2020 Australian Open Final Odds and Betting Picks: Sofia Kenin vs. Garbine Muguruza

2020 Australian Open Final Odds and Betting Picks: Sofia Kenin vs. Garbine Muguruza article feature image

Jason Heidrich/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Sofia Kenin

2020 Australian Open Final: Sofia Kenin vs. Garbine Muguruza Odds

  • Sofia Kenin odds: +146
  • Garbine Muguruza odds: -174
  • Time: 3:30 a.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

Last year, Garbine Muguruza was struggling to win. The 26-year-old took a 1-5 streak into a first-round match against Sofia Kenin in Beijing on Sept. 29th. Kenin cruised, 6-0, 6-2, as a -190 favorite. That was the last match of Muguruza’s 2019 season.

Four months later and Muguruza is now a -174 favorite over Kenin in the Australian Open Final. That seems like a dramatic shift against the always-improving Kenin, but Muguruza is in the best form we’ve seen from her in at least 20 months. She’s playing with confidence and striking the ball superbly from both her backhand and forehand. She has controlled the majority of points in her matches through her aggressive play. That should continue against the counter-attacking Kenin.

Even though she defeated Simona Halep in straight sets, Muguruza’s semifinal win was incredibly tight. She saved four set points in the first stanza and Halep melted down in the second set, blowing a 5-4 lead with the chance to serve her way to a third set. If three points go the other way, Halep could have won in straights. Either way, the match was played a very high level.

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The same thing cannot be said of Kenin’s semifinal victory over World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty. Both Kenin and Barty were tight in big moments and struggled with the heat. Barty continually hit errors with her backhand and Kenin struggled to return Barty’s serve. The most impressive aspect of the match was Kenin’s smart play to repeatedly pepper Barty’s backhand.

Muguruza’s game has been near-flawless for this entire tournament. When she’s playing at this level, her all-around game is stellar. Her forehand can be a little vulnerable, however, and that’s the area that Kenin should attack.

Kenin’s game is also firing on all cylinders, too. Despite owning a fairly average serve, she’s won 68.8% of first serves and 57.6% of second serves during the fortnight.

The big question will be whether or not Kenin, a 21-year-old playing in her first Grand Slam Final, can handle the moment.

If this was any other match, I think the price on Kenin would be much shorter. It’s difficult to properly handicap nerves, but Muguruza has been here before and succeeded, so that is probably inflating her value.

That being said, I am not worried about Kenin handling a big moment. She just took out the World No. 1 in her home country in a semifinal. Kenin didn’t show  any nerves at all in that match. She struggled with Barty’s serve and did not play at her peak throughout the match, but I don’t think that had anything to do with the pressure.

Kenin will still need to up her level from that match to beat the in-form Muguruza. Kenin has the ceiling to do that and she won’t ever quit on any point or any game, so she can turn this match into a grind.

In the end, I made Muguruza a -135 favorite for this match and think there’s significant value on Kenin.  If Muguruza wins it’s because she’s more powerful and ripping winners and all you can do is tip your cap. But if Muguruza drops her level, Kenin will pounce.

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