Elina Svitolina vs (6) Ekaterina Makarova
After an impressive run to the Semi-Finals in Brisbane, Elina Svitolina arrives in Sydney to face sixth seed Ekaterina Makarova who will be making her first appearance in 2015. Svitolina looms as a very tricky first up opponent for the Russian, this should be a great match.
Elina Svitolina produced her third top 10 career victory in Brisbane, coming from a set and a break down to defeat Angelique Kerber in the Quarter-finals. Svitolina showed maturity beyond her years and dogged determination which is sure to take her places in the near future.
Svitolina was however no match for a red-hot Maria Sharapova in the Semi-Finals going down 1-6 3-6. The Ukrainian didn't play poorly and never gave up hope, saving four match points in later stages of the second set. Svitolina will be looking to keep her positive momentum going this week in Sydney.
Her opponent Ekaterina Makarova will be looking to have a big 2015 season. No one has ever doubted the potential of Makarova, however her consistency has always let her down. The Russian should be a little rusty heading into this, the first match of the season for her and could therefore struggle against a match hardened Svitolina.
This will be the first career meeting between the two. I expect Svitolina to be too solid for Makarova in her first match of the season. Svitolina has already beaten angelique Kerber (leftie) so that should give her added confidence heading into this match.
Prediction: Elina Svitolina to defeat Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets