Hailey Baptiste vs Caroline Garcia: WTA Australian Open Round One Odds & Best Bet (Jan. 17)
Mike Owen/Getty. Pictured: Hailey Baptiste plays a backhand at the Australian Open.
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Hailey Baptiste vs. Caroline Garcia
|Time||9 p.m. ET (subject to change)|
|Odds via PointBet. For tips on watching tennis matches, click here.|
For Hailey Baptiste, the qualifying tournament wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. Baptiste was close to going out of the tournament when, during the first qualifying round, she was locked into a third-set super tiebreak with Samantha Murray Sharan.
But Baptiste was able to come through that match 7-6(8) in the third set and didn’t look back. In her next qualifying match, she comfortably beat Nina Stojanovic 6-3, 6-4. Baptiste won 69% of her service points, including 70% on the second serve, and wasn’t broken during the match. Stojanovic, ranked 118 in the world, was no push-over either, having a lot of experience (and experience winning) on hard courts and a solid baseline game
Baptiste then took on Yue Yuan. The world number 162 was playing at a significantly higher level than her ranking suggested, as Yuan had won 17 of her last 18 matches and 13 sets in a row coming into this match.
However, the American wouldn’t be deterred. Despite losing a tight first-set tiebreak, Baptiste came back to win the match in three sets, only getting broken once in the victory.
Baptiste wasn’t afraid to go for her shots and attack the net. She hit 22 more winners, 17 more unforced errors and attacked the net 10 more times when compared to Yuan. This is a hallmark of Baptiste’s game: Her willingness to trust her shots and attack whenever she sees an opening.
Caroline Garcia’s form recently has not been up to par. She played a December tournament in Limoges, struggling with her consistency from the baseline as she limped through a couple matches against overmatched competition before falling to Vera Zvonareva in the quarterfinals. Every Garcia opponent in Limoges and into the Australian season has won at least 70% of their first serves against Garcia’s return.
Garcia has started the Australian season going 1-2. She lost in straight sets to Anastasija Sevastova, only generating one break point compared to nine on her own serve.Garcia then beat Jessica Pegula before winning only two games in a blowout defeat to Barbora Krejcikova.
Do I put much stock in the win over Pegula? No. She is 0-2 on the season and hasn’t even won a set yet. Pegula feels very undercooked heading into the Australian Open, and Garcia’s true level is shown in her other recent matches.
Baptiste comes into this match with confidence after beating two really solid players in Stojanovic and Yuan. She has done such a good job holding serve, and not letting opponents race out to leads. Baptiste was broken just three times in the three qualifying matches.
Baptiste can go toe-to-toe with Garcia’s power and won’t let Garcia bully her around the baseline. Garcia should also provide Baptiste with plenty of free points via unforced errors.
This is a pretty even match between an in-form player and an out-of-form player and if we’re going to get 3.5 games with the in-form player who is arguably playing the better tennis of the two, I will take it.
Garcia might be the household name, but don’t let that fool you. The value is with Baptiste.
Pick: Baptiste +3.5 games (+100 at PointsBet)
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