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Australian Open Tennis Women’s Final Qualifying Round Picks, Predictions (Jan. 13)

Australian Open Tennis Women’s Final Qualifying Round Picks, Predictions (Jan. 13) article feature image
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Darrian Traynor/Getty Images. Pictured: Qinwen Zheng.

While there are WTA events in Adelaide and Sydney, the final qualifying round of the women’s Australian Open takes stage.

With the main draw announced (besides qualifiers) and only one match standing between the players and the first round of the main draw, the intensity will be high for tonight’s qualifying matches.

Can we find value on tonight’s qualifying card? Absolutely.

Match times are subject to change. Read here for advice on watching tennis matches.  

Stefanie Voegele (-325) v Indy De Vroome (+240)

6:00 p.m. ET, Australian Open Qualifying

World No. 147 Stefanie Voegele has been solid so far during her Australian Open qualifying campaign.

The Swiss won both of her matches comfortably in straight sets, winning over 75% of her first serve points in her wins over Alexandra Bozovic and Whitney Osuigwe. She also held both opponents to under 60% of their first serves won and under 40% of their second serves won.

It’s been a very professional start to the tournament for the 31-year-old veteran, who was once as high as No. 42 in the world.

If Voegele’s road to the final qualifying round has been straightforward, Indy De Vroome’s road to this point has had tons of zigs and zags.

The 252nd-ranked De Vroome had to win a pair of two three-plus-hour battles over Urszula Radwanska and Dalma Galfi to get the chance to play for a spot in the main draw of the Australian Open.

The 25 year-old also had to contend with 17 double faults against Radwanska and 18 against Galfi. And, it’s not like when she got her second serve in, she was very effective either, winning a combined 30/88 second-serve points in her last two matches combined.

De Vroome’s game is very boom-or-bust and opponents can struggle to get in a rhythm against her.

So, we have a wily veteran playing consistent tennis taking on an erratic player who gives away plenty of points for free and is potentially fatigued from having played over 6 hours of tennis across her two matches this week already.

Voegele is going to get a lot of balls back in play, she’s going to take advantage of De Vroome’s gifts, and ultimately pull this match out without too many problems.

The under is the play.

Pick: Under 20.5 games (-125 via PointsBet)

Mai Hontama (+240) vs Qinwen Zheng (-325)

9:00 p.m. ET, Australian Open Qualifying

Mai Hontama is at a career-best ranking of world number 149, as she has really started to make a name for herself on hard courts during the past year. She won two ITF titles on hard last season, qualified and made the quarterfinals of the WTA event in Chicago (beating Caroline Garcia and Shleby Rogers in the process), and now is into the final qualifying round without losing a set.

Hontama smothered Reka-Luca Jani and En Shuo Liang with her baseline game. She gives opponents very few opportunities to attack with her consistent depth and placement.

And Hontama’s return of serve has also been great in qualifying, with neither Jani nor Liang winning above 41% of their second-serve points. In addition, players won 50% of their overall service points against Hontama’s return.

Qinwen Zheng, another player currently at a career-high ranking of world number 111, plays suffocating tennis in a different way: through making the court small with her incredible power. Zheng plays low margin, high-risk, high-reward tennis and can make opponents feel completely out of control.

Zheng was near defeat in her first qualifying match, down 1-5, 6-6 (1-5) to Coco Vandeweghe. But, somehow, Zheng was able to find her game just in time and she came back for a three-set victory.

In both the win over Vandeweghe and her ensuing victory over Seone Mendez, Zheng won at least 78% of her first-serve points. In the four sets following the disastrous first set against Vandeweghe, Zheng has faced a total of five break points and has been broken twice.

When these two last squared off early in January of this season, Zheng won in three sets. However, in that match she only won 64% of her first-serve points and Hontama was able to break Zheng’s serve five times.

Yes, Zheng was able to overpower Hontama at times, but other times, Hontama dragged points out and forced Zheng to overhit.

What I’m getting at here is that this match is a lot closer than the odds indicate.

I’ll take my chances on the over.

Pick: Over 20.5 games (-110 via PointsBet)

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