Australian Open, 🇦🇺 First Round Match Preview
🇺🇸 Louisa Chirico vs 🇨🇦 Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard opens her 2017 Australian Open campaign on Monday with a first round match against talented young American, Louisa Chirico. Bouchard burst onto the scene at the 2014 Australian Open where she made it all the way to the semi-finals. The Canadian will be hoping to replicate that run in 2017 and will be confident heading into the first Grand Slam of the year after playing some great tennis in Sydney on route to the semi-final stage last week.
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Madrid R3: (5) Victoria Azarenka vs (Q) Louisa Chirico
Victoria Azarenka is the top seed remaining at the Mutua Madrid Open heading into third round after Agnieszka Radwanska, Angelique Kerber and Garbine Muguruza were all eliminated from the event in the opening days. The Belarussian will be hard to stop from here given her outstanding form, Azarenka in on a 17 match winning streak, finally playing at her dominant, consistent best. Azarenka will be the strong favourite in her third round clash with American qualifier Louisa Chirico
Victoria Azarenka is a two-time former finalist in Madrid, the Belarussian has made a strong enough start to suggest that she can go one step better in 2016. Azarenka started her 2016 Mutua Madrid Open campaign with a 6-4 6-2 triumph over Laura Robson before recording a commanding 6-3 6-2 win over Alize Cornet. Azarenka was challenged by Cornet but was always too good for the Frenchwoman at the important moments.
Louisa Chirico’s impressive start to the clay court season has continued in Madrid. The 19-year-old American is having the best week of her young career, coming through the qualifying draw to reach the third round of a premier mandatory level event for the first time. Chirico has beaten a pair of difficult opponents on route to the third round, a 7-5 6-1 win over Monica Niculescu before claiming the biggest victory of her career, a 5-7 6-3 6-1 win over Ana Ivanovic. Chirico did impressively well to bounce back from the disappointment of losing a tight opening set to ultimately run away with the match.
This will be the first career match-up between Azarenka and Chirico. On paper, this looks like a massive mismatch. This is probably the biggest match of Chirico’s career; the American is likely to find life difficult against the form player on tour but will enter this clash with nothing to lose which is always a good position to be in. Azarenka should continue her winning ways and a pretty comfortable win here.
Prediction: Victoria Azarenka to defeat Louisa Chirico in 2 sets