TennisSection previews the 2023 Australian Open as Elena Rybakina takes on Jelena Ostapenko in the quarterfinal on Tuesday, January 24, 2023.
The two women responsible for giant-killing upsets on Sunday will go face-to-face in the quarterfinals on Tuesday. Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina battles Jelena Ostapenko in a meeting between two Major champions. Who will reach the semifinal of the 2023 Australian Open?
For Elena Rybakina, her victory over Iga Swiatek was vital for a number of reasons. But of relevance, she quieted the noise that seemed to engulf her as a one-trick pony. Rybakina had struggled with the pressure and expectation of being a Grand Slam champion following her stunning success at Wimbledon last summer. However, her statement win over the World No. 1 should at the very least in 2023 remove the baggage that accompanied her rise in the last year.
Jelena Ostapenko, meanwhile, scored a remarkable victory of her own, downing American teenager Coco Gauff. The Latvian, like Elena Rybakina, was at astronomical odds to pull off the upset on Sunday. But those who have grown to watch Ostapenko since she burst onto the scene, know the kind of standards she demands of herself. It’s an all-or-nothing approach to matches and putting maximum effort into every shot and point. And against Gauff, Ostapenko pounded 30 winners – completely taking the young American by surprise. If she can repeat the trick on Tuesday, expect the Latvian to roll into the semis.
Jelena Ostapenko leads Elena Rybakina 2-0 in their head-to-head meetings. They last played in 2021 on the lawns of Eastbourne, Ostapenko winning that one in straight sets. I’m amazed Rybakina is odds-on to win here. Of course, a win over the top seed in the tournament is expected to send shockwaves across the draw, but Ostapenko is also coming off her very own doozy victory over Gauff. The Latvian has gone full-throttle mode at this year’s Australian Open, firing more winners than UEs in each of her four matches. Rybakina cannot afford to wander off her game as she did in that second set against Swiatek. Ostapenko doesn’t forge deep runs at Majors consistently, but when she does expect her to keep the ball out of reach for her opponents.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Jelena Ostapenko in 3 sets
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