This article is part of our Tennis Picks series.
The Australian Open women's singles final will be played Saturday, with viewers on the American east coast unfortunately having to wake up at -- or stay up until -- 3:30 a.m. to tune in live. Elena Rybakina will be going for her second title in the last three Grand Slams, but she's a slight underdog against Aryna Sabalenka, who has been dominant en route to her first career Grand Slam singles final.
All Tennis Odds & Lines are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, but you can sometimes find more favorable odds by checking mobile sportsbooks such as FanDuel Sportsbook, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, or any of the other best sports betting sites. We offer exclusive sign-up bonuses for some of those sportsbooks, including those that just launched in Ohio.
Women's matches at Grand Slams are best of three sets just like the remainder of the WTA Tour schedule. Both of these players have proven that they can excel in these hot hard-court conditions, but a mix of previous hard court results, recent form and stylistic matchups can help predict which of these two finalists will take home the 2023 Australian Open women's singles title.
Elena Rybakina (+105) vs. Aryna Sabalenka (-130)
Rybakina has had the far tougher path to the final. Remarkably, 2022 runner-up Danielle Collins, world No. 1 Iga Swiatek, and former Grand Slam champions Jelena Ostapenko and Victoria Azarenka have combined to take just one set off her. An exceptional serve and aggressive returns help Rybakina get on the front foot, and the 23-year-old is brimming with confidence heading into her second Grand Slam final in the last three. She beat Ons Jabeur in the 2022 Wimbledon championship match, which notably was a clash of first-time Grand Slam finalists. Rybakina's edge in experience at this stage could prove noteworthy. Since the start of 2021, all three women's championship matches involving one player appearing in their first Grand Slam final were won by the player who had been there before.
If these two were meeting in, say, the Round of 16, Sabalenka would be the clear favorite. She's ranked 20 spots ahead of Rybakina, though Rybakina's No. 25 ranking doesn't account for her 2022 Wimbledon title. Additionally, Sabalenka leads their head-to-head 3-0, though their last meeting came at Wimbledon in 2021, one year prior to Rybakina's breakout performance. Sabalenka has yet to drop a set here to boot, though 12th-seeded Belinda Bencic is the only top-25 seed she has had to face. Despite those caveats, this became Sabalenka's tournament to lose when Swiatek and Coco Gauff were sent packing on the same night. She has handled that pressure well so far, but there's no replicating the pressure of your first Grand Slam singles final, even for a player with two Grand Slam doubles titles under her belt. If Sabalenka can hold her nerve and stay on the front foot, she can overpower Rybakina and expose her opponent's questionable defensive skills. Doing so is far easier said than done in this situation.
Prediction: Rybakina def. Sabalenka 6-3, 4-6, 6-4