Ashleigh Barty vs. Jelena Ostapenko, Sydney R1 Preview

🦒 Sydney International, R1 Preview
🇱🇻 Jelena Ostapenko vs. 🇦🇺 Ashleigh Barty

Ash Barty begins her Sydney International campaign with a potentially difficult opening round clash with Jelena Ostapenko. The top ranked Australian woman heads into this match as a strong favourite. Barty brings good form into this event having ended 2018 really well and having played some good matches in Perth last week, conversely Ostapenko is in awful form and in desperate need of a form reversal before heading to Melbourne.

Ostapenko has lost 6 of her last 8 matches spanning back to the US Open last year. Ostapenko made a messy start to the 2019 season, the 2017 Roland Garros champion was thrashed by Monica Niculescu, Ostapenko managed to win just 2 games in her first round match with the Romanian in Shenzhen and looked very rusty.

On the other hand, Ash Barty is in great form. Barty has won 9 of her last 12 matches having ended 2018 on high by winning the title in Zhuhai. Barty started her 2019 campaign with a solid showing at the Hopman Cup, Barty defeated Alize Cornet and Garbine Muguruza in straight sets before being beaten by Angelique Kerber in straight sets. Barty made the final in Sydney last year and will be hoping to go one step further in 2019.

Can Ostapenko find some decent form in Sydney and Challenge the top ranked Aussie?

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

Sloane Stephens vs. Ekaterina Alexandrova, Sydney R1 Preview

🦒 Sydney International, R1 Preview
🇺🇸 (4) Sloane Stephens vs. 🇷🇺 (Q) Ekaterina Alexandrova

Sloane Stephens continues her search for a much needed win in Australia when she takes on Russian qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova in the opening round of the Sydney International. Sloane Stephens has not won a match in Australia since a first round win in Hobart way back in 2015, she would like to change that in Sydney before heading into the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne next week.

Sloane Stephens of the United States in action during her first-round match at the 2019 Brisbane International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Stephens started her 2019 campaign with a disappointing straight set loss to Johanna Konta in Brisbane last week. Stephens looked very rusty in Brisbane last week, she looked sluggish and uninspired. Stephens has been in Sydney for a decent amount of time thanks to her early round exit in Brisbane, it will be interesting to see what type of level she bring to this match, from the outside it seems like an important one for her.

Ekaterina Alexandrova has made a decent start to the season. Alexandrova started her season in Shenzhen last week where she beat Dalila Jakupovic in straight sets before succumbing to the eventual champion: Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets. Alexandrova made her way through the qualifying draw in Sydney with ease, the Russian beat Stefanie Voegele in straight sets before benefiting from the retirement of Johanna Konta early in their match.

Alexandrova is a dangerous opponent on her day, can the talented young Russian take down the 4th seed?

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

Angelique Kerber vs Ashleigh Barty, Sydney Final Preview

Sydney International 🇦🇺🦈 Final Preview
🇦🇺 Ashleigh Barty vs 🇩🇪 Angelique Kerber

Ashleigh Barty and Angelique Kerber will do battle in a blockbuster final at the Sydney International on Saturday evening. Barty and Kerber both enter this final in awesome form, particularly Kerber who has won her first 8 matches to begin 2018. Ash Barty will have the support of the home crowd. Barty is the first Aussie into the final at the Sydney International since Aussie duo Alicia Molik and Samantha Stosur contested the 2005 championship. Can Kerber silence the crowd and complete the perfect start to her 2018 campaign?

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Ash Barty made a poor start to the season in Brisbane with an opening round loss but has rebounded strongly in Sydney. The Aussie number 1 started the event in nervy fashion with unconvincing straight set wins over Veronica Cepede Royg and Ellen Perez. Barty produced her most impressive performance of the week at the quarter-final stage where she trashed Barbora Strycova 6-3 6-0. The 21-year-old confirmed her spot in her first final on home soil with a 3-6 6-4 6-2 win over Daria Gavrilova in what was a scrappy match.

Angelique Kerber continues to impress. Gone is the unmotivated 2017 Kerber, the German is resembling the player that took the tour by storm in 2016. Kerber arrived in Sydney full of confidence having won all 4 of her singles matches at the Hopman Cup last week in straight sets. Kerber started her Sydney campaign with tough 3 set wins over Lucie Safarova and Venus Williams. Kerber’s performances have improved towards the business end of the event, beating Dominika Cibulkova 6-3 6-1 before confirming her spot in a second Sydney final with a 6-2 6-3 win over an in-form Camila Giorgi. Kerber turned a 0-3, 15-40 deficit into a 6-3 set victory in the second set against Giorgi.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece, both matches were in 2017. Kerber defeated Barty in Brisbane in 3 sets at the start of the season whilst more recently Barty defeated Kerber 6-3 6-4 at the season ending event in Zhuhai. Who will win their all important third meeting and head to Melbourne on the ultimate high?

Camila Giorgi vs Agnieszka Radwanska, Sydney QF Preview

Sydney International 🇦🇺🦈 QF Preview
(Q) 🇮🇹 Camila Giorgi vs 🇵🇱 Agnieszka Radwanska

Camila Giorgi and Agnieszka Radwanska will go head-to-head in a fascinating quarter-final clash at the Sydney International on Thursday evening. This match-up features a fascinating contrast in styles, the ultra-aggressive game of Giorgi up against the consistency and finesse of Radwanska. The head-to-head record between the pair is levelled at 1 win apiece heading into this match, their most recent match was a while back in Katowice in 2015, Giorgi won comfortably 6-4 6-2. It will be interesting to see how this match-up goes almost 3 years later.

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Camila Giorgi is having a great week in Sydney. The Italian came through the qualifying draw to reach the quarter-finals, a big deal for the Italian. Giorgi is yet to drop a set this week, winning 3 matches in the qualifying draw before beating Sloane Stephens 6-3 6-0 and Petra Kvitova 7-6 6-2. Giorgi has made noticeable improvements this week, most notably her serve, serving far less double faults than she usually would.

Aga Radwanska has navigated her way through a tough draw to reach the quarter-finals in Sydney. Radwanska came through the toughest opening round match-up, beating Konta 6-3 7-5 in what was a rematch of last years final. The former Sydney champion booked her spot in the final 8 with a 7-6 6-0 win over Catherine Bellis. Radwanska did well to see off the early threat posed by Bellis and ran away with the match in the second.

Dominika Cibulkova vs Angelique Kerber, Sydney QF Preview

Sydney International 🇦🇺🦈 QF Preview
🇸🇰 Dominika Cibulkova vs 🇩🇪 Angelique Kerber

A blockbuster quarter-final clash at the Sydney International sees Dominika Cibulkova and Angelique Kerber renew hostilities. Cibulkova and Kerber have built up quite the rivalry over the years, the head-to-head record between the pair heading into this exciting quarter-final match is split at 5 wins apiece. Angelique Kerber has been the form player on tour to start the new year having won all 6 of her matches including 2 impressive wins in Sydney over quality opponents. Kerber will face perhaps her biggest test of the summer thus far when she comes up against the feisty Slovakian on Thursday.

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Dominika Cibulkova has been very impressive this week in Sydney. Cibulkova did not compete last week and arrived in Sydney under pressure to perform well amidst a very tough draw. Cibulkova took down the in-form 8th seeded Anastasija Sevastova in the opening round with a clinical 6-3 6-1 victory. Cibulkova was not as consistent in her 6-4 6-4 second round win over Elena Vesnina but the Slovakian raised her level at the business end of each set to ensure she navigated her way through with a straight set win.

Angelique Kerber’s resurgence continues to gain momentum. Kerber arrived in Sydney in great form having won all 4 of her singles matches in straight sets last week at the Hopman Cup. In Sydney, Kerber has not necessarily been playing as well, certainly not as consistently but she has battled her way to a couple of 3 set wins over very difficult opponents. Kerber started the week in Sydney with a 6-7 7-6 6-2 win over Lucie Safarova, Kerber saved 2 match points in the second set tiebreak. In the second round, Kerber looked down and out after losing 4 consecutive games to drop the opening set. However, the German rallied to claim a 5-7 6-3 6-1 win over the veteran American. Two important wins for Kerber.

As mentioned above, the head-to-head record between the pair is split at 5 win apiece. Kerber has had the better of Cibulkova In recent times having won 5 of their last 6 matches. However, it was Cibulkova who won their most recent match, a 6-3 6-4 victory in the final of the 2016 WTA Finals in Singapore, the biggest win of Cibulkova’s career.

Barbora Strycova vs Ashleigh Barty, Sydney QF Preview

Sydney International 🇦🇺🦈 QF Preview
🇨🇿 Barbora Strycova vs 🇦🇺 Ashleigh Barty

An interesting quarter-final match-up at the Sydney International sees Barbora Strycova take on Ashleigh Barty. Strycova and Barty have had contrasting pathways through to the final 8 in Sydney. Strycova has had a tough draw, defeating Kasatkina and Makarova whilst Barty has had a very favourable draw having beaten Cepede Royg and Perez on route to the quarter-finals. The head-to-head record is split at 1 win apiece, who will edge ahead and reach the semi-finals in Sydney?

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Barbora Strycova has made a decent start to the 2018 season, reaching back-to-back quarter-finals in Auckland and Sydney. Strycova started her Sydney campaign with a difficult 3 set victory over Daria Kasatkina, a 7-5 1-6 6-4 victory. The 31-year-old was more comfortable in her second round match, beating Ekaterina Makarova surprisingly comfortably 6-4 6-1. Strycova will be keen to replicate her run to the semi-finals in Sydney last year.

Ashleigh Barty has started to gain some much needed momentum at the Sydney International. Barty started her 2018 season with a shocking opening round to Lesia Tsurenko last week in Brisbane and arrived in Sydney under great pressure to get some victories under her belt. Barty has not been at her best this week in Sydney but she has competed well enough to claim straight set wins over Veronica Cepede Royg and Ellen Perez. Barty was fortunate enough to receive a relatively easy draw this week, her toughest test thus far will come on Thursday against Strycova.

The head-to-head between these two is split at 1 win apiece. The most recent match between the pair took place on grass in Birmingham last year, Barty claimed a 6-3 3-6 6-1 victory. Strycova won their only previous match on a hard court, 6-1 6-3 at the US Open in 2014.

Daria Gavrilova vs Samantha Stosur, Sydney R2 Preview

Sydney International 🇦🇺🦈 R2 Preview
🇦🇺 Daria Gavrilova vs (wc) 🇦🇺 Samantha Stosur

Two local crowd favourites will go head-to-head on Wednesday at the Sydney International as Aussie duo Daria Gavrilova and Samantha Stosur face off in the second round. Gavrilova and Stosur both survived extremely tough opening round matches on Tuesday, both claiming tight 3 set victories. This will be an interesting contest between two contrasting characters and styles of tennis. Which Aussie will book a spot in the quarter-finals?

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Daria Gavrilova laboured through her opening round match in Sydney, beating Olivia Rogowska 6-4 1-6 7-5. Gavrilova was forced to work much harder than expected against a player ranked well over 100 spots below her. Nevertheless, it could be the type of difficult match Gavrilova needs in order to have a good week in Sydney.

Samantha Stosur made a poor start to the season in Brisbane last week where she was easily beaten by Anastasija Sevastova. Stosur made a much better start in Sydney, claiming a much needed 3 set win over Carina Witthoeft, ensuring Stosur would not go winless through the Aussie summer. Stosur was seemingly on track for another opening round loss on Aussie soil when she dropped the opening set but the veteran was able to eventually turn the match around by winning critical points behind her serve whilst under real pressure.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. Most recently it was Stosur who won a tight 3 set match in the Strasbourg final on clay in 2017.

Catherine Bellis vs Agnieszka Radwanska, Sydney R2 Preview

Sydney International 🇦🇺🦈 R2 Preview
(Q) 🇺🇸 Catherine Bellis vs 🇵🇱 Agnieszka Radwanska

Aga Radwanska came through the toughest opening round match-up in Sydney, winning the rematch of last years final, a 6-3 7-5 win over Johanna Konta. Radwanska will face another tough test in the second round where she comes up against American qualifier Catherine Bellis. It was Bellis who won the only previous meeting between the pair in Dubai last year.

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Bellis has already won 4 tough matches this week in Sydney having come through the qualifying draw. Bellis started the week with wins over 3 decent opponents in the qualifying: Brady, Kuccova and Alexandrova. Bellis looked down and out against Alexandrova but fought back from a set down to win. In the main draw, Bellis claimed a good first round win, beating Magdalena Rybarikova 7-6 6-0.

Radwanska was seemingly dealt a brutal draw in Sydney but the Pole navigated her way through her opening round match with Johanna Konta quite well, winning in straight sets. Radwanska was in control for the majority of the match as she again troubled Konta with her consistency and anticipation.

Radwanska will enter this match keen for revenge after she was shocked by the teenager in Dubai last year.

Petra Kvitova vs Camila Giorgi, Sydney R2 Preview

Sydney International 🇦🇺🦈 R2 Preview
🇨🇿 Petra Kvitova vs (Q) 🇮🇹 Camila Giorgi

An exciting second round clash at the Sydney International sees former champion: Petra Kvitova, take on Italian qualifier: Camila Giorgi. Kvitova and Giorgi are two of the most aggressive and hard-hitting players on tour from the baseline, expect a lot of flashing winners and little extended rallies in this match-up.

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Kvitova and Giorgi have had very contrasting pathways to the second round. Kvitova has only played 1 set in Sydney after she was up 6-1 against Lucic-Baroni before the Croatian retired. Conversely, Giorgi has already won 4 matches this week having come through the qualifying draw. Giorgi navigated her way through a tough qualifying draw in Sydney before kick-starting her main draw appearance with a dominant 6-3 6-0 win over Sloane Stephens.

The only previous match between the pair took place on hard court in a Fed Cup tie in 2014, Kvitova won that match 6-4 6-2.

Garbine Muguruza vs Kiki Bertens, Sydney R2 Preview

Sydney International 🇦🇺🦈 R2 Preview
(1/wc) 🇪🇸 Garbine Muguruza vs 🇳🇱 Kiki Bertens

Top seeded Garbine Muguruza begins her Sydney International campaign on Wednesday where she will take on Kiki Bertens in the second round. As the top seed, Muguruza received a bye into the second round where she will face a tough test against Bertens, Muguruza has not beaten Bertens in 3 prior attempts. This is an important tournament for Muguruza after she was forced to retire due to cramps in her opening round match in Brisbane last week.

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Garbine Muguruza had an unfortunate start to her 2018 campaign in Brisbane last week. Muguruza was up a set and break In her opening round match against Aleksandra Krunic before the Spaniard started to cramp. Early in the deciding set the cramps were felt all of Muguruza’s body and she was to retire. As a result, Muguruza decided to take a wild card into this weeks event in Sydney to play a few more matches before heading down to Melbourne.

Kiki Bertens made a poor start to her season last week in Brisbane. The 26-year-old ran into a red-hot Ana Konjuh and was beaten 6-1 6-2. Bertens made a much better start in Sydney, claiming an impressive 6-2 6-4 win over in-form American qualifier Kirstie Ahn.

It is Bertens who has won all 3 of the previous matches between the pair, however these results are mostly irrelevant as they were all between 2010 and 2012 and were all on clay.