Naomi Osaka vs. Petra Kvitova, Australian Open Final Preview

Australian Open, Final Preview
🇯🇵 (4) Naomi Osaka vs. 🇨🇿 (7) Petra Kvitova

Saturday’s championship match at Melbourne Park promises to be an epic as Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova go head-to-head for the very first time. Not only will the winner walk away with another Grand Slam title, they will also move to number 1 in the world rankings for the first time. Osaka and Kvitova are both in outstanding form, both know what it takes to win a Grand Slam, this is a very tough match to pick a winner!

Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates winning her semi-final at the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Naomi Osaka continues to show maturity well beyond her years. The 21-year-old has made gigantic improvements in the last 12 months and is now just 1 win away from winning back-to-back Grand Slam titles. The reigning US Open champion has certainly not suffered a let-down like most others have in her position after winning their first Grand Slam title, the signs are that she will be at the top of women’s tennis for some time.

Osaka’s route to the final in Melbourne has been a tough one. Osaka has impressively navigated her way through several tough matches. The Japanese star was untroubled in her first few matches against Magda Linette and Tamara Zidansek where she won in straight sets. Osaka then battled past Su-Wei Hsieh and Anastasija Sevastova from a set down before beating Elina Svitolina in straight sets. Osaka secured her spot in Saturday’s final with a hard-fought 6-2 4-6 6-4 win over Karolina Pliskova. Osaka was seemingly cruising to a straight set win when she led Pliskova by a set and a break but valiantly fended off a Pliskova comeback, saving early break points in third on route to a tough victory.

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic reacts to making the final of the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Petra Kvitova is in devastating form. Kvitova has bullied her way through the draw at Melbourne Park without dropping a set. Kvitova enters Saturday’s final on an 11-match winning streak having arrived in Melbourne fresh from winning the Sydney International title. Kvitova is also on an 8-match winning streak in finals and has an incredible 26-7 W/L record in finals.

Kvitova stormed through the first week with wins over Magdalena Rybarikova, Irina-Camelia Begu and Belinda Bencic. Kvitova upped her level in the next couple of matches in crushing victories over Amanda Anisimova and Ashleigh Barty. The 2-time former Wimbledon champion secured her spot in the final with a 7-6 6-0 victory over Danielle Collins. Kvitova played a messy opening set against Collins but raised her level in the second as she cruised to victory to reach her first Australian Open final.

Expect fireworks in this match-up, the first time the pair have gone head-to-head.
Who will prevail and capture the first Grand Slam title of 2019?

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Naomi Osaka vs. Karolina Pliskova, Australian Open SF Preview

🇦🇺 Australian Open, Semi-Final Preview
🇯🇵 (4) Naomi Osaka vs. 🇨🇿 (7) Karolina Pliskova

Naomi Osaka and Karolina Pliskova will renew hostilities when they go head-to-head in Thursday’s second semi-final at Melbourne Park. There is a lot on the line here. Osaka is two just 2 wins away from completing the rare New York / Melbourne double whilst Pliskova is two wins away from finally capturing that elusive maiden Grand Slam title. Both Osaka and Pliskova will become world number 1 if they go on to win the title in Melbourne. This is a big one between two powerful players.

Naomi Osaka of Japan in action during her quarter-final match at the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Naomi Osaka has done extremely well to reach the semi-finals in her first Grand Slam since winning the US Open last year. Osaka continues to show maturity beyond her years. We have seen several players struggle with the pressure after breaking through and winning a Grand Slam title, that has certainly not been the case with Osaka who has admirably dealt this several tough situations on route to the final 4 in Melbourne.

Osaka cruised through her first couple of matches in Melbourne with straight set wins over Magda Linette and Tamara Zidansek. Osaka then navigated her way past Su-Wei Hsieh and Anastasija Sevastova, Osaka came from a set down in both of those matches, against Hsieh she was down a set and a break. Osaka sealed her spot in the final 4 with a fairly dominant 6-4 6-1 win over Elina Svitolina.

Karolina Pliskova is through to her third Grand Slam semi-final and will be aiming to reach her second Grand Slam final in her quest to finally win a Grand Slam title. Pliskova is widely regarded as the best player on tour not to win a Grand Slam title, the former world number 1 now has a great chance to change that.

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic reacts to winning her quarter-final match at the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Pliskova booked her spot in the semi-finals with a dramatic victory over Serena Williams. Pliskova blew a set and a break lead to trail Williams 1-5 in the decider, from there Pliskova won 6 straight games and saved 4 match points on route to a famous 6-4 4-6 7-5 victory. It has been a fantastic start to the season for Pliskova who is currently on a 10-match winning streak having won the Brisbane International title prior to arriving in Melbourne.

Pliskova holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Osaka. The pair split their 2 meetings in 2018: Osaka won in 3 sets in Indian Wells whilst more recently Pliskova won 6-4 6-4 in the Tokyo final.

Who will prevail in the battle of the big hitters?

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Petra Kvitova vs. Danielle Collins, Australian Open SF Preview

🇦🇺 Australian Open, Semi-Final Preview
🇨🇿 (8) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇺🇸 Danielle Collins

Petra Kvitova and Danielle Collins will go head-to-head with a place in the 2019 Australian Open final up for grabs. There is a big gulf in class and experience between the pair heading into this match, a two-time Grand Slam champion against a player who is in unprecedented territory. Kvitova is a strong favourite to come through this match but Danielle Collins has defied the odds all tournament.

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in action during her quarter-final match at the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Petra Kvitova has been the form player on tour thus far in 2019. Kvitova is on a 10-match winning streak having arrived in Melbourne fresh from winning the title in Sydney. Kvitova has breezed through the draw at Melbourne Park to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final since winning Wimbledon in 2014.

Kvitova has not dropped a set this tournament. The 2-time former Wimbledon champion cruised through the first week of the tournament with commanding wins over Magdalena Rybarikova, Irina-Camelia Begu and Belinda Bencic. Kvitova’s two most recent performances have been particularly devastating. Kvitova thrashed Amanda Anisimova 6-2 6-1 before producing a sublime display of power hitting to ease past Ashleigh Barty 6-1 6-4. Kvitova has dropped a total of 22 points so far this tournament, meaning she has dropped an average of 2.2 games per set… outstanding!

Danielle Collins is the big underdog story of the 2019 Australian Open. Collins arrived at Melbourne Park having never won a Grand Slam main draw match and having never even played a main draw match at the Australian Open. Collins has done things the hard way over the last week and a bit, she has impressively made her way through a tough draw.

Danielle Collins of the United States in action during her quarter-final match at the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Collins started the tournament with big comeback victory over the 14th seeded Julia Goerges, Collins was extremely close to defeat in that match as Goerges served for the match in the second set. Collins rushed through her next 3 matches with straight set wins over Sachia Vickery, Caroline Garcia and an emphatic 6-0 6-2 win over Angelique Kerber. Collins booked her spot in a maiden Grand Slam semi-final with a 2-6 7-5 6-1 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Kvitova and Collins have met once before, a 3-hour epic at the opening round stage of the Brisbane International earlier this month, Kvitova won that match 6-7 7-6 6-3.

Can Collins keep her dream run alive or will a red-hot Kvitova be too strong?

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. Danielle Collins Australian Open QF Preview

🇦🇺 Australian Open, Quarter-Final Preview
🇷🇺 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. 🇺🇸 Danielle Collins

An unexpected quarter-final match-up at the Australian Open sees Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Danielle Collins go head-to-head for the first time. This is a huge opportunity for Pavlyuchenkova and Collins to reach a maiden Grand Slam semi-final,, something that neither would have realistically expected when they arrived at Melbourne Park at the start of the week. Who will step up and make the most of this rare chance?

Danielle Collins of the United States in action during her fourth-round match at the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova arrived in Melbourne in poor form having suffered early round exits in Shenzhen and Hobart. However, as has often been the case with Pavlyuchenkova over the years, she has really stepped up her level on the big stage. Pavlyuchenkova has a had a particularly tough route to the final 8. The Russian stared the event with a straight set win over Monica Puig before coming from a set down to upset the 9th seeded Kiki Bertens. Pavlyuchenkova stormed past Aliaksandra Sasnovich in straight sets in the third round before booking her spot in a second Australian Open quarter-final with a hard-fought 6-7 6-3 6-3 victory over the 5th seeded Sloane Stephens.

Danielle Collins arrived in Melbourne having never won a main draw singles match at a Grand Slam, a week later she is through to the quarter-finals, unbelievable. Collins broke her Grand Slam duck with an upset victory from a set down over the 14th seeded Julia Goerges, since then Collins has been relatively untroubled. The level of Collins has progressively improved throughout the event. Collins defeated Sachia Vickery and Caroline Garcia in straight sets before producing arguably the best performance of her career to thrash Angelique Kerber 6-0 6-2 in less than an hour. Collins was at her aggressive best against Kerber, blasting the former champion off the court.

This will be the first career meeting between Pavlyuchenkova and Collins, a huge occasion for both. Can Collins keep her fairy tale run alive or will Pavlyuchenkova be too strong?

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Petra Kvitova vs. Ashleigh Barty, Australian Open QF Preview

🇦🇺 Australian Open, Quarter-Final Preview
🇨🇿 (8) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇦🇺 (15) Ashleigh Barty

Two of the form players on the WTA tour will renew hostilities on Tuesday when Petra Kvitova takes on Ashleigh Barty for a spot in the semi-finals at the Australian Open. This will be a rematch of the Sydney International final a few weeks ago where Kvitova outlasted Barty in an epic encounter. Barty is the last Australian left in the singles draw on either side, the hopes of the Nation are with Barty but she will need to defy the odds to get through this one.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia in action during her fourth-round match at the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Petra Kvitova has stormed into the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park for the first time since 2012. Kvitova has not dropped a set on route to reaching the final 8, not even close. Kvitova cruised through the first week with wins over Magdalena Rybarikova, Irina-Camelia Begu and Belinda Bencic. Kvitova secured her spot in the quarter-finals with a dominant 6-2 6-1 victory over Amanda Anisimova. Kvitova is now on a 9-match winning streak having won the Sydney International title before arriving in Melbourne.

Ash Barty is through to the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time. Barty has made a fantastic start to the season and is certainly playing the best tennis of her career right now. Barty also cruised through the first week of the tournament with wins over Luksika Kumkhum, Yafan Wang and Maria Sakkari. Barty’s greatest test came at the fourth round stage where she outlasted Maria Sharapova in a really tough battle, a 4-6 6-1 6-4 victory for Barty, one of the biggest wins of her career.

Kvitova holds a perfect 3-0 H2H record over Barty. The last two matches between the pair have gone the distance, Kvitova was forced to come from a set down on each occasion. The most recent match between the pair was a few weeks ago in the Sydney final, Kvitova won 1-6 7-5 7-6.

Can Barty keep her dream run alive in Melbourne or will Kvitova maintain her perfect record over the Aussie?

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Ashleigh Barty vs. Maria Sakkari, Australian Open R3 Preview

Australian Open, R3 Preview
🇦🇺 (15) Ashleigh Barty vs. 🇬🇷 Maria Sakkari

Ash Barty is likely to face her first real test of the tournament when she takes on Maria Sakkari at the third round stage of the Australian Open on Friday. Barty has cruised through her first few matches over inferior opponents that never really posed her much threat, that will not be the case against Sakkari, the Greek number 1 seemingly has weapons that can trouble Barty.

Maria Sakkari of Greece in action during her second-round match at the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Barty has made a very strong start to the Aussie summer, Barty arrived in Melbourne fresh off a great week in Sydney where she narrowly lost the final to Petra Kvitova. Barty has quickly found her range in Melbourne as she claimed straight set wins over Luksika Kumkhum and Yafan Wang with little fuss. Barty’s Versatility and power is a unique combination, a combination which many are tipping to take her deep into the tournament.

Maria Sakkari has also made a good start to the season and has made a good start to her Australian Open campaign. Sakkari started the week with a 6-1 3-6 6-2 win over the 22nd seeded Jelena Ostapenko before battling past Astra Sharma 6-1 6-4. Sakkari will be looking to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time with a win over Barty having previously reached the third round at every Grand Slam.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. It was Sakkari who won the most recent match between the two, a 6-4 6-2 win at Indian Wells last year.

Can Sakkari spoil the occasion for the Australian number 1?

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Caroline Garcia vs. Danielle Collins, Australian Open R3 Preview

Australian Open, R3 Preview
🇫🇷 (19) Caroline Garcia vs. 🇺🇸 Danielle Collins

The 19th seeded Caroline Garcia and America’s Danielle Collins will go head-to-head for the first time when they meet at the third round stage of the Australian Open on Friday. Garcia heads into this clash as a strong favourite, Garcia is the far more established player, especially at this level but Collins has made a habit of defying the odds and will fancy her chances here.

Caroline Garcia of France in action during her second-round match at the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Garcia has cruised into the third round at Melbourne with a couple of straight set wins. Garcia started the event with a 6-2 6-3 win over Jessika Ponchet before defeating Zoe Hives 6-3 6-3. In truth Garcia has had a very favourable draw and that continues in the next round with a match-up against the unseeded Collins.

Danielle Collins arrived at Melbourne Park having never won a Grand Slam main draw match. The American’s first win at a Grand Slam was a special one, a 2-6 7-6 6-4 win over the 14th seeded Julia Goerges. Collins back-up her win over the German nicely with a reasonably comfortable 6-3 7-5 win over Sachia Vickery.

This will be an interesting match-up because of the contrasting styles between the pair, the class of Garcia against the scrappy American. Can Collins cause another big upset to reach the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time?

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Simona Halep vs. Sofia Kenin, Australian Open R1 Preview

Australian Open, R2 Preview
🇷🇴 (1) Simona Halep vs. 🇺🇸 Sofia Kenin

Simona Halep navigated her way through a tough opening round match on Tuesday evening against Kaia Kanepi and faces another tough early round test on Thursday against America’s Sofia Kenin. Halep was forced to come from a set and a break down in her first round match and is likely to face another stern challenge against Kenin who arrived in Melbourne fresh off winning her first career singles title in Hobart.

Simona Halep of Romania in action during her first-round match at the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Halep’s opening round match-up with Kanepi was always going to be a tough one. Kanepi defeated Halep at the opening round stage of the US Open last year and it seemed the same would happen in Melbourne when Kanepi led by a set and a break. However, the world number 1 dug deep and eventually broke the spirits of Kanepi midway through the third set to claim an important 6-7 6-4 6-2 victory. Halep showcased her improved mental strength and was increasingly aggressive in the important moments.

Sofia Kenin has made a very strong start to the season. Kenin won the doubles title in Auckland in week 1 before winning the singles title in Hobart the week after. Kenin was very impressive in Hobart, especially in the final where she dominated Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in her first career singles final on the WTA tour. Kenin also needed to dig deep to get through her opening round match in Melbourne, the American battled past Veronika Kudermetova 6-3 3-6 7-5 in what was her first main draw victory at the Australian Open.

This will be the first career meeting between Halep and Kenin. Can an in-form Kenin push the world number 1?

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Serena Williams vs. Eugenie Bouchard, Australian Open R1 Preview

Australian Open, R2 Preview
🇺🇸 (16) Serena Williams vs. 🇨🇦 Eugenie Bouchard

One of the most exciting second round clashes from Melbourne Park on Thursday sees Serena Williams take on Eugenie Bouchard. Williams and Bouchard are two of the biggest names in women’s tennis so there will be a lot of interest surrounding this match-up. However, Bouchard will need to produce her best tennis to make this match competitive and ensure it lives up to the hype.

Eugenie Bouchard of Canada in action during her first-round match at the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Serena Williams made an impressive start to her Australian Open campaign. The 7-time former champion cruised through her opening round match against Germany’s Tatjana Maria, the American claimed a dominant 6-0 6-2 victory in just 50 minutes. Serena won 85% of her service points, did not face a break point and hit 22 winners to just 11 unforced errors in what was a very tidy start to the tournament.

Eugenie Bouchard also cruised through her opening round match at Melbourne Park. The former semi-finalist smashed China’s Peng Shuai 6-2 6-1 in 60 minutes to book a showdown with Williams in what will be their first meeting at a Grand Slam event. Bouchard’s numbers were impressive in her first round win, Bouchard hit 15 winners to 13 unforced errors and is seemingly starting to somewhat resemble the player that reached the final 4 at this tournament in 2014.

Williams has won both of the previous matches between the pair. Williams beat Bouchard in 3 sets in Cincinnati in 2013, their most recent match ended in a dominant 6-1 6-1 win for Williams at the WTA finals Singapore in 2014.

Can Bouchard claim her first career win over Williams in Melbourne?

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Madison Keys vs. Destanee Aiava, Australian Open R1 Preview

🇦🇺 Australian Open, R1 Preview
🇺🇸 (17) Madison Keys vs. 🇦🇺 (wc) Destanee Aiava

Madison Keys will be in action for the first time in 2019 when she takes on Destanee Aiava first up on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday. Interestingly, Keys is one of few players that did not play a lead-up tournament to the Australian Open, it is therefore hard to know what to expect from Keys over the next fortnight. One thing is for sure, at her best, Keys is a threat to anyone.

Madison Keys has a good recent record at Melbourne Park, the young American made it to the quarter-finals last year, her best previous effort in Melbourne was in 2015 where she made it all the way to the semi-finals. Keys has made it to at least the quarter-final stage of all 4 Grand Slams, the challenge for Keys in 2019 is to go all the way and claim a maiden Grand Slam title. Can she do it?

Standing in Madison’s way first-up in Melbourne is local wild card: Destanee Aiava. Unlike Keys, Aiava has played a lot of tennis over the last month. Aiava’s summer started early at the Australian Open wild card playoff where she suffered a first round loss in singles but successfully won a wild card into the doubles main draw. Aiava had a great week in Brisbane where she won 3 matches in the qualifying draw before defeating Kristina Mladenovic in straight sets. Aiava’s run ended at the hands of Naomi Osaka. Most recently Aiava was in Sydney where she lost in the first round of qualifying to Yulia Putintseva in straight sets.

This will be the first career meeting between Keys and Aiava, can the young Aussie challenge Keys?

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: click here