Pegula and Collins and Gauff, oh my!
Three of America’s finest females have solidified spots in the third round at the 2023 Oz Open. It will take three more wins to punch a ticket to the semis, with Gauff and Collins likely facing a Polish problem along the way.
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Jessica Pegula (+155)
Jessica Pegula has arguably the “easiest” path to the semis because she’s not playing in the same Quarter as Iga Swiatek.
She’s currently the Q2 favorite at (+155), with her closest competition, baseline beast Maria Sakkari, at (+390).
Pegula’s proving that Buffalo offers more than just the Bills and hot wings and has powered through her first two rounds with relative ease.
The upstate New York native demolished Romanian Jaqueline Cristian 6-0, 6-1 in Round 1 and completed a straight-set sweep of Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the second.
She’ll now battle Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk, a player she knocked off in Cincinnati last year in the pair’s only match.
Danielle Collins (+1300)
Danielle Collins has so far shown that last year’s Aussie Open finals appearance was no fluke.
The 29-year-old Floridian has had back-to-back three-set marathons but gritted both out with grace. Collins’ stellar 2022 season catapulted her to a career-best No. 7 ranking, and she entered the 2023 Australian Open as the 13th seed.
She’ll now square off against crafty Kazakh Elena Rybakina in Round 3. Rybakina famously beat Ons Jabeur in a three-setter for her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon last summer.
She’s currently the world No. 23 and owns a career 99-56 record on the hard court. Collins has opened as a slight dog in this one at +126.
Coco Gauff (+260)
Could this finally be Coco’s year?
“Finally” can be used lightly because the Georgia native is still just 18 years old. However, it feels like a lifetime ago when Gauff was causing jaws to drop at Wimbledon as a fresh-faced 15-year-old.
She made her first Grand Slam finals appearance at the French last year and followed it up with a quarterfinals berth at the US Open.
The WTA’s 7th-ranked player has needed the minimum to glide into the third round and will now connect with Croat-American Bernarda Pera. Pera has two career titles but has never made it to the fourth round at a major.
The 28-year-old comes in as a heavy underdog against the younger and more powerful Gauff.
Like Collins, if Gauff plans on sliding into the semis, she’ll eventually have to go through Polish sensation Iga Swiatek.