After surviving a pressure-packed first round at the Australian Open, the field has been whittled down to 64 players vying for the title.
I’ve found betting value on two of Tuesday’s second-round matches for us to look at.
Read on for my Australian Open picks for January 17.
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Australian Open Betting Odds & Picks
Maria Sakkari (-550) vs. Diana Shnaider (+380)
7 p.m. ET
Maria Sakkari defeated Yue Yuan 6-1, 6-4 to kick off her Australian Open campaign. Sakkari served very well, winning 87% of her first serves and only getting broken twice. She also won 52% of her return points and broke five times.
While not the most mentally tough, Sakkari has a solid game and is in good form. Dating back to last season, she has now won 11 of her past 14 matches overall. The Greek hits her spots on serve and has a heavy, well-placed forehand that she uses to dictate from the baseline.
Sakkari was also utilizing her backhand as a weapon against Yuan, although that was partially due to Yuan’s weak baseline performance.
Diana Shnaider is rapidly moving up the rankings, now beating Kristina Kucova 7-6(6), 7-5 to advance to the second round of her maiden Slam. Shnaider won 70% of her first-serve points, hit nine aces and was only broken twice. The Russian also won 56% of her second-serve return points.
Only 18 years old, Shnaider is currently at a career-high ranking of World No. 105. She was an impressive 58-17 in 2022 – mostly on clay – and went 12-6 on hard courts. She has a big first serve and huge lefty forehand that dominates from the baseline.
However, Shnaider’s fitness and movement are not the best and her rally tolerance can dip.
Sakkari’s backhand was strong against Yuan, but Shnaider will put more pressure on that wing with her cross-court forehand. The Greek was also dictating rallies versus Yuan, whereas Shnaider has the power to push Sakkari off the baseline and not allow the Greek to control the court with her forehand.
Shnaider also won’t give Sakkari the rhythm that she’s looking for. Shnaider often plays quick points, pulling the trigger in rallies early on.
Pick: Shanider +5.5 games (-135 via PointsBet)
Jil Teichmann (-250) vs. Lin Zhu (+190)
7 p.m. ET
Jil Teichmann vanquished Harriet Dart in the first round, defeating the Brit 7-5, 6-1. Teichmann won 67% of her first serves and wiped away seven of Dart’s nine break opportunities. In addition, the Swiss won 51% of her first-serve return points, breaking serve on five occasions.
She has started this season fairly strong, going 5-2 to start and comfortably beating Amanda Anisimova in the process.
When she’s on her game, Teichmann is a tricky opponent. The Swiss is very consistent from both wings and can manipulate her forehand around the court especially well. Her depth is excellent and she moves well, though her backhand can sometimes be a liability.
Lin Zhu beat Rebecca Marino 6-2, 6-4 to advance to the second round. Zhu won 85% of her first-serve points, only getting broken once, and Zhu won 48% of her first-serve return points. That’s particularly impressive given Marino’s huge first serve. Zhu hit 15 winners versus 12 unforced errors in the match.
She went 41-26 in 2022, which includes a 35-17 record on hard courts. Zhu doesn’t do anything special, but she hits her spots on serve and has a fairly good forehand that she dictate with when her opponent gives her the opportunity to do so.
Zhu’s backhand is not strong and, while she can hit with power from the baseline, quick counterpunchers are not overwhelmed with Zhu’s pace.
Teichmann has the style and level to diffuse Zhu’s game. Her rally tolerance, movement and anticipation will allow her track down many of Zhu’s power shots and neutralize rallies. And her depth won’t allow Zhu many opportunities to attack.
When looking at Elo ratings, Teichmann’s overall Elo is 135 points higher than Zhu’s and her hard-court Elo is 105 points higher.
Pick: Teichmann -3.5 games (-140 via BetMGM)
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