Australian Open Semifinal Odds and Pick: Ashleigh Barty vs. Sofia Kenin, Garbine Muguruza vs. Simona Halep


Recep Sakar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images. Pictured: Simona Halep

Jan 29, 2020, 01:40 PM EST

Ashleigh Barty vs. Sofia Kenin

  • Barty odds: -330
  • Kenin odds: +260
  • Time: 10 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN 2

This should be a great matchup between two players that have a lot of variety in their game. Barty is the more accomplished and all around more talented player, but Kenin has a drive and competitiveness that is rare for any tennis player.

Barty and Kenin have met five times in their professional careers, including four times last season. Barty owns a 4-1 edge, though Kenin’s lone win came on hard court last summer. There only other hard-court meeting was later in the year when Barty won, 6-3, 7-5, in Wuhan.

Barty owns a wide array of plus-shots in her arsenal and she has a superior serve compared to Kenin. Barty figures to have the weight of a country on her back, though, as she tries to be the first Aussie woman to win the Australian Open since 1978.

Odds as of Wednesday afternoon and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.

Despite the talent gap and home-court advantage, I think there is some value on Kenin at +210. She will grind out points and not give an inch to Barty. A pro-Australian crowd will not hinder her at all as she already beat Coco Gauff while the crowd was behind Gauff.

The match could hinge on Kenin’s first serve. Any free service point for the young American will be big. If Barty is on form, she can blast winners once rallies get underway and frustrate Kenin with the significant spin she can put on her slice shots.

The X-Factor could be how each player handles the extreme heat. Temperatures are supposed to creep into the upper-90’s and it’s a coin flip on whether or not they will close the roof at Rod Laver Arena. It’s very difficult to handicap who would handle the heat better, Barty is from Australia while Kenin trains in the heat and humidity of South Florida, so the weather has the potential to flip the match.

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