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Victoria Azarenka vs Elina Svitolina: Australian Open Round Three Odds, Preview & Analysis (Jan. 20)

Victoria Azarenka vs Elina Svitolina: Australian Open Round Three Odds, Preview & Analysis (Jan. 20) article feature image
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Anadolu Agency/Getty. Pictured: Victoria Azarenka celebrates a point against Panna Udvardy at the Australian Open.

Victoria Azarenka vs. Elina Svitolina

Azarenka Odds -850
Svitolina Odds +550
Over/Under 21.5
Time 7 p.m. ET
Odds via PointsBet. For tips on how to watch tennis, click here.

Victoria Azarenka’s start to the 2022 Australian Open has been perfect. Azarenka has dropped seven games in her first two rounds combined, dominating from the baseline and showcasing why she’s still a huge threat in women’s tennis.

In the first round against Panna Udvardy, Azarenka put together a complete performance in the 6-3, 6-1 victory. The world number 25 won 80% of her first serves and only was broken once all match. On return, she won 59% of Udvardy’s service points.

Against a clay-courter in Udvardy, Azarenka knew she had to play within herself. She hit 13 winners compared to 16 unforced errors, and while she came to net only ten times, she won nine of her net points.

In the second round against Jil Teichmann, a player who can play on hard courts and whose lefty game gave players fits last season, Azarenka was even more impressive.

The world number 25 beat Teichmann 6-1, 6-2, winning 69% of her service points while not getting broken. Teichmann only won 31% of her service points and was broken in four of her seven service games. Azarenka was in full control of the baseline, but once against played within herself, with 12 winners and 13 unforced errors.

Elina Svitolina has had a rockier road to the third round. In the first round against Fiona Ferro, Svitolina took down the Frenchwoman 6-1, 7-6(4), but Ferro served for the second set and allowed her level to drop.

Svitolina did a good job on return, winning 51% of her return points and her serve was good enough, winning 65% on that front. She actually had a positive winners to unforced errors ratio, with 27 winners compared to 22 unforced errors.

In the second round against world number 107 Harmony Tan, Svitolina looked more pedestrian. She only won 59% of her service points in this match, was broken five times, and this time the usually-rock solid Ukrainian hit 32 winners compared to 43 unforced errors.

Svitolina was also a bit fortunate (from a tennis perspective) that Tan injured herself, eventually having to retire with Svitolina leading 6-3, 5-7, 5-1.

Betting Value

This is a classic matchup between a powerful baseline-centric player in Azarenka and a really good counterpuncher in Svitolina. However, Azarenka is clearly playing the better tennis of the two players.

Whether it be her two dominating performances in Melbourne, or even beating world number six Paula Badosa and getting a set off of world number nine Iga Swiatek in Adelaide, Azarenka has rocketed out of the gates in 2022. It’s truly been an  incredible resurgence, highlighted by her Indian Wells final appearance last season.

Svitolina, on the other hand, went 0-2 in the warmup events and just hasn’t looked herself. Her shots aren’t as deep in the court, she’s more prone to unforced errors, and less willing to grind than she used to be.

When looking at Elo ratings, it’s important to note that Azarenka has a 70.1 greater overall Elo rating and a 68.2 difference on hard courts. Azarenka has the overall seventh-best Elo rating and sixth-best on hard courts.

At the end of the day, there’s nothing Svitolina can do here to hurt Azarenka. The Belarusian has plenty more firepower from the baseline and, while Svitolina may be a bit more consistent from the baseline, with the depth on her shots lacking, Azarenka won’t have problems taking control of rallies.

While past head to head meetings don’t mean much, it is worth noting that Azarenka would have covered today’s 3.5-game handicap in all four of their previous matches

And there’s no reason she can’t do it again here.

Pick: Azarenka -3.5 games (-140)

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