Australian Open Odds, Picks, Predictions: Back Kalinina and McNally in Melbourne (January 17)
Martin Keep/Getty. Pictured: Caty McNally.
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The second round is kicking off at the Australian Open with more fun matches on Tuesday’s order of play.
I’ve found more betting value on two matches for us to exploit.
Read on for my Australian Open picks and predictions.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for advice on viewing Australian Open matches.
Petra Kvitova (-200) vs. Anhelina Kalinina (+160)
9 p.m. ET
Petra Kvitova took down Alison van Uytvanck 7-6(3), 6-4 to advance to the second round. Kvitova won 78% of her service points and didn’t face a break point.
Kvitova has started the season 5-1 after going a more pedestrian 27-19 in 2022. As Kvitova has gotten older, she’s lost some speed and control over her groundstrokes. However, the Czech can still take the racquet out of her opponents’ hands with her powerful lefty serve and aggressive game. There are times, though, when she can leak unforced errors.
Anhelina Kalinina easily dispatched Coco Vandeweghe 6-3, 6-1 to start her Australian Open campaign. Kalinina won 67% of her first-serve points and was only broken once. She was all over Vandeweghe’s huge serve, winning 53% of her return points and breaking on five occasions.
Dating back to 2022, she has won 10 of her last 12 matches (all on hard), including a title at the $125k event in Limoges to end last season and a 5-2 start to this season. Kalinina plays consistent tennis from both wings and gets great depth on her groundstrokes.
The Ukrainian is fit and fast, allowing her to hang in long matches and become a wall from the baseline, forcing her opponents to overhit.
Kvitova’s one loss this season so far was against the rock-solid Daria Kasatkina, and while Kasatkina is a top player – similar to the Russian – Kalinina can get a lot of balls in play and deep in the court.
Kalinina’s ability to return and blunt pace will be huge in not allowing Kvitova to steamroll during her service games. Kvitova will work hard on serve, meaning that she has less energy for her return games, as well.
In addition, Kalinina is the fitter player, so if she can drag this match out, Kvitova will physically decline and become erratic with her groundstrokes.
Pick: Kalinina +3.5 games (-120 via PointsBet)
Caty McNally (-180) vs. Kateryna Baindl (+142)
9:45 p.m. ET
Caty McNally defeated Laura Pigossi 7-5, 6-1 to advance in Melbourne. McNally only won 56% of her first-serve points, but saved 7-o-10 break points.
She plays attacking tennis, taking the initiative in points when given the opportunity to do so. McNally is also strong at the net, having made doubles Slam finals.
Kateryna Baindl beat Kamilla Rakhimova 7-5, 6-7(8), 6-1 in the first round. Baindl won 74% of her first serves compared to 60% for Rakhimova. The Ukrainian was only broken twice, versus five times for the Russian.
However, Baindl struggled on her second serve, winning 43% of her second-serve points.
Since 2022, Baindl has been more comfortable on clay, with 41 matches on the dirt last year compared to 15 on hard courts. The Ukrainian is just 2-2 to start the season. But, she is fairly solid from the baseline, has a nice backhand down the line and good variety.
McNally is in form and has gotten a match to get comfortable to the conditions. She is honing in her aggressive groundstrokes and has the weapons to attack Baindl in a way that Rakhimova was unable to.
When looking at Elo ratings, McNally’s overall Elo is 96.8 points better than Baindl’s and her hard-court Elo is 107 points better than the Ukrainian’s.
Pick: McNally -2.5 games (-125 via PointsBet)