Australian Open 2023: Aryna Sabalenka vs Elise Mertens preview, head-to-head, prediction, odds and pick

Aryna Sabalenka (L) and Elise Mertens.
Aryna Sabalenka (L) and Elise Mertens.

Match Details

Fixture: (5) Aryna Sabalenka vs (26) Elise Mertens.

Date: 21 January 2023.

Tournament: Australian Open 2023.

Round: Third round (Round of 32).

Venue: Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia.

Category: Grand Slam.

Surface: Hard.

Prize Money: A$76,500,000.

Live telecast: USA - ESPN | UK - Eurosport | India - Sony Six, Sony Ten & Sony Liv.

Aryna Sabalenka vs Elise Mertens preview

Aryna Sabalenka at the 2023 Australian Open.
Aryna Sabalenka at the 2023 Australian Open.

Former doubles partners Aryna Sabalenka and Elise Mertens are set to clash in the third round of the 2023 Australian Open on Saturday.

Sabalenka advanced to the second round with a straight-sets victory over Tereza Martincova, where Shelby Rogers awaited her. The Belarusian went down an early break to fall behind 3-1 in the opening set, but turned things around rather quickly. She reeled off five consecutive games to clinch the set.

The second set was even more lopsided. Rogers briefly halted Sabalenka's momentum with a hold of serve to kick things off. The World No. 5 took charge of the proceedings once again, breaking her opponent's serve thrice as she claimed six games in a row to win 6-3, 6-1.

Mertens faced two-time Grand Slam champion and former Australian Open runner-up Garbine Muguruza in the first round. She dispatched her in three sets to set up a second-round contest against Lauren Davis.

Davis led 2-0 in the first set, but Mertens made it 2-2 soon enough. The Belgian snagged the decisive break in the ninth game of the set, following which she served it out with ease. The two were evenly matched until midway through the second set. Mertens then raised her level as she bagged four straight games to win 6-4, 6-3.

Aryna Sabalenka vs Elise Mertens head-to-head

The two are familiar rivals, having faced off eight times before. Sabalenka leads Mertens 6-2 in the head-to-head. She won their previous encounter at the 2021 US Open in straight sets.

Aryna Sabalenka vs Elise Mertens odds

PlayerMoneylineHandicap BetsTotal Games
Aryna Sabalenka-500+1.5 (-1400)Over 20.5 (-105)
Elise Mertens+333-1,5 (+600)Under 20.5 (-135)

(Odds are sourced from BetMGM)

Aryna Sabalenka vs Elise Mertens prediction

Elise Mertens at the 2023 Australian Open.
Elise Mertens at the 2023 Australian Open.

After a bumpy start in the second round, Sabalenka took control of the reins and never let go. She completely dominated Rogers after trailing by a break in the first set. This was her sixth consecutive victory following her title-winning run at the Adelaide International 1 a couple of weeks ago.

Sabalenka's serve has improved a bit this season and she didn't hit a single double fault in the previous round. Her ball-striking also got better as the match went on.

Mertens has had some disappointing results over the last few months, but her performance against Davis in the second round was rather good. Her serving stats were pretty decent and her defense was hard to break down.

Sabalenka and Mertens are good friends off the court and have had success together as well. They've won a couple of Grand Slam titles in doubles and are quite familiar with each other's games. The Belarusian has won their last five matches. Given her current form, the winning streak is likely to continue.

Pick: Aryna Sabalenka to win in straight sets.

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Edited by Rohit
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