Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:30 PM EST. Odds subject to change.
Aryna Sabalenka wins 2-0 over Coco Gauff
Best Odds: +128 at Pinnacle
3:30 AM EST. You'll need to be on the night shift to watch this matchup but trust that a semifinals will occur in the womens' bracket of the Aussie Open and this fued has plenty of fuel behind it already. Aryna Sabalenka, the world's #2 ranked player, has been waiting for a rematch against Coco Gauff since late last summer. The resilient American prevailed in last year's U.S. Open Final, leveraging a partisan crowd in Queens, NY and ultimately preventing Sabalenka from earning her second grand-slam title.
Sabalenka's incomparable power was on full display early last time these two met, beating Gauff 6-2 in the first set, but it appeared the favorite quickly got in her head when adversity struck in later games. But that's all in the past and we worry not about the 6'0" beauty. She's in a fantastic position to earn a second grand-slam win in Sydney, since two of her strongest foes - Iga Swiatek and Elena Rybakina - have already been eliminated, and she's certainly taken advantage of the opportunity. Sabalenka has beaten every opponent in straight sets thus far, losing only 16 total games in 5 matches. Needless to say, she is poised for revenge, and her recent form suggests she's beyond ready to get it.
We can't echo the same sentiments for Coco. The American-tennis-player-turned-celebrity is a prime candidate for regression following her U.S. Open win. After a nice victory at the lower-tier ASB Classic in early January, she's beaten less-talented opponents to get to this point, as expected. But in her last match, a 34-game marathon against the upstart Marta Kostyuk out of Ukraine (watch out for her this year, she's ascending quickly), Gauff had one of her worst showings in a long time. A fired up Kostyuk overpowered and out-maneuvered the 19 year old in several key moments, including a massive comeback in the second set to extend the match. At times Gauff looked tired, frazzled, and without answers. She found her footing in the final set, while it seemed like Kostyuk was dealing with some sort of toe injury, but Gauff was lucky to escape with a W. It was her third 13-game set of the Aussie Open, and since it was only two short nights ago, we imagine the U.S. Open champion doesn't have the freshest legs heading into Wednesday's battle.
She'll need to be at her best to have a chance against a vengeful Sabalenka, and we just don't see it. The Belarusian has competed in proverbial practice-sessions leading up to this big matchup, while Gauff has looked challenged and overwhelmed by yet another big theatre. If Sabalenka is going to dominate her new rival, this would be the spot. We'll take the power-hitter at a value-price to continue her unparalleled run.
Aryna Sabalenka 2-0 +128 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.56)
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