The pressure’s on for the World No. 1 and tournament favorite Ashleigh Barty to capture her first home court major.
Barty barely broke a sweat in the first round dominating her opponent, Lesia Tsurenko, with a 6-0 6-1 victory in under an hour. But if Barty makes it to the end of the week, she’ll face quite possibly the toughest challenger of the tournament in defending Champion No. 13 Naomi Osaka, as they are both sitting in the top of the draw.
The two share the top odds to win it all, Barty at +225 (bet $100 → $225) and Osaka at +700 (bet $100 → $700). In four career head-to-head matches, the duo has split the series. Osaka holds the edge with the lone meeting at a major – this very same one, to be exact – in Melbourne in 2018.
Interestingly enough, these two also hold the best odds to reach the Final, despite their early meeting in Melbourne. Barty’s locked in at +150 (bet $100 → $150) and Osaka at +400 (bet $100 → $400). Are the sportsbooks trying to tell us something about the winner of this match
If you’re going to roll the dice with either Barty or Osaka to snag the slam title, now’s the time because the athlete who reigns victorious will no doubt be the overwhelming favorite.