The unpredictable nature of women’s tennis has continued at the first Grand Slam of 2022. While the top seed is among the four women to reach this year’s Australian Open semifinals, plenty of chaos ensued in the other three quadrants of the draw. Thursday’s first semifinal match will feature the World No. 1 and Australia’s own Ashleigh Barty against American Madison Keys. Both women have been extremely impressive throughout their runs through the draw and have dropped all of a single set between them in Melbourne thus far. The Australian Open tennis betting odds heavily favor the top-ranked player ahead of this Barty vs Keys semifinal match.
The following Australian Open tennis betting preview will provide you with the current odds, head-to-head trends and a prediction for the first women’s semifinal match between Ashleigh Barty and Madison Keys.
Australian Open Tennis Women’s Semifinal Details
(1) Ashleigh Barty vs. Madison Keys — Australian Open Women’s Semifinal No. 1
Date: Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022
Venue: Rod Laver Arena — Melbourne, AU
Start Time: 3:30 a.m. EST
Ashleigh Barty Background and Overview
Ashleigh Barty has a chance to become the first woman from Australia to win the country’s marquee sporting event since Chris O’Neil in 1978. While Barty has reached the final four in Melbourne once before, she failed to get past American and eventual champion Sofia Kenin, dropping two highly-competitive sets in defeat. Barty has remained atop the world rankings since September of 2019 despite only winning one Grand Slam during that span. She has piled up a total of 14 career titles to date.
A win in Melbourne would also make Barty a champion of three Grand Slam tournaments. She has previously won both the French Open and Wimbledon. The stark difference in playing surfaces at those two majors suffices as a true nod to the versatility of her game. The 25-year-old is far from the tallest, longest or strongest player on the WTA Tour. What Barty lacks in physical attributes, she makes up for in hustle and grit. She has the ability to play well on any court surface, including the more absorbing hard courts of the Aussie Open.
Madison Keys Background and Overview
One of the two American women to reach this year’s Australian Open semis, Madison Keys is seeking her first career Grand Slam title. This will mark her second appearance in the Aussie Open final four with the previous one coming all the way back in 2015. Keys has been rather quiet on the WTA Tour in recent years after climbing as high as No. 7 in the world rankings back in 2016. The 26-year-old from Illinois was ranked 51st coming into the first major of the year and was not seeded in the Aussie Open draw. She has won six previous titles in her professional career and ran through a gauntlet of impressive players just to make the semifinals.
With a height of 5’10”, Keys certainly has a decisive advantage over the 5’5” Barty in that department. One of the things that stands out the most in her game is her power. She prefers to play on hard courts and reached her only Grand Slam final to date on the hard surface at the U.S. Open. However, Keys has been able to achieve success on all three surfaces. She plays aggressively from the baseline and is rarely drawn into the net during a point. Unfortunately, her powerful game also comes with the drawback of committing unforced errors.
Australian Open Women’s Semifinal Tennis Betting Odds
Tennis betting odds taken from BetMGM Sportsbook.
Moneyline: Barty: (-450) | Keys: (+340)
Games Spread: Barty: -4.5 (-120) | Keys: +4.5 (-115)
Total Games: 20.5 — Over: (-125) | Under: (-110)
Ashleigh Barty vs Madison Keys Head-to-Head Trends
- Barty has won two of her previous three head-to-head matches against Keys.
- Barty won each of the two most recent head-to-head matches against Keys with both wins coming in 2019.
- Keys’ lone win over Barty came back in 2017, the first match between the two.
- All three of the previous head-to-head matches between Barty and Keys were decided in straight sets.
- Barty defeated Keys 6-4, 6-1 in the only previous match between the two on a hard court surface. Both of the other meetings were played on clay.
Ashleigh Barty vs Madison Keys Australian Open Tennis Betting Prediction
Has Madison Keys’ tough road through the draw worn her down or brought out her very best? The answer is probably a little bit of both. The American will certainly need to have her best ready for Ashleigh Barty on Thursday. Not only has the world No. 1 not dropped a single set in her five matches thus far, but she has only lost 17 games in total.
Barty routed 21-seed Jessica Pegula, another American, in the quarterfinals 6-2, 6-0. One has to believe that her scrappy, versatile playing style could present a challenge to the power of Keys. While the home crowd in Melbourne Park will be firmly on her side, perhaps the toughest obstacle Barty will have to face is the magnitude of the moment. Carrying the hopes and anticipation of an entire nation on your shoulders is never easy. In Barty, Australians believe they have the woman set to end the country’s extended drought in its own tournament.
Barty’s maturity and ability to handle that pressure have improved greatly from as recently as her first Aussie Open semifinal appearance two years ago. While she should be able to get the job done, Keys’ impressive run through the draw so far suggests that she can push the total games played over the low total.
Prediction: Over 20.5 Total Games (-125 at BetMGM Sportsbook)