Australian Open Predictions Today | Expert Picks For Gauff vs Frech, Kostyuk vs Timofeeva

Australian Open Predictions Today | Expert Picks For Gauff vs Frech, Kostyuk vs Timofeeva article feature image

Shi Tang/Getty. Pictured: Coco Gauff.

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The round of 16 of the Australian Open is here and the tennis has been awesome!

I’ve found value on two of Saturday's matchups — Gauff vs Frech and Kostyuk vs Timofeeva.

Read on for my Australian Open predictions today.

Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches and seeing tennis odds.

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Australian Open Predictions Today

Coco Gauff (-2300) vs Magdalena Frech (+1420)

8 p.m. ET

Coco Gauff demolished Alycia Parks 6-0, 6-2 in the third round. Gauff won 74% of her service points and didn't face a break point. The American also won 59% of her return points against Parks' big serve, breaking five times.

Gauff is now 8-0 (all on hard) in 2024, with a WTA title in Auckland. For her career, Gauff is 117-53 on hard. The American hits her first serve with pace and precision. Last season, Gauff had the ninth-most aces on the WTA Tour. And Gauff has a powerful backhand that controls the baseline. Other strengths of Gauff's game are her speed, defensive skills and counterpunching ability. In addition, Gauff has a high rally tolerance, making it difficult to hit through her.

However, Gauff's forehand is a major weakness, as she's only comfortable hitting loopy, safe shots from this wing. Her forehand leaks errors, especially against more powerful opponents.

Magdalena Frech defeated Anastasia Zakharova 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 to advance in Melbourne. Frech won just 51% of her service points, getting broken on seven occasions. The Pole did win 47% of her return points, breaking eight times.

Frech has a 6-2 record this season (all on hard), with a 179-131 professional-record on hard courts. The Pole doesn't do anything special, but is quick, gets consistent depth from both wings and defends successfully. She counterpunches well and understands shot selection, showcasing a high tennis IQ. Frech's variety is also superb.

With that said, Frech lacks power on her serve and groundstrokes

Gauff's overall Elo rating is 420.3 points higher than Frech's and her hard-court Elo is 439.9 points above the Pole's.

This displays a massive talent gap, both overall and on hard courts. Not to mention that this is an ideal matchup, stylistically, for Gauff.

Frech doesn't have the power to rush Gauff's forehand and pressure that wing. In addition, Gauff does have the rally tolerance to hang with Frech in longer rallies.

The American has the consistency to wait for her opportunity to strike with her superior controlled aggression. After all, Gauff has the biggest weapons on the court in her first serve and backhand.

Pick: Under 17.5 games (-110 via FanDuel)

Marta Kostyuk (-200) vs Maria Timofeeva (+160)

9 p.m. ET

Marta Kostyuk beat Elina Avanesyan 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the third round. Kostyuk won only 50% of her service points, getting broken on seven occasions. However, the Ukrainian did win 51% of her return points, breaking seven times.

Kostyuk is 112-65 on hard courts for her career, having gone 6-2 so far this season on hard. The Ukrainian has a fair powerful serve and hits power groundstrokes from both wings. Kostyuk has an aggressive mindset on court, taking command of rallies whenever she can and positioning herself in offensive areas of the court. However, Kostyuk's rally tolerance can be an issue, as she bails out of points too early at times and plays with low margins.

Maria Timofeeva defeated Beatriz Haddad Maia 7-6(7), 6-3 to advance to the round of 16. Timofeeva won 68% of her service points, getting broken twice. In addition, the Russian won 42% of her return points, breaking three times.

Timofeeva is 6-1 this season (all on hard), going 106-50 on hard courts as a professional. The Russian has a heavy, well-placed forehand that she uses to dictate play. Timofeeva moves well, absorbs pace effectively and successfully counterpunches. She has a high tennis IQ and utilizes smart shot selection. The Russian's backhand can break down, though, and she doesn't have overwhelming power.

She's also not comfortable at the net or in high-variety points, although Kostyuk shouldn't exploit either of these weaknesses.

In fact, Kostyuk is a fairly ideal matchup for Timofeeva. Kostyuk plays fairly linear, powerful tennis. Timofeeva has the defensive skills to defend against Kostyuk's attacking tennis and draw errors out of the Ukrainian. Her rally tolerance is higher than Kostyuk's.

And, unlike Avanesyan, Timofeeva has the offensive skills with her forehand to at least put some pressure on Kostyuk and force her into uncomfortable, defensive positions on the court. Timofeeva's ability to spread the court should be huge in this matchup.

Finally, Kostyuk has shown a high variance in level recently, with every Australian Open match going three sets. It's hard to trust the Ukrainian right now.

Pick: Timofeeva +3.5 games (-120 via PointsBet)

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