Australian Open Odds, Picks, Predictions: Sabalenka’s Hot Streak Will Continue (January 18)
Robert Prange/Getty. Pictured: Aryna Sabalenka.
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The second round continues on at the Australian Open with more exciting matches on Tuesday’s order of play.
I’ve found more betting value on two of the contests for us to exploit.
Read on for my Australian Open picks and predictions.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing Australian Open matches.
Australian Open Picks & Predictions
Aryna Sabalenka (-380) vs. Shelby Rogers (+300)
7 p.m. ET
Aryna Sabalenka comfortably defeated Tereza Martincova 6-1, 6-4 to kick off her Australian Open campaign. Sabalenka won 87% of her first serves, hit only three double faults, and went unbroken.
Sabalenka has started this season strong, winning the title in Adelaide and compiling a 5-0 overall record in 2023. Sabalenka has won all 10 sets she’s played this season, avoiding the dips in her play we saw in 2022.
She is playing with controlled aggression, dominating with both groundstrokes and being particularly lethal with her forehand. Sabalenka is also serving huge, while minimizing the number of double faults.
Shelby Rogers beat qualifier Arianne Hartono 6-4, 6-3 to advance in Melbourne. Rogers won 81% of her first-serve points, although she only won 40% of her second serves. However, most impressively was how Rogers won 56% of her return points and hit 23 winners versus 17 unforced errors.
It was a nice win (and a fortunate draw) for Rogers to get Hartono, as Rogers had started the season with a mediocre 3-3 record, and 0-2 in main-draw action.
Sabalenka has won over 50% of her second-serve returns against every opponent this season and should effectively attack Rogers’ weak second serve.
And Sabalenka won’t give Rogers many opportunities on her own serve. She hasn’t been broken in her past three matches and has won over 80% of her first serves in all three.
In addition, Sabalenka just does everything better than Rogers in this type of form. She will control the baseline and push Rogers into more defensive positions than she wants.
Don’t bet against Sabalenka right now.
Pick: Rogers to NOT Win a Set (-142 via FanDuel)
Veronika Kudermetova (-1100) vs. Katie Volynets (+600)
7 p.m. ET
Veronika Kudermetova beat Maryna Zanevska 6-2, 7-6(4) in the first round. Kudermetova won 82% of her first-serve points and was only broken once, and she was all over Zanevska’s second serve, winning 73% of her second-serve return points.
The Russian has had a strong to 2023, going 5-1 (excluding a withdrawal) to start the year. This includes impressive victories over Amanda Anisimova, Bianca Andreescu, Victoria Azarenka and Danielle Collins. Kudermetova has a well-placed serve and controls the baseline well, hitting with controlled aggression.
Katie Volynets qualified for the Australian Open before getting a fortunate first-round draw, taking down World No. 445 Evgeniya Rodina 6-3, 6-2. Volynets only won 62% of her first serves, but managed to only get broken twice all match.
Like Kudermetova, Volynets is now 5-1 on the year (excluding a withdrawal). However, Volynets has not beaten any players currently inside the top 150 in the world, having beaten up on players without the reliable weapons to hit through her. Volynets is very consistent from the baseline, but has a mediocre serve and struggles to generate pace.
Kudermetova has started this season strong and has showcased excellent baseline play. She understands when to just be solid with her groundstrokes and when to pull the trigger.
She also has the consistency to stay with Volynets in long rallies, but she has much more power than the American. This will allow her to hit through Volynets from the baseline.
In addition, Kudermetova has the better serve of the two and players and should crush Volynets’ serves. Even against weaker competition, Volynets has failed to win 70% of her first serves in any match this season.
There’s nothing that Volynets can do to take Kudermetova out of her comfort zone. This match should be a quick one.
Pick: Under 18.5 games (-110 via BetMGM)