World No. 22 Zhang Shuai meets 37th-ranked Petra Martic in the second round of the 2023 Australian Open on Thursday, January 19. and tips here.
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Petra Martic vs. Zhang Shuai head to head
Aside from a 2015 US Open qualifier where Martic won his encounter in three sets, there have been two other top-level matches in main draws of competitions and both have won one each.
Their last encounter came at WTA Tokyo in 2022, where Zhang won in straight sets.
Martic has no problems against Golubic
After winning just one of her three United Cup games in the season opener, Martic had no trouble getting past Viktorija Golubic in her first round here.
Martic, who hadn’t won a main draw singles match at the Australian Open since 2020, secured her second-round spot with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Golubic. The match lasted an hour and 44 minutes and saw Martic grow into the encounter with her game.
Her serve improved drastically as the game progressed, with her first and second serve numbers being 68% and 38% in the first set and 75% and 50% in the second set.
And while both Martic and Golubic committed a similar number of unforced errors – 19 and 18 respectively – it was the Croatian’s ability to find winners when it really mattered. She blasted 37 of them past her opponent to get through easily.
Can she now reach the third round at the Australian Open for the first time since 2019?
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Shuai overcomes stuttering and sends Tig out
After starting the season with back-to-back losses at Adelaide 1 and Adelaide 2, Shuai finally found her bearings to defeat Patricia Tig in the opener here.
And that wasn’t without its own challenges, as Shuai had to overcome a mid-game stutter to earn a second-round spot. The Chinese won 6-1, 4-6, 6-0 in two hours and five minutes in what turned out to be an odd match.
After relaxing through the first set, Shuai lost serve in the very first game of the second but came back with a break in the eighth. Tig broke right back, saving two break points and leveling things out.
But just when you thought the momentum had shifted, Shuai smashed through her opponent’s serve in the final set. Three breaks on serve and just three points lost on her own serve secured Shuai her first win of the season.
Can Shuai now live up to her ranking against Martic?
Martic v Shuai prediction and tip
Martic is a slight favorite here, but Shuai is not to be taken lightly here. We expect this to go the distance as well, three-setters with both players having a chance to take this home.
The Australian Open 2023 will be played from January 16th to January 29th. Get all the latest tennis betting news here on our tennis betting blog. You can also get previews of the rest of the tennis matches here.