Written by: Lew Ford
It's going to be a Barty party down under and will Joker ever play in Australia again?
Despite the difficult draw, we are backing Ash Barty to win the AO. Since the start of 2019 she has played 32 tournaments, winning 11 titles, including last week. That’s an astonishing 34.4% winning percentage. Barty has the chance to become the first native Australian woman to win since 1978 and will enjoy a nice home court advantage. The stats that many handicappers use to set a baseline for a player’s success are 1st serve winning percentage and 1st serve return winning percentage, anything over 70% on serve and 36% on returns is excellent. Barty has a three-year average of 73.8% 1st serve winning percentage and 39.6% 1st serve return winning percentage, which is outstanding. On top of those great stats, Barty possesses the type of all around game that sets her apart from the field. She can stand on the baseline and trade ground strokes with any of the top players, but also has incredible touch with a deadly slice backhand and drop shot. Unlike most top singles players, Barty is also a top doubles player and has a great net game; she rarely misses volleys or overheads. The draw is definitely tough, with a matchup vs Osaka looming in the 4th round, we still like her at +300 if available. Another wager to consider is Garbine Muguruza to win Quarter #3. She is a two-time Major winner and has a good track record of success in Melbourne. She lost to the eventual champions (Kenin) in the 2019 finals and had match points on Osaka last year. Mugs won the WTA finals at the end of 2021 and made the quarter finals in last week's lead up event.
Photograph: Adam Davy/PA
First Round Men Matchups:
Cressy -115 O Isner
Maxime Cressy plays a style of tennis rarely seen on tour these days. He plays serve and volley tennis on both serve attempts and at 6’4” he has the height and athleticism to make it work. He made the final of the lead up event last week and has been on a steady rise since the start of 2020. This is the last type of player that John Isner wants to face at this stage of his career. It looks like the end might finally be near for Big John and he’s going to have to reach deep in the tank to beat a younger, more athletic opponent.
Rune +125 O Kwon
This line doesn’t seem right, Rune is an 18-year-old player with a lot of hype and the potential to be great. Kwon is a journeyman type player with a career winning record but only 4-10 in Majors. Kwon does own a career 1-0 record versus Rune and certainly is the more experienced. Taking talent over experience in this spot, Rune will have a five-set match to settle in and get the first win in a Major.
Max Cressy is ready to take the next step. Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton, USA TODAY Sports