Third Round Australian Open Predictions | Swiatek vs Noskova, Kalinskaya vs Stephens

Third Round Australian Open Predictions | Swiatek vs Noskova, Kalinskaya vs Stephens article feature image

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 18: Iga Swiatek of Poland in action against Danielle Collins of the United States in the women’s singles second round match on Day 5 of the 2024 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 18, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

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It's time to round out the final eight players of each draw that will reach the second week of the Happy Slam from Melbourne Park.

Without further ado, let's jump right into the previews.

Find my Thursday Australian Openpicks for Iga Swiatek vs Linda Noskova and Anna Kalinskaya vs Sloane Stephens.

Match times are subject to change. Read here for advice on viewing Australian Open matches.

Third Round Australian Open Predictions

Iga Swiatek (-1000) vs Linda Noskova (+900) 

3 a.m. ET

Fresh off surviving a big scare against Danielle Collins – someone who has beaten her at this event in the past – world No. 1 Iga Swiatek has a new lease on life as she takes on promising young gun Linda Noskova.

Despite the close call last time out, I'd trust Swiatek to get back on track and put in a more dominant performance this time around.

The teenager from the Czech Republic doesn't profile as the type of player that typically causes Swiatek problems. Her backhand is strong, but it isn't a weapon that should hit through the Pole's strong defending and movement very often. Then there's the fact that her forehand is the weaker groundstroke for her. That is a big problem against someone like Swiatek, whose forehand isn't just pacy, but the heaviest forehand on the women's tour, which can be a headache to play against without committing too many unforced errors.

I don't have any issue backing one of the best players in the world in a matchup that should favor her when I'm getting the hook on the total and slightly over even money. I make this 17 at a normal -110 price, so there's enough of an edge to get involved.

Pick: Under 17.5 (+102 via PointsBet)

Anna Kalinskaya (-122) vs Sloane Stephens (+102) 

7 p.m. ET

Well, I faded Stephens with a better mover and someone who has typically displayed more hustle on court last round and it didn't go well. The American even mentioned in comments after the match that she knows what people normally say about her lack of passion on court and that she was ready to kick it up a gear again after a good offseason.

That may spell trouble in this one for the Russian, but I'm going back to the well fading her in this one.

I have Kalinskaya rated as one of the best players currently outside the top-50 at the moment and her talent is good enough to take her into the top-20 or top-30 given the current landscape of the WTA Tour.

She may not have blistering power, but her serve and groundstrokes are effective, and on quicker courts, she can flatten her shots out to the point that they skid through the court really nicely and take time away from her opponents.

She also moves well enough and is adept on return to apply consistent pressure in her opposition's service games.

I have her as a bit bigger of a favorite in this one and am not yet ready to move off my priors on Stephens, which would make her a fairly pronounced underdog in this tilt.

Pick: Kalinskaya ML (-122 via FanDuel)

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