Australian Open 2022: Aryna Sabalenka vs Marketa Vondrousova preview, head-to-head & prediction

Aryna Sabalenka and Marketa Vondrousova.
Aryna Sabalenka and Marketa Vondrousova.

Match details

Fixture: (2) Aryna Sabalenka vs (31) Marketa Vondrousova.

Date: 22 January 2022.

Tournament: Australian Open 2022.

Round: Third round (Round of 32).

Venue: Melbourne, Australia.

Category: Grand Slam.

Surface: Outdoor Hardcourt.

Prize money: $75,000,000.

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Eurosport | India - Sony Six, Sony Liv.

Aryna Sabalenka vs Marketa Vondrousova preview

Sabalenka at the 2022 Australian Open.
Sabalenka at the 2022 Australian Open.

World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka will lock horns with 2019 Roland Garros finalist Marketa Vondrousova in the third round of the 2022 Australian Open on Saturday.

For a second consecutive match, Sabalenka had to stage a comeback as she defeated Xinyu Wang 1-6, 6-4, 6-2. She got off to a terrible start, committing 19 errors and 12 double faults in the opening set.

Sabalenka cleaned up her act a little as the match progressed, ultimately defeating her younger opponent. But the World No. 2 looks far from her best currently and will be worried as the matches are only bound to get more difficult as the tournament progresses.

Sabalenka survives πŸ’ͺ No.2 seed @SabalenkaA digs deep for a 1-6 6-4 6-2 comeback win over Xinyu Wang.#AusOpen Β· #AO2022πŸŽ₯: @wwos Β· @espn Β· @eurosport Β· @wowowtennis
Vondrousova at the Tokyo Olympics.
Vondrousova at the Tokyo Olympics.

Vondrousova, on the other hand, made her way to the third round with relative ease. She defeated wildcard Priscilla Hon 6-2, 6-3 in the first round, followed by a 6-2, 7-5 win over Liudmilla Samsonova.

Recovery mode πŸ”›The No.2 seed @SabalenkaA sneaks past X. Wang in a three set win. Faces Vondrousova next.#AO2022

The left-handed Czech is certainly a dark horse in the tournament. She already has a Grand Slam final under her belt, reaching the title round at the 2019 French Open. Vondrousova now has another opportunity to make a deep run given the draw at this year's Australian Open.

Aryna Sabalenka vs Marketa Vondrousova head-to-head

The two have met four times previously, with the head-to-head tied at 2-2. Sabalenka won their most recent encounter 6-1, 6-2 in the fourth round of the Miami Open last year.

Aryna Sabalenka vs Marketa Vondrousova prediction

Sabalenka at the 2022 Australian Open.
Sabalenka at the 2022 Australian Open.

Despite currently being ranked lower than her opponent, Vondrousova will be the favorite to win this encounter. Sabalenka has often struggled against players with relatively little experience at the big tournaments. Unless the World No. 2 drastically improves overnight, it's hard to see her winning.

Vondrousova's crafty gameplay has confounded even the best of players. The Czech is known to frequently utilize drop shots and being a lefty gives her an edge too. She's a great returner as well, which will help her a lot in the next match amidst Sabalenka's current serving woes.

To her credit, the Belarusian did find a way to turn things around despite not playing well in her first two matches. But if she's off to another slow start against Vondrousova, it'll result in her exit from the tournament.

Prediction: Marketa Vondrousova to win in straight sets.

Also check out: Complete Australian Open 2022 results

Edited by Anantaajith Ra
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