(5) Ana Ivanovic vs (Q) Lucie Hradecka
Ana Ivanovic will open her 2015 Australian Open campaign on Monday afternoon at Rod Laver Arena where she will face qualifier Lucie Hradecka.
Ana had a wonderful year in 2014 winning more matches than anyone else on tour. however her Grand Slam results were quite disappointing, no doubt Ana will be looking to rectify that this year, starting with a strong performance in Melbourne.
Ana kick-started her 2015 season with a solid week in Brisbane, reaching the final before succumbing to Maria Sharapova in three sets. Despite losing in the final, there were a lot of positive signs for Ana. She was able to match an in form Sharapova for the majority of the match and her returns were as clean as ever. Ana has a reasonable draw in Melbourne, she should have her eyes set on at least reaching the quarter-finals.
Lucie Hradecka reached her sixth consecutive main draw appearance in Melbourne with a comprehensive 6-1 6-2 victory over Yulia Putintseva in the final round of qualifying on saturday. The Czech's backhand was particularly lethal as she overpowered a wayward Putintseva. Hradecka will enter this match with confidence knowing that she has pushed Ivanovic all the way in the past.
The only previous meeting between these two came way back in 2009 at Wimbledon, Ivanovic only just prevailed in the opening round match 5-7 6-2 8-6. A lot has changed since that match, i suspect Ana will make much lighter work of Hradecka on this occasion.
Prediction: Ana Ivanovic to defeat Lucie Hradecka in straight sets