Australian Open 2024: Aryna Sabalenka vs Lesia Tsurenko preview, head-to-head, prediction, odds and pick

Aryna Sabalenka (L) & Lesia Tsurenko
Aryna Sabalenka (L) & Lesia Tsurenko

Match Details

Fixture: (2) Aryna Sabalenka vs (28) Lesia Tsurenko

Date: January 19, 2024

Tournament: Australian Open 2024

Round: Third round (Round of 32)

Venue: Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia

Category: Grand Slam

Surface: Hard (Outdoor)

Prize Money: A$86,500,000

Live telecast: USA - ESPN & Tennis Channel | UK - Eurosport | India - Sony Sports & Sony Liv | Canada - TSN & RDS

Aryna Sabalenka vs Lesia Tsurenko preview

Defending champion Aryna Sabalenka will square off against Ukrainian veteran Lesia Tsurenko on Friday for a place in the Round of 16 at the Australian Open 2024.

Sabalenka has made a blistering start to the 2024 season. After finishing as the runner-up to Elena Rybakina in Brisbane, the World No. 2 has now blitzed her way through to the third round of the Australian Open.

She pummeled German qualifier Ella Seidel 6-0, 6-1 in her opener before dispatching the talented Brenda Fruhvirtova 6-3, 6-2. Up next for her is 28th seed Lesia Tsurenko.

Lesia Tsurenko in action at the 2024 Australian Open
Lesia Tsurenko in action at the 2024 Australian Open

A holder of four WTA titles, Tsurenko had been a top-100 mainstay for a number of years before suffering a loss of form in 2021. The 34-year-old bounced back in 2023 with a run to the final at Hua Hin.

She also made the semifinals at Monastir and the quarterfinals at Zhengzhou, aside from a couple of Round-of-16 appearances at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, to reclaim her place in the top 50.

Now ranked 33rd, Tsurenko began the 2024 season with a second-round finish at Auckland. At the Australian Open, she had to battle her way past Lucia Bronzetti 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the first round before trouncing Rebeka Masarova 6-3, 6-4.

Aryna Sabalenka vs Lesia Tsurenko head-to-head

Sabalenka and Tsurenko are tied at 1-1 in their head-to-head. Tsurenko blew away Sabalenka 6-1, 6-1 in their very first meeting at Hobart in 2018. The Belarusian exacted revenge the very next year at Indian Wells with a 6-2, 7-5 victory.

What was supposed to be their third face-off, at Indian Wells in 2023, didn't materialize as Tsurenko gave a walkover.

Aryna Sabalenka vs Lesia Tsurenko odds

PlayerMoneylineHandicap Bets
Aryna Sabalenka-1300-4.5 (-420)
Lesia Tsurenko+900+4.5 (+270)

(Odds sourced from oddschecker)

Aryna Sabalenka vs Lesia Tsurenko prediction

Sabalenka strikes the ball at the 2024 Australian Open.
Sabalenka strikes the ball at the 2024 Australian Open.

Sabalenka comes into this contest as the overwhelming favorite given her pedigree and record at this tournament. The defending champion has been playing some brilliant first-strike tennis so far, winning 80% of her first-serve points on an average in the first couple of rounds.

The Belarusian also cleaned up her act in the second round, producing 30 winners to 22 unforced errors, after a 20-20 ratio in the first round. The stats definitely make her an ominous proposition to face for anyone standing on the opposite side of the net.

That said, Sabalenka needs to be wary of the experience that Tsurenko brings into their impending showdown. The Ukrainian is not only an excellent counterpuncher who thrives on hardcourts but can also mix up her shots to throw her opponents off their rhythm.

Tsurenko does possess the ability to test Sabalenka's movement but keeping her own unforced errors in check has been a challenge for her so far. She racked up 61 and 33 unforced errors in her first couple of rounds, which definitely doesn't bode well before facing an uber-aggressive player of Sabalenka's caliber.

Unless Tsurenko is able to cut down on her errors, Sabalenka will run away with the match.

Pick: Sabalenka to win in straight sets.

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