Australian Open Semifinal Best Bets: Which Women Will Book a Spot in The Final?
Andy Cheung/Getty. Pictured: Elena Rybakina and Victoria Azarenka.
The Australian Open semifinals will be played on Thursday morning in the United States, and our women's tennis experts have broken down each match.
Elena Rybakina vs. Victoria Azarenka is the first semifinal of the day, while Aryna Sabalenka vs. Magda Linette will be the second.
Read on for our experts' picks and best bets.
Australian Open Semifinal Best Bets
3:30 a.m. ET, ESPN+
Keys eventually hit herself out of that match, with 31 unforced errors combined in the last two sets. But, she showcased that when a power play can establish control over the baseline and limit her unforced error – like Keys did in the first set – Azarenka becomes uncomfortable
She wants to be the one pressuring her opposition, refusing to get bullied around the court. This also exposes Azarenka’s lack of elite movement and wipes out the major strength of her game: baseline aggression.
Rybakina has the sheer power to control the baseline and the control over her groundstrokes to not hit herself out of the match.
The Kazakh will use that controlled aggression to pressure Azarenka’s backhand in a way that the Belarusian’s opponents haven’t been able to do so far.
Rybakina’s serve is also clearly a level above Azarenka’s. While Azarenka was able to generate 39 break points in her last three matches combined, she will get far fewer looks on Rybakina’s serve. This makes her own (relatively) ho-hum serving performances more important.
In addition to the limited number of breaks that I mentioned earlier, Rybakina has only given up 17 break-point opportunities in this entire tournament.
She will dominate once again.
Pick: Rybakina -3.5 games (-110 via PointsBet)
For David's full analysis of the match, click here!
4:45 a.m. ET, ESPN+
Jon Reid: Sabalenka may have seen the double faults creep back into her game last time out against Vekic, but I think this matchup suits her far more than it did Pliskova.
The Czech’s groundstrokes didn’t have as much power to them, which afforded Linette the time to push them back deep with topspin to reset points and get back to neutral footing. Further, Pliskova’s movement was easily exploitable for someone who moves the ball around the court as well as the Pole does. Sabalenka doesn’t have the same issues in that department.
Sabalenka should be able to end points far more quickly and take time away from Linette more effectively. If Linette is having trouble reaching her spots, she’s in for a long day.
Pick: Under 20.5 games (-115 via PointsBet)
For Jon's full analysis of the match, click here!