Elina Svitolina continued her quest for a first Grand Slam title with a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 win over former quarterfinalist Shuai Zhang at the Rod Laver Arena on Saturday. The 2018 WTA Finals champion recovered from a double break down in the final set to advance to the second week of the Australian Open for the second consecutive year. Nevertheless, Svitolina struggled to cope with the extreme heat in Melbourne and admitted that she suffered a shoulder injury in a match that lasted two hours and 55 minutes.
The 24-year-old Ukrainian will next face Madison Keys in the fourth round. Keys advanced to the second week of the Australian Open for the fourth time in the past five years with a convincing 6-3, 6-2 victory against Elise Mertens. The No.17 seed lost serve just once and fired 31 winners to just 21 unforced errors in a near-perfect performance. Adding to this, the American saved seven of the eight break points she faced against Mertens.
These two players will face each other for the third time in their careers with Svitolina still searching for her first win over the American.
Keys has yet to drop a set at the Australian Open this year after three solid performances. The fast court conditions in Melbourne suit Madison’s style with the 23-year-old winning 75.00% of the matches played throughout her career on this event. On the other hand, Svitolina seems to be struggling with a shoulder injury and will have a difficult task to recover from a three-hour battle in the previous round. With this in mind, our suggestion is to take Madison’s moneyline at -133 with Pinnacle as the best betting approach for this contest.
Borna Coric fought back from one set down to beat Filip Krajinovic 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in two hours and 43 minutes. The 22-year-old reached his second consecutive Grand Slam fourth round and is now just one win away from an unprecedented appearance in a Major quarterfinal. Known as one of the best defenders in the game, Coric broke serve five times and won 62.86% of the points in Krajinovic’s second serve. On the other hand, the No.11 seed fired 51 winners, including 14 aces to advance to the second week in Melbourne.
Coric will take on former world No.10 Lucas Pouille for a place in the quarterfinals. Pouille survived a five-set rollercoaster to beat Australian wildcard Alexei Popyrin 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-7(10), 4-6, 6-3 at the Margaret Court Arena on Saturday night. The 24-year-old had a disappointing campaign in 2018 and decided to hire Amelie Mauresmo as his new coach. Despite his successful campaign in Melbourne, Pouille is still struggling with consistency.
This will be the third meeting between these two players. Coric leads their head-to-head 2-0 with victories over the French at the Indian Wells Masters in 2016 and last year in Vienna.
The sportsbooks are well aware of Borna’s dominance on the head-to-head with the Croat as the main favorite at -278 with 5Dimes. Despite Pouille’s undeniable quality, it won’t be easy for the French to find a solution to Coric’s solid baseline game. On the other hand, Coric will create a lot of problems with his cross-court backhand to Pouille’s inconsistent backhand. For that reason, Borna’s -4.5 spread is an interesting approach at -112 with Pinnacle, as well as his -1.5 Set Handicap at -143.