Australian Open R1: (4) Agnieszka Radwanska vs Christina McHale
Agnieszka Radwanska will open her 2016 Australian Open campaign on Monday afternoon with a first round clash with American Christina McHale. Aga has a dominant record against McHale and heads into this match full of confidence given her outstanding recent form.
Aga arrives in Melbourne full of confidence having won a title in the last three tournaments she has entered, including titles in Tianjin and Singapore last year and Shenzhen in the first week of 2016. Radwanska in currently on an 8 match winning streak and is arguably the form player heading into the first Grand Slam of the year. The Pole seems to be positioned better than ever heading into the first Grand Slam of the year, she finally seems to have found the right balance between attack and defence and will have high hopes in Melbourne.
Aga’s preparation for the Australian Open has seemingly been perfect. Aga started the season with a good week in Shenzhen where she did not drop a set in her five matches on route to the title. The world number 4 showed signs of improvement in her game, most notably a seemingly improved serve. Aga was scheduled to play in Sydney but decided to withdraw from the event. I think this was a good move, Aga will be fresh heading into the event but also feeling confident given her recent results, a great combination.
Christina McHale arrives in Melbourne deprived of confidence having made a poor start to the season. The American suffered early round exits in Auckland and in Hobart and will have to drastically turn things around if she to advance past the first round at Melbourne Park. However, McHale did enjoy some success in Hobart, claiming the doubles title.
Aga has beaten McHale in their three previous encounters, winning all three comfortably in straight sets. McHale has won a combined 7 games in her 3 matches against Aga. Their most recent match took place in Nottingham last year where Radwanska cruised to a 6-3 6-1 victory.
This is clearly a good match-up for Aga, McHale just doesn’t have the game to trouble the world number 4. McHale is a good mover and a pretty consistent player form the baseline but Aga simply does everything better than her and has far more variety and experience, I suspect she will win this quite easily.
How far can Aga go in Melbourne? Let me know what you think 🙂