Betting Odds: Mona Barthel 1,4; Petra Cetkovská (CZE) 3,3Neither player is a household name, but with the top women's seeds facing manageable matches on Day 3, this second-rounder looms as a potential upset.
The 21-year-old Barthel blasted her way to her first WTA title in Hobart by winning eight straight matches (three in qualifying), including a 6-1, 6-2 thrashing of top-seeded Yanina Wickmayer in the final. This is Barthel’s first Australian Open, and the cumulative effect of playing so many matches in a short period, combined with the heat and pressure, could take a toll on her.
Fatigue may be a factor, but the 44th-ranked Barthel is a power player who can end points quickly. Cetkovska surrendered serve seven times in a three-set win over Ayumi Morita, and I believe Barthel’s aggressive return game will be a key to her winning this match and continuing her rise up the rankings.
The Pick: Barthel in 3.