I like Fognini to win here at a reasonable $1.60 price point. He is the more technically gifted of these two players, and I think the slower Aus Open court benefits him here.
He had two tough five-setters to start out, but looked dominant in a straight sets win over #22 seed Pella last time out. While known primarily as a clay court specialist, his Aus Open form has really improved of late. He is 8-2 in his last 10 Aus Open matches, which suggests he is becoming very used to these conditions.
The controversial Tennys Sandgren is a bit of an enigma. He made the Aus Open Quarter Finals in 2018, which was the high point of his career. This was the only year he won a match at the Aus Open in 7 attempts prior to this year.
He is also participating in the Men’s Doubles and I think he’ll be the more fatigued of the two men here. Fognini has the talent edge here and I’d also favour him if this one goes to 4 or 5 sets. At $1.60, I think he’s a safe bet to move onto the quarters.
The #1 seed enters this clash as the relatively heavy favourite. I think she’s got a strong matchup advantage over Riske and would back her to take this in straight sets.
It has been a relatively straightforward road for Barty, who has won her last 6 sets with ease. She had a tremendous 2019, winning her first slam and making it to the Quarters at the Aus Open.
She has now won 11 matches in her home slam since 2017, no doubt due to the excellent home support. Her opponent hasn’t been nearly as successful at Melbourne Park, going just 4-8 for her career before this year.
Riske has somewhat struggled to even reach this point, having to negotiate two tense 3-setters in her 3 matches. She also had a relatively late doubles match yesterday, which could lead to some fatigue here.
Overall, Barty is essentially just a better version of the same player. That accounts for a lot in tennis and I’d expect her run to continue with a straight sets win here.