(3) Agnieszka Radwanska vs Alize Cornet
When the draw was released all eyes immediately turned to this first round encounter. After an epic battle at the Hopman last week in which Alize Cornet prevailed, Aga will be hoping to get some revenge here.
Both Aga and Alize had great weeks in Perth. Alize won all three of her singles matches whilst Aga went three from four on route to the title alongside Jerzy Janowicz.
Aga will arrive in Sydney full of confidence after an outstanding performance in the final of the Hopman Cup. Aga notched up her first career victory over Serena Williams, prevailing 6-3 6-7 6-1. Serena may not have been at her best but she was certainly far from her worst. It was an extremely competitive match which should give Aga belief moving forward. One of the highlights of the victory was how well Aga served, out acing Serena (7 aces to Serena's 5).
Aga also played extraordinarily well in the deciding mixed doubles against Serena and John Isner. Aga held her serve on each occasion including two love service holds. Aga was also able to effectively return Isner's serve on numerous occasions.
Alize Cornet was at her fighting best during the Hopman Cup. Cornet started the week with a comfortable victory over Heather Watson before coming from a set and a break down to defeat Casey Dellacqua. Her best performance came in her third and final match where she outlasted Aga in an exhausting three set encounter. Cornet really seems to enjoy playing for her country in Perth and once again she can be very proud of her performances. Cornet will head into this clash with strong belief given her recent victories over Aga.
Aga has a 4-2 overall head to head record over Alize (including Hopman Cup matches). However Alize has won their two most recent encounters including a shock come from behind victory last year in the Semi-Finals of Aga's home tournament in Katowice. These two have very similar games and they seem to bring out the best in each other.
Both ladies will have limited time to prepare for this match, especially Aga having played an extra day in Perth. Nevertheless I believe Aga will be determined to avenge her recent defeats to Cornet and will come out and perform extremely well.
Prediction: Agnieszka Radwanska to defeat Alize Cornet in straight sets