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tennis | Thursday, January 19, 2023 9:24 AM (Revised at: Thursday, January 19, 2023 1:17 PM)

Thursday Tennis Best Bet: WTA Australian Open, Jessica Pegula vs Marta Kostyuk

Thursday Tennis Best Bet: WTA Australian Open, Jessica Pegula vs Marta Kostyuk
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Jessica Pegula vs Marta Kostyuk Best Bet: Thursday, January 19th

As much as it hurts to lose that larger selection on Caty McNally, one has to feel for the American, who missed out on an excellent opportunity to reach the third round of a grand slam in singles for just the second time in her career.

Onwards we go, however, and it’s the match between her compatriot Jessica Pegula and Marta Kostyuk that draws my attention for Thursday night’s selection from the women’s draw.

In this article:

Jessica Pegula vs Marta Kostyuk Preview

January 20th, TBD (UK Time)

After a pair of nice straight sets wins in the opening two rounds of play, the reward awaiting Kostyuk in her third-round match?

World No. 3 Jessica Pegula.

That’s no easy task for the 20-year-old Ukrainian, who can pummel the ball from the baseline, but is prone to bouts of inconsistency.

Pegula isn’t just capable of extending rallies and waiting for those errors to begin to leak from Kostyuk’s game, but she’s also an elite counterpuncher – meaning she can use Kostyuk’s pace against her.

The edge in tactics and point construction are also heavily on the American’s side, and the fact that Kostyuk doesn’t possess the biggest serve, despite the power in her ground game means her service games should consistently be under pressure from one of the game’s better returners.

Further, the form to start the 2023 campaign has been imperious from Pegula. Not only has she put up lopsided scores in three of her four sets played to this point, but prior to the Australian Open, she won eight consecutive sets in relatively straightforward fashion – including two against World No. 1 Iga Swiatek, who beat Pegula on several occasions in 2022.

As for Kostyuk, her first-round victory came against Amanda Anisimova, whose power simply doesn’t look as imposing so far this year and Olivia Gadecki, a promising, albeit raw talent from Australia who entered as a wild card.

This is a whole new level of opposition, and I’m not sure Kostyuk has the ability to stick with Pegula or game plan and adjust on the fly if she’s behind early on.

Jessica Pegula vs Marta Kostyuk Best Bet

With Pegula’s form early in the year, I was certain we’d see this handicap priced properly in the -5.5 to -6 games range. The 28-year-old’s form had been killing the value on her prices in betting markets, and her game matches up perfectly with her younger opponent’s.

I’m happy to see that wasn’t the case and this handicap landed under five games. I’m happy to stake a larger position on Pegula to continue her torrid pace through to the second week in Melbourne.

  • Selection: Pegula -4.5 Games
  • Best Odds: 1.94 (Pinnacle)
  • Stakes: 5/10

Odds as at 2:45 am on January 19th, 2022. Odds may now differ.

More Jessica Pegula vs Marta Kostyuk Tips

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