2023 Australian Open Day 2 Top Pick: Ons Jabeur Has A Perfect Matchup For a First-Round Win

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Tunisian tennis player Ons Jabeur hits a return during her semi-final match against Czech Linda Noskova at the WTA Adelaide International tournament in Adelaide on January 7, 2023. (Photo by Brenton EDWARDS / AFP)

Tennis Pick: Ons Jabeur -6 games (-106) at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review)

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Ons Jabeur -6 games (-106)
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The first round of the Australian Open will conclude today. The tennis season is officially here and all the players are looking to put forth a good performance to start their year right. Let’s take a look at today’s featured match to find a winning tennis pick

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Ons Jabeur vs. Tamara Zidansek  

Tuesday, January 17, 2023 – 03:00 AM EST at Rod Laver Arena

Ons Jabeur

Ons Jabeur had a solid 2022 season. She was able to make two Grand Slam finals, although she came up short in both instances. Still, for a player navigating her way to the top of the tennis world, these were good results. It set the stage for her to break through this year and possibly become a Grand Slam champion. Based on the strength of those results, Jabeur finished the season as the world's number two player. 

The Tunisian-born played one warm-up tournament to start the year. She played in Adelaide. She opened the tournament with two quality wins. First, she defeated Sorana Cirstea 7-6, 6-1. This is a good win for her because Cirstea has the hard-court chops to put any top player to the test. After struggling in the first set, Jabeur settled down and showed that she was the superior player. 

She followed that up with a tight win over Marta Kostyuk. Jabeur was able to prevail 7-6, 7-5. Kostyuk is a young, up-and-coming player who hits with power. Her game is tailor-made to succeed on the quicker courts of Australia. This was the type of match that will prepare Jabeur for the style of play that will give her the biggest challenge at the Australian Open. 

She then fell to Linda Noskova. Noskova is an up-and-coming Czech player. Noskova's powerful groundstrokes were too much for Jabeur and Noskova ended up getting a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 victory. In my mind, this one said more about the talent and potential of Noskova than a downgrade of Jabeur. All in all, I feel that Jabeur got plenty of acclimation to the courts and conditions of the new season during her tournament at Adelaide. 

Tamara Zidansek

Tamara Zidansek is a Slovenian player who is known mainly for her clay court prowess. She has struggled recently and lost her last four first-round matches. She lost both her first-round matches in the warm-up tournaments here in Australia. However, she did win 2 qualifying matches to make it into Hobart.

In Auckland, she was thoroughly beaten by Lauren Davis, 6-2, 6-1. This was a tough defeat for Zidansek because Davis is the type of player with whom she should match up well. To lose a match against a player who plays a similar style shows that she is not anywhere near her best form.  

In Hobart after qualifying, she lost her first-round match to Ysaline Bonaventure. Bonaventure has been playing well as of late, but still, this was not a promising sign for the Slovenian. Zidansek comes into this tournament struggling to find her form, and drawing the world's number two player is not a good omen for her success this week. 

Who Will Win?

These two players have played twice before. Ons Jabeur won the first meeting which was played in 2018. In this match, Jabeur had the home-court advantage as it was played in her home country of Tunisia. Jabeur was able to get the 6-4, 7-6 win.

Their second meeting was in 2019 when both women were trying to qualify for the Rome WTA event. This time Zidansek got the better of Jabeur. The final score was 6-3, 7-6. These matches were years ago and on a completely opposite surface so I feel they have no bearing on today's handicap. 

It's hard to see how Zidansek will beat Jabeur here. Zidansek's defensive style will not cause a problem for the patient Jabeur. Jabeur has plenty of variety and she's not going to be bothered by a player whose primary strategy is simply to get the ball back.

Jabeur will play her offensive style and she can draw up much more power than Zidansek. Plus, with her improved serve, she has a much better chance of holding serve against Zidansek, than Zidansek does going against Jabeur's return. 

After reviewing the WTA odds, I like Ons Jabeur to get an easy victory here. Zidansek is not in form and this will be a great start to the tournament for Jabeur, getting an easy first-round win. Zidansek has no way to match up with Jabeur and that will be evident when these two take the court tonight. Our best bet for the day is Ons Jabeur -6 games. 

Tennis Pick: Ons Jabeur -6 games (-106) at Bookmaker 

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