#4 Venus Williams #30 Andrea Petkovic


One of the top Americans will take to the court in a nationally televised Australian Open betting battle in the third round of this tournament on Friday night, as Venus Williams battles it out with Andrea Petkovic on Rod Laver Court.

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The elder Williams sister has had a tremendous career, but it would be a great triumph if she could win her first Australian Open title in this, a year in which her sister, Serena isn't standing in her way. However, things have not looked easy to date for Williams in spite of the fact that she really hasn't played all that much of a schedule. She took out Sara Errani 6-3, 6-3 in the first round, but in the second round, she struggled mightily against the No. 97 ranked player in the world, Sandra Zahlavova. Williams dropped the first set 7-6 (8-6), and followed that up by dropping the bagel on her Czech foe, but the third set was a back and forth duel which ended with the American capturing a 6-4 triumph. Williams had a whopping nine double faults and 43 unforced errors in that match against Zahlavova, and that isn't going to cut it at any other point during this tournament if she has any desires or hopes to survive. If there is one thing going Williams' way, it is that she still has a powerful serve, putting in eight aces in each of the first two matches here in Australia.

Petkovic is definitely a young up and coming on the WTA Tour, and she is really looking to build from her fourth round exit in the US Open in the final Grand Slam event from last year here at the Aussie Open. This is already her best performance here in Sydney, as she had never advanced beyond the second round prior to this point. This is the biggest match, arguably in her entire career though, as the 23 year old German has never taken down a foe like this one. Petkovic has already dismissed one American from down under in Australian Open betting action, as she took care of Jill Craybas 6-1, 6-2 in the opening round. The second round was significantly tougher, as Petkovic had to stave off elimination against fellow German Anne Keothavong after losing the first set 6-2. Petkovic took care of the second set 7-5 and really turned on the jets at that point, winning 6-0 in the third. Again, unforced errors are a real key here for Petkovic. She only had one in the entire match against Craybas, and she followed that up by having 40 against Keothavong.

This is really a tossup type of pick here, as the oddsmakers have lined the German as the slight favorite. We tend to give her the nod here on the Australian Open odds, as she is really due to have a bust out tournament and has had some real moments of excellence in recent Grand Slam events.

Australian Open Free Pick: Andrea Petkovic -120 at BetPhoenix