Tennis tips: The 3 best bets for Thursday’s women’s semi-finals at the Australian Open

Paddy Power tennis trader Barry Galligan picks his 3 ace bets for the final-four in Melbourne.

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Ash Barty v Madison Keys

BET: Alternative Total Games: Over 22.5

  • Estimated start time: 8.30am 
  • TV: Amazon Prime Video/ Eurosport

Home favourite and World No.1 Ashleigh Barty is on the march to winning her first Grand Slam title in Australia where she is yet to drop a set. However, in Madison Keys, she will find a formidable opponent whose style of play and service could cause some bother for the tournament favourite.

The American has claimed some big scalps en-route to the semi-finals, including Sofia Kenin who won it all in Melbourne in 2020, Paula Badosa and Barbora Krejcikova. Both competitors came into the tournament in blistering form with Barty winning WTA Adelaide and Keys winning at the same venue the following week.

Barty is known for her impeccable shot placement and ability to trouble opponents. Keys, meanwhile, has a solid service game and an extremely powerful forehand at her disposal which she will need to utilise now more than ever to have a chance at claiming her first Grand Slam title. It is, however, the raw power that leads her to commit plenty of unforced errors, but when she is on form she is incredibly hard to contain.

Danielle Collins v Iga Swiatek

BET: Set Betting: Collins to win 2-1
BET: Total Games: Over 22.5

  • Estimated start time: 10.30am 
  • TV: Amazon Prime Video/ Eurosport

Danielle Collins made it into her second Australian Open semi-final with a victory over Alize Cornet in straight sets to win her quarter. This is a dream run so far considering she did not participate in any tournaments in the build-up to the event and seems to be coping really well with the heat.

On paper her last result might have looked like business as usual, but Collins’ high amount of unforced errors tends to put her in tough positions out on the court. This is a similar story with her opponent Iga Swiatek who committed 50 unforced errors in her three-hour marathon match with Kaia Kanepi in the quarters.

In the previous round she also had to grind out another slugfest with Sorana Cirstea which lasted two-and-a-half hours were, once again, her error count was on the higher end. Under the Melbourne sun, this is surely very taxing on Swiatek’s body. I would expect this to be a very close affair with a lot of unforced errors on both sides of the court. Both players have similar styles of play and are known to be extremely aggressive but I feel like Collins will just edge this one.

Taking into consideration what I have outlined above, naturally, I would imagine there will be plenty of games contested. The heat will be a factor and will see both players slip up and present their opponent with plenty of break points. This match looks set to go the distance. Over total games would be a good punt.

Australian Open tips

8.30am: Ash Barty v Madison Keys

BET: Alternative Total Games: Over 22.5

10.30am: Danielle Collins v Iga Swiatek

BET: Set Betting: Collins to win 2-1
BET: Total Games: Over 22.5

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