Marta Kostyuk vs Sara Sorribes Tormo: Australian Open Round Two Odds, Preview & Analysis (Jan. 18)
Clive Brunskill/Getty. Pictured: Sara Sorribes Tormo hits a backhand in the first round of the Australian Open.
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Marta Kostyuk vs. Sara Sorribes Tormo
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. For tips on watching tennis matches, click here.|
Marta Kostyuk has had a solid, if unspectacular, start to the season. Kostyuk went 1-2 in the warmup events and then beat Diane Parry 6-1, 7-6(2) in the first round of the main draw,
Kostyuk’s form has been uneven, not entirely surprising for the early days of the season. In losses to Claire Liu and Coco Gauff, she struggled to serve, winning under 50% of her second-serve points, hitting five aces compared to ten double faults and getting broken a combined 10 times. Her first-serve percentage was also below 60% in both matches.
But, in her wins over Shelby Rogers and Parry, Kostyuk served well. She was only broken a combined three times in those two matches, she served with a first-serve percentage over 60% and won greater than 75% of her first-serve points.
Kostyuk has easy power and is a dangerous player to see in the draw, as she can take the racquet out of opponents’ hands at times. She really takes her opportunities to be aggressive and hits a clean ball. With that said, she can overhit at times and her level can vary pretty widely from match to match.
On the other hand, players and tennis fans alike know exactly what they’re going to get with Sara Sorribes Tormo. She has an incredible backhand slice which forces opponents to continually bend their knees, superb anticipation, and the Spaniard does a great job of both getting tough serves back in play and counterpunching at an elite level.
However, it’s taken Sorribes Tormo a few matches to really find her rhythm from the baseline, which makes sense given the consistency required to properly execute her game is tough to execute in the first matches of the season.
Sorribes Tormo is currently 2-1 on the year. During the Melbourne Summer Set 2 warmup event, she beat Beatriz Haddad Maia in three sets before falling to Kamilla Rakhimova 7-6(3), 6-4. Then, in the first round of the Australian Open, she had no problems beating Kirsten Flipkens 6-4, 6-1.
The grinder made over 70% of her first serves in all three matches, however she never won even 65% of her first-serve points. And she struggled on her second serve in every match, not having won 55% of her second-serve points once in the three matches, with Sorribes Tormo recording under 50% second serves won in two of the three matches she’s played.
While it took a little bit for Sorribes Tormo to find her return, she was locked in against Flipkens. In the first round of the Australian Open, the Spaniard broke in six of her nine return games and won 82% of her second-serve returns. She hit 25 winners to 14 unforced errors during the match.
First off, I don’t put much stock in Kostyuk’s win over Parry. The Frenchwoman is a clay courter and the fact that she was up 5-5 *0-30 on Kostyuk’s serve late in the second set isn’t the most reassuring for Kostyuk supporters.
Sorribes Tormo’s overall Elo is higher than Kostyuk’s by 26.5 points, but her hard-court Elo is greater than Kostyuk’s by 69.2 points.
In addition, it’s important to note that while, one might look at Sorribes Tormo’s career winning percentage on hard courts of 54% and note how much lower it is than Kostyuk’s hard-court career winning percentage of 64%.
However, it’s important to note that Sorribes Tormo really developed her hard-court game last season, and while the sample size isn’t as big, she did win 24 of her 36 hard-court matches last season (67%).
This will be an interesting match which will see Kostyuk try to be aggressive and Sorribes Tormo attempting to absorb the power and counterpunch.
Ultimately, I expect this to be a bit of a streaky match, with Kostyuk having stretches of the match where she hits through Sorribes Tormo, and the Spaniard coaxing out errors at other times.
But, as was the case for both of their previous head to head matchups, I expect Sorribes Tormo to stay within 3.5 games here. Quite frankly, given their current levels and abilities on hard courts, I feel Kostyuk has been given too much respect.
Kostyuk certainly has tons of potential, but is she ready to cover this spread against a locked-in Sorribes Tormo who is going to extend rallies and force the Ukranian to hit a bunch of extra shots?
I don’t think so.
Pick: Sorribes Tormo +3.5 games (-105 at BetMGM)