The 2024 Australian Open semifinals are upon us, and after a women’s singles tournament that has seen shock results and huge upsets from the very first round, the two highest-ranked players left in contention face off for a place in Saturday’s decider.
Fourth seed Coco Gauff came into this tournament off the back of a maiden grand slam victory at last year’s US Open, and has surpassed her previous-best finish at the Australian Open to reach the last four for the first time. She’s done so in some style too, winning all five of her matches by a convincing margin and dropping only one set so far.
Defending champion Sabalenka has also been at her brilliant best to reach the semifinals, putting on dominant performances in every single match as she seeks a second consecutive title. She’s yet to drop a set in her five matches so far, but 19-year-old Gauff, who defeated her in that US Open final, is a different proposition entirely.
With the (bad) luck of the draw pitting the second and fourth seeds against one another in this semifinal, it’s hard not to think that the winner of this match will be the overwhelming favourite come the decider on January 27. Sabalenka secured the first grand slam of her career in last year’s final, but will Gauff deny her the chance of a second just as she did at the US Open?
MORE: Where to watch Gauff vs Sabalenka in the Australian Open semifinals
Coco Gauff vs Aryna Sabalenka odds, prediction
All odds courtesy of DraftKings
Coco Gauff win: +180
Aryna Sabalenka win: -225
Moneyline lean: Coco Gauff to win (+180)
Score prediction: 4-6 7-6 7-5
With the number of high-profile defeats and upsets we’ve seen at this year’s Australian Open, the semifinal between Gauff and Sabalenka sees the two best (and highest seeded by some distance) remaining players going head-to-head for a chance at grand slam glory.
With the pair dropping just one set between them on their respective journeys to the last four — and that was a tight 7-6 setback for Gauff against Marta Kostyuk — there is very, very little to separate the pair in terms of form coming into this match.
Gauff and Sabalenka have faced off six times previously, with the 19-year-old Floridian notching four wins, and despite her opponent’s proven title-winning mettle at Melbourne Park, The Sporting News thinks that Gauff can repeat her US Open heroics of 2023 and defeat Sabalenka to secure her first Australian Open grand slam victory.
Coco Gauff vs Aryna Sabalenka best bet
Pick: Gauff to win and over 23.5 games
Odds: +350 (DraftKings)
Both Gauff and Sabalenka have been in near-flawless form on their way to the last four at this year’s Australian Open, dropping just one set between them in a combined 10 victories leading up to the semifinals. As such, this meeting between the players ranked fourth and second in the world respectively could well be one that goes down to the wire.
While The Sporting News is tipping Gauff to get the job done and reach a second consecutive grand slam final, we know it’s not going to be an easy task for the Floridian, and the contest will be a far cry from the mostly straight-sets victories both Gauff and Sabalenka have achieved so far.
We think Gauff winning over a distance of 23.5+ games is decent value, which is a huge total in any contest, but given how evenly matched the pair have been in recent tournaments, there’s little doubt that the victor will have been pushed all the way at Melbourne Park.
Coco Gauff vs Aryna Sabalenka prop bet
Pick: Sabalenka to have less than 2.5 breaks of serve in the 1st set
Odds: +110 (DraftKings)
She’s blitzed opponent after opponent on her way to the last four, and while we’re tipping Gauff to be the eventual winner of this match, there’s no doubting that Sabalenka’s fast starts will get her off on the stronger foot in the early exchanges.
There’s plenty of tennis to be played in between the first and last sets, but Sabalenka’s power game could well see her come straight onto the front foot and give Gauff little to counter with.
Sabalenka’s strong serve and power on the return may give her the early advantage, so we’re backing her to take home the first set with a dominant serve that Gauff will be lucky to break more than twice.
Coco Gauff vs Aryna Sabalenka head-to-head record
In six meetings between the two best players left in this year’s Australian Open, 19-year-old Floridian Gauff has a 4-2 advantage in terms of wins — the most notable of which came just a few months ago in the 2023 US Open final.
That 2-6 6-3 6-2 victory won Gauff her first career grand slam, denying Sabalenka her second such title in the process. Prior to that decider, Sabalenka had triumphed 6-4 6-0 at the Indian Wells Open quarterfinals earlier in 2023.
The pair faced off twice during the 2020 WTA Tour, exchanging victories at the Lexington Challenger and Ostrava Open respectively. Gauff made up for her loss in the latter with a straight-sets victory at the 2021 Rome Open, and followed this up at the next year’s Toronto Open.
All four of matches between 2020 and 2022 took place in the round of 16, with their upcoming semifinal being the first time Gauff and Sabalenka have played in the last four of any competition.
Coco Gauff vs Aryna Sabalenka live stream, TV channel
Both Fubo and ESPN+ are streaming the match live, and US fans can also tune into ESPN and the Tennis Channel to watch on TV.
|ESPN, Tennis Channel
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