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

Victoria Azarenka vs. Laura Siegemund, Australian Open R1 Preview

🇦🇺 Australian Open, R1 Preview
🇩🇪 Laura Siegemund vs. 🇧🇾 Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka is back competing at Melbourne for the first time in three years. The two-time former champion will begin her 2019 Australian Open campaign against Germany’s Laura Siegemund in what will be the first career meeting between the pair.

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus practices ahead of the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Laura Siegemund will be looking to complete her first victory at a Grand Slam since the 2016 US Open when she takes to the court against the two-time former champion on Tuesday. Siegemund started her 2019 campaign in Auckland where she was beaten in straight sets by Caroline Wozniacki in the opening round as a lucky-loser. More recently, Siegemund successfully qualified for the main draw in Hobart before being thrashed in the opening round by Dayana Yastremska.

Victoria Azarenka arrives in Melbourne having only played 1 competitive match before the first Grand Slam of the year. Azarenka started her season in Auckland where she was handed a brutal opening round draw against Venus Williams, Azarenka squandered several match-winning positions in that match on route to a tough 3 set loss. Azarenka looked quite shaky at times in her Auckland opener, especially on serve.

Azarenka is one of the big unknowns at this year’s Australian Open, at her best the former champion is still a threat to anyone but she may be understandably rusty to start the event having not played many matches of late.

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

Naomi Osaka vs. Magda Linette, Australian Open R1 Preview

🇦🇺 Australian Open, R1 Preview
🇯🇵 (4) Naomi Osaka vs. 🇵🇱 Magda Linette

Naomi Osaka begins her 2019 Australian Open campaign on Tuesday night with a first round clash against Poland’s Magda Linette on Rod Laver Arena. The eyes of the tennis world are on Naomi Osaka at this year’s Australian Open in what will be the first Grand Slam Osaka has competed in since winning the US Open last year, how will the young star handle the extra attention and added pressure?

Naomi Osaka of Japan in action during the quarter-final at the 2019 Brisbane International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Naomi Osaka made a decent start to the 2019 season with a semi-final showing at the Brisbane International. Osaka started the season with a straight set win over Destanee Aiava before fighting from a set down to claim an important win over Anastasija Sevastova. The tournament ended in disappointment for Osaka when she surprisingly lost to Lesia Tsurenko in straight sets, Osaka then withdrew from Sydney, instead Osaka has been in Melbourne for a week training.

Magda Linette arrives at Melbourne Park battle hardened. Linette was in action at the Hobart International last week where she claimed a couple of wins to get through the qualifying draw before upsetting Maria Sakkari in the opening round. Linette was eliminated from Hobart in the second round, a tough 3 set loss to Greet Minnen, Linette served for the match in the third set.

Interestingly it was Linette who won the only previous match between the pair, a 6-2 3-6 6-3 win in Washington D.C last year. Osaka certainly wasn’t anywhere near her best on that occasion and will surely be a a tougher opponent on this occasion.

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

Johanna Konta vs. Ajla Tomljanovic, Australian Open R1 Preview

🇦🇺 Australian Open, R1 Preview
🇬🇧 Johanna Konta vs. 🇦🇺 Ajla Tomljanovic

Johanna Konta and Ajla Tomljanovic will do battle for the second time this month when they meet at the opening round stage of the Australian Open on Tuesday. Konta and Tomljanovic went head-to-head in Brisbane a few weeks ago, it was Tomljanovic who somewhat surprisingly came out on that occasion, can Konta reverse that result at Melbourne Park?

Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia in action during the first round of the 2019 Sydney International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Johanna Konta has made an erratic start to the 2019 season. Konta started the year with a significant straight set win over Sloane Stephens in Brisbane but was dumped from the tournament in the second round by Ajla Tomljanovic. Konta then went down to Sydney where she competed in the qualifying draw, Konta withdrew from her second round match with a neck injury.

Ajla Tomljanovic made a good start to the year in Brisbane. The adopted Aussie reached the quarter-finals at the Brisbane International where she defeated Katerina Siniakova and Johanna Konta before succumbing to Karolina Pliskova in 3 lopsided set match. More recently Tomljanovic was in Sydney last week where she suffered a straight set opening round loss to Camila Giorgi.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. Both of their previous matches took place in Brisbane. Konta claimed a 3 set victory last year whilst Tomljanovic defeated Konta 6-2 7-6 a few weeks ago. Who will come out on top on this occasion?

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

Simona Halep vs. Kaia Kanpei, Australian Open R1 Preview

🇦🇺 Australian Open , R1 Preview
🇷🇴 (1) Simona Halep vs. 🇪🇪 Kaia Kanepi

The number 1 player in the world will begin her 2019 Australian Open campaign against a familiar foe. Simona Halep will take on Kaia Kanepi in a first round showdown at Melbourne Park on Tuesday, a dangerous opening round match-up for the Romanian. Kanepi defeated Halep in straight sets at the first round stage of the US Open last year, can the big-hitting Estonian cause another big upset?

Simona Halep of Romania in action during her second-round match at the 2019 Sydney International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Simona Halep is one of the main contenders at the opening grand Slam of 2019, the 2018 runner-up will give her all to go one step further in 2019. Halep started her 2019 campaign a little late, she decided to skip the first week and instead start her season in Sydney. Halep was handed a premature exit in Sydney, the top seed was eliminated in her opening match of the tournament, beaten by Ashleigh Barty in straight sets. It’s hard to read too much into Halep’s loss in Sydney, the conditions were very tough in Sydney, very windy and Halep was understandably rusty in her first match in a while. Melbourne will be a different story.

Kaia Kanepi has not played a match since the US Open last year where she defeated Halep on route to reaching the fourth round. Kanepi took a set of Serena Williams in the fourth round at the US Open, this is the last time we have seen Kanepi in a competitive match, over 4 months ago. Given the her lack of recent matches it is hard to know where Kaia Kanepi is at right now, she is very much a hit or miss type of player.

Kanepi’s 6-2 6-4 victory over Halep at the US Open last year is their only previous meeting. Kanepi’s powerful game blasted through Halep on that occasion, can she do it again in Melbourne?

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