Australia’s Ashleigh Barty reacts after defeating Montenegrin’s Danke Kovinic during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
- Ashleigh Barty and Karolina Muchova will play each other in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open on February 16th
- This will be the second time these two 24-year olds have played each other in their careers
- Read below for the odds and what to expect from this quarterfinal match
The second week of the 2021 Australian Open is underway for the women’s singles with all the fourth round matches complete.
As expected Australia’s own, Barty is competing in the quarters, but her opponent wasn’t expected to be here. Karolina Muchova, who is currently ranked 27th in the world has had herself quite a week at the Australian Open, and will now go up against her toughest opponent yet.
How did these two get here, and what should we expect from this match?
Barty vs Muchova 2021 Australian Open Quarterfinals Odds
|Ashleigh Barty||-4.5 (-148)||-435||Ov 20.5 (-112)|
|Karolina Muchova||+4.5 (+115)||+325||Un 20.5 (-114)|
Odds taken Feb. 15th from DraftKings
The No. 1 player in the world is cruising through the 2021 Australian Open. She has yet to drop a set all tournament, and is coming off a 6-3, 6-4 win in the fourth round against Shelby Rogers. She defeated the American in just over one hour at a crowd-less Rod Lavar Arena. During her fourth round match Barty recorded 21 winners, and didn’t allow for her opponent to gain any momentum.
The Australian is looking to become the first Australian champion since Chris O’Neil won the Aussie Open in 1978.
The 24-year old has dropped only a total of 20 games in the four rounds she’s played, and has actually been battling a slight thigh strain, in which she’s withdrawn from double to avoid further pain.
Is Another Upset Possible?
This would possibly be the biggest upset of Muchova’s career so far. But the 25th seed, Muchova is coming off impressive back-to-back upsets in her third and fourth round matches. In the third round, she defeated sixth seed Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 7-5. And in her most recent match she defeated 18th seed Elise Mertens 7(7)-6(5).
The 24-year old initially fell behind in her fourth round match 0-4, where she recorded a handful of errors and was all over the place with her play. Despite recording 31 errors in the match, she found herself back in the game and went into the net 21 times winning 13 points. Mertens was the heavy favorite going into the match, but Muchova really just outplayed her opponent with her different shots.
Muchova is now on a personal-best winning streak, where she is undefeated in seven matches this year. She had previously withdrawn from two separate matches due to injury and illness.
These two young players have see each other once before, during the Round of 32 at the 2018 US Open, where Barty won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4. Much has changed between the two players since they last played each other almost three years ago. To give you perspective, this was Muchova’s Grand Slam debut, and the first time Barty had made the second week of a major.
Barty vs Muchova Head-to-Head Stats
|8||WTA Singles Titles||1|
Both Barty and Muchova play a very similar type of game. Solid baselines games, a variety of shots, including dropshots, and slices throughout their game, and both are very strong and almost prefer to finish at the net.
This will be Barty’s toughest match of the tournament so far. There’s nothing really saying that Barty won’t be able to win. The ongoing injury is of slight concern, but Barty’s overall game won’t be a match for Muchova.
Since that 2018 match, Barty has now become the No. 1 player in the world. Muchova is coming off two incredible wins, but she will also have to play her absolute best against the Australian. I don’t think she’ll have enough to take the match away from Barty, but she might be able to have just enough to steal a set.
Barty to win in three sets (+300)
A graduate of Sport Media at Ryerson University, Hayley is the ultimate student of sports. Whether she is playing it, watching it, debating it, or writing it, it’s safe to assume sport consumes the majority of her life. She has worked both internationally and with the NBA.