Semi Final - Mertens vs. Wozniacki
MATCH UP STATS
Semi Final - Mertens vs. Wozniacki
Outright winner oddsElise Mertens: $8 at SportsbetCaroline Wozniacki: $3.50 at William Hill
CAN Elise Mertens scalp yet another top seed at the Australian Open?
The Belgian upstart made a massive statement with her straight-sets win over Elina Svitolina in the quarter-finals.
The fourth seed could not even muster a game in the second set as Mertens romped into the semis of a grand slam for the first time.
The 22-year-old’s amazing run at Melbourne Park is not entirely surprising to those who are aware of her recent record in this part of the world.
Since losing in qualifying at Brisbane early last year, Mertens has won the Hobart International twice and lost only one out of 22 matches in Australia.
That lone defeat came at the hands of Germany’s Angelique Kerber in the Hopman Cup.
Caroline Wozniacki has already survived a couple of scares against unseeded opponents.
The world number two pulled off an incredible comeback to beat Jana Fett in the second round and outlasted the enigmatic Carla Suarez Navarro over three sets in Tuesday night’s quarter-final.
Wozniacki’s superior movement and razor focus made the difference in cooling late-night conditions that were not especially conducive to expansive shotmaking.
It is the first time since 2011 that the 27-year-old Dane has reached the last four at the Australian Open.
Best bets for Elise Mertens
- To win a set – -129.87 at CrownBet
- +3.5 games handicap – +100 at Ladbrokes
Mertens has one obvious weapon: power.
She is a natural ballstriker who can serve upwards of 180kph and has big shots on both sides of her body.
But what has stood out is not her hitting, but her composure.
Mertens has remained ice cold even under the most intense pressure, as evinced by her stunning comeback against Daria Gavrilova in the second round.
That mentality should serve her well at the pointy end of the grand slams for years to come.
Caroline Wozniacki odds and specials
- Over 12.5 total games won – +110 at Sportsbet
- Wozniacki 2-1 set score – +310 at CrownBet
Every tennis coach in Australia should be showing their students footage of Wozniacki’s opening set against Suarez Navarro.
She is constantly on the move and never gives her opponent an easy way out of a point.
But the big improvement in Wozniacki’s game is the quality of her ballstriking.
Her serve is bigger and better than ever before, while her forehand is no longer the weak link it once was.
The driven backhand is still the money shot, but she has figured out a few more ways to cash in.
Who will win – Mertens or Wozniacki?
We are seeing plenty of range in the match betting for this one.
While Wozniacki is the clear favourite, Mertens is paying anywhere from +180 to +220 at online bookmakers.
There is obvious appeal in backing the Belgian.
She is in career-best form, she is paying good odds and her opponent has a history of collapsing in the big ones.
One also cannot help but consider how the Australian Open has unfolded thus far, and not just in the women’s draw.
However, Wozniacki has already overcome some big challenges and looks a more well-rounded player than she was a year ago.
There is good money in backing the favourite to edge it over three sets.
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