World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty is just one win away from becoming the first Australian to win the Australian Open since Chris O’Neil in 1978. But she'll have to go through world No. 30 Danielle Collins to finish the job, and beating the American isn’t going to be easy, despite their ranking disparity.

While Barty hasn’t dropped a single set all tournament—and has only lost an astonishing 21 games through six matches—Collins comes into this match after having earned straight-set wins over world No. 61 Alize Cornet and world No. 9 Iga Swiatek. The 28-year-old has game, emotion, momentum—and nothing to lose—and is one of the last players Barty would have wanted to see on the other side of the court at this stage.

As well as she's been playing, Barty will undoubtedly feel the pressure playing in front of the hometown fans in Melbourne, and that could leave her a bit unsure of herself if this match gets tight. Meanwhile, Collins—one of the feistiest players on the planet—can get under her opponent’s skin easily. She’s plays with a ton of heart, and combined with her sky-high level of tennis, that should make Barty’s task even tougher.

Collins also happened to beat Barty in straight sets when the two met in Adelaide last February, with the American earning a 6-3, 6-4 victory in just over an hour. Collins also took Barty to a decider when they met at the same event in January 2020. Considering the two have only played on hard courts twice, there’s good reason to believe that Collins will be able to, at worst, force a deciding set.

Backing Collins to simply win one set looks to be the best bet on the board, as Barty is a massive favorite in this match. There’s not a whole lot of value in laying so much money on the world No. 1 to win, especially considering her recent struggles against Collins. With that said, you might as well root on Collins to just keep this one competitive. The fact that you can still win even in a third-set loss is helpful. It also prevents you from having to fully root against the feel-good moment of Barty raising the trophy in front of the Australian faithful.

The Pick: Danielle Collins +1.5 Sets (+150)