TennisSection previews the 2023 Australian Open women’s fourth-round matches, featuring Jessica Pegula taking on Barbora Krejcikova, and Victoria Azarenka taking on Zhu Lin on Sunday, January 22, 2023.
Jessica Pegula vs. Barbora Krejcikova
Jessica Pegula and Barbora Krejcikova have not played each other on the WTA Tour. But partly due to the fact that both of these players are late bloomers at Tour level. Krejcikova has been a success, winning her first Grand Slam at the French Open a couple of years back at 25. And now Pegula is climbing the Grand Slam ladder, coming close on multiple occasions in the past year.
I honestly think this might be Pegula’s year. Winning the WTA 1000 in Guadalajara at the tail end of last season was massive for her resume, and now that she has overcome that hurdle, she is ready to join the conversation of mounting a title challenge. Expect Pegula to have the edge in this match.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Jessica Pegula in 3 sets
Victoria Azarenka vs Zhu Lin
This will be the first meeting between Victoria Azarenka and Zhu Lin. The Belarusian comes in as the favorite and rightly so, but Zhu Lin cannot be underestimated. The Chinese woman won three ITF titles last season and seems to be playing pain free since the turn of the year which is good news. She was touted as China’s next star following the retirement of the accomplished Li Na. But injuries have derailed her progress and development that she nearly quit the sport.
But even at 28, she showed in her win over Maria Sakkari (first Top 10 win of her career), it’s never too late to make your Grand Slam breakthrough. It would be a stretch to expect her to back up that win. Azarenka has been consistent and is one of the smartest tacticians on a hard court. Melbourne Park is also the Belarusian’s happy hunting ground and she will scale past the surprise package of the first week.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Victoria Azarenka in 2 sets
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