Aryna Sabalenka looks to make it back-to-back Australian Open titles on Saturday this time against surprising finalist Qinwen Zheng.
Zheng is making the finals of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career while Sabalenka is looking to continue her form in Melbourne with a second consecutive title. One of the best players in the world, Sabalenka hasn't dropped a set en route to the Finals. Can her overpowering serve overwhelm another opponent en route to another trophy?
Here's how we're betting the Women's Final down under.
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Qinwen Zheng vs. Aryna Sabalenka Odds, Spread and Total
- Qinwen Zheng: +5.5 (-144)
- Aryna Sabalenka -5.5 (+108)
- Qinwen Zheng: +490
- Aryna Sabalenka: -650
Total: 20.5 (Over -106/Under -126)
Qinwen Zheng vs. Aryna Sabalenka Prediction and Pick
These two have met just once, at the 2023 U.S. Open, a resounding Sabalenka victory, 6-1, 6-4, and I expect her to make quick work of her opponent yet again in the Finals.
Zheng deserves credit for making a run to her first Grand Slam Championship match but didn't face a player inside the top 50 on her way. This will be her first matchup against a player with the serve of Sabalenka, who should overpower her consistently.
Zheng's serve has been suspect at best this fortnight, saving only 62% of her 37 break points faced. Meanwhile, she has converted 28 of 55 break points (about 51%). I don't believe she'll be able to create more chances on her return than on her serve in this match against Sabalenka, who has been pumping her first serve in on more than 60% of her chances in all but one match in the Australian Open.
This is a bet on the reigning champion's serve to come through once again and for her to dispose of her opponent dominantly. Further, Zheng has been too shaky on her serve to trust her to navigate that many high-pressure points with the title on the line.
I'll lay the games with Sabalenka.
PICK: Sabalenka -5.5 (+108)
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.