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Rybakina vs. Ostapenko Odds
|Time | How to Watch
|8:30 p.m. ET | ESPN2
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Read below to find out!
Rybakina Quietly Moving Through Draw
Rybakina had a strong performance against Swiatek. Despite winning just 46% of her second serve points, Rybakina won 80% of her first serves, hit six aces and was broken just two times.
She effectively neutralized Swiatek’s first serve, winning 43% of her first-serve return points and breaking on four occasions.
The Kazakh was going for her groundstrokes, hitting 24 winners versus 25 unforced errors during the match,
Rybakina has dropped just one set so far in Melbourne. That was in the third round to defending finalist Danielle Collins and Rybakina followed up a 5-7 second set by immediately breaking Collins to start the third and taking that set (and the match) 6-2.
This goes to show Rybakina’s rock-solid mentality on court. Rybakina went 40-21 in 2022, including a 23-14 record on hard courts, and won Wimbledon last season in large part because of her mental game.
However, let’s not discount Rybakina’s serve and groundstrokes. Standing at six feet tall, she has a huge first serve that allows her to immediately get ahead in points. Rybakina has won over 75% of her first-serve points in every match so far in Melbourne, getting broken just six times in four matches.
From the baseline, Rybakina hits punishing groundstrokes that force her opponents on the defensive. Rybakina is often in charge of rallies, dragging her opponents around the court.
And, while Rybakina is not the fastest on court, she anticipates her opponents’ shots well.
Ostapenko Playing Some of Her Best Tennis
The Latvian took the racquet out of Gauff’s hands last round, hitting 30 winners compared to 27 unforced errors in the match. Ostapenko was in charge, with the match on her racquet, make or miss.
Ostapenko was clutch on return as well, breaking the American three times on three break points.
She has now broken serve 18 times in her four Australian Open matches, holding every opponent to under 70% of their first serves won.
Ostapenko’s first serve was on against Gauff, winning 80% of her first-serve points and only getting broken once. However, she struggled on her second delivery, only winning 42% of her second-serve points.
The first serve is a weapon for Ostapenko, although her second serve sits up in the box, waiting to be smacked.
She plays risky tennis from the baseline, hitting punishing groundstrokes from seemingly-neutral ball rallies. She can hit winners from both wings, although she plays low-margin tennis, so unforced errors often flow from her racquet.
Ostapenko’s fitness is not the best right now as well, and while that should not be a huge factor given how both her and Rybakina like to play quick rallies, it could come into play if there’s a third set.
Rybakina vs. Ostapenko Pick
Both of these players like to hit big first serves and rip huge groundstrokes from the baseline.
When it comes to serving, however, I trust Rybakina more. She was both in the top 10 and above Ostapenko in the following service categories in 2022: service games won, service points won, first-serve points won and aces.
In 2023, Rybakina is in the top 12 and higher than Ostapenko in the following categories: service games won, service points won, first-serve points won and aces.
So, Rybakina has showcased over the past year-plus that she has the better, more reliable serve.
Rybakina will smother Ostapenko’s second serve, which is a weakness in her gam and get ahead in rallies, even during her return games.
I think that Rybakina has played tougher competition to reach this point and she’s been consistently tested from the baseline in a way that Ostapenko hasn’t, outside of her match with Gauff.
I also trust Rybakina’s fitness more than Ostapenko’s.
Pick: Rybakina -2.5 games (-145 via BetMGM)