Ashleigh Barty vs. Maria Sakkari
|Date & Time||Thursday January 17, 2019, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Ashleigh Barty and Maria Sakkari meet in the third round of the 2019 tennis Australian Open.
Ashleigh Barty is coming off a straight sets win over Yafan Wang that took 17 games to decide. In the victory, Barty won 82 percent of her first serve points and 61 percent of her second serve points. Barty won 74 percent of her total service points and converted on four of her 10 break points. Barty has made both of her matches quick and painless, as she’s averaging about an hour per showing and has combined for 49 winners. Barty is one of the hotter players in the field when you consider she’s won 11 of her last 13 matches, which includes a recent final run in Sydney. Barty also has the home crowd behind her obviously, which certainly doesn’t hurt. Barty hopes to make the fourth round of a grand slam for the second time in her career. Barty has won 10 of her last 12 matches on hard court.
Maria Sakkari is coming off a straight sets win over Astra Sharma that took 17 games to decide. In the victory, Sakkari won 80 percent of her first serve points and 42 percent of her second serve points. Sakkari won 70 percent of her total service points and converted on four of her seven break points. Sakkari is making the most of her moment after beating Jelena Ostapenko in the first round, and she has a chance to send home two Aussies in back-to-back matches with a win here. Sakkari entered this tournament losing seven of her last nine matches, so these wins are a welcome sight for the 23-year-old. Sakkari hopes to make the fourth round of a grand slam for the first time in her career. Sakkari has lost five of her last seven matches on hard court.
These two have split the previous two matches, as Barty won in Taipei in 2016 and Sakkari won in Indian Wells last year.
You can make a case for Sakkari in this match given that she beat Barty last year and did beat quality player in Ostapenko in the first round. The problem is Barty seems like she’s starting to put things together during this impressive winning stretch. Barty has cleaned up her unforced errors, is hitting the ball with great pace and you can see the confidence build whenever she takes the court. This is the best we’ve seen of Barty possibly ever, and you have to think it continues on her home soil.
We’ve backed Barty often during these last couple of weeks and I’ll do the same here. Barty has her minor breakthrough grand slam appearance.