes and moving around, as opposed to leaving balls in attackable positions.

There is no denying the qualifying campaign the 16-year-old put forth. She was incredibly impressive against a decent opponent in Erika Andreeva in the final round and beat rising star Alycia Parks the round prior. My issue is that Krejcikova is a massive step up from the players in qualifying draws – including the big serving but boom-or-bust style Parks employs.

For me, there's an overreaction to said qualifying run, and we're seeing a nice spread number. I have this one in the -6 range, so I'll gladly jump on the -4.5 games.

Picks:  Krejcikova -4.5 games (-125 via DraftKings)

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