TennisSection previews the 2023 Australian Open women’s fourth-round matches, featuring Iga Swiatek taking on Elena Rybakina, and Coco Gauff taking on Jelena Ostapenko on Sunday, January 22, 2023.
Iga Swiatek vs. Elena Rybakina
It’s an unsolved mystery how Iga Swiatek didn’t drop a set in her opener against Jule Niemeier. But since dodging the big-hitting German, Swiatek has found her range, sweeping past Camila Osorio and Cristina Bucsa in dominant style. The World No. 1 doesn’t wallow in doubt, but historically, she has struggled against power hitters, something her next opponent will bring in plenty to the table.
Elena Rybakina has also hit a purple patch at the Australian Open. This is the deepest she has ever gone at Melbourne Park in five visits. So she is extremely dangerous and she is a very difficult woman to stop when she rides on a wave of momentum. Her third-round win over last year’s finalist Danielle Collins is her finest yet. But if the Kazakh intends to spring the upset, she will need to hit the ball accurately leaving very little margin for error to keep the ball beyond Swiatek’s reach. The Pole is so astute and glides around the court with just a few steps. We reckon the World No. 1 will get the job done in a hard-fought encounter.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Iga Swiatek in 3 sets
Coco Gauff vs. Jelena Ostapenko
This will be a very interesting matchup, but I think it has a predictable result with it. Pound for pound, Jelena Ostapenko is one of a handful of WTA players who can outhit Coco Gauff in a baseline battle. But the American’s rally tolerance over the last two seasons has gone up a notch. It will take something out of the ordinary to stop Gauff in her tracks at this year’s Australian Open.
Ostapenko possesses a big forehand and a pacey serve, but it is not a major surprise that she hasn’t made it this far in hard-court slam. And its one word only – inconsistency. The Latvian is hit-and-miss and can often fail to contain her aggression. Unnecessary double faults here and there, and overcooking her shots from almost anywhere. I think if Gauff comes out and plays with controlled power, she should ease into the last eight here.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Coco Gauff in 2 sets
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