(6) Agnieszka Radwanska vs Kurumi Nara
Sixth seed Agnieszka Radwanska will open her 2015 Australian Open campaign against Japanese number 1 Kurumi Nara. Aga has made it very clear that she is focusing on claiming an elusive Grand Slam title in 2015, it will be interesting to see how the Pole fares in Melbourne in her first Grand Slam under the guidance of Martina Navratilova.
Aga’s results during the lead up to the Australian Open were overall quite positive. Aga guided Poland to victory at the Hopman Cup alongside Jerzy Janowicz. It was a historic occasion, the first time Poland have ever won the Hopman Cup. Aga won three of her four singles matches, including her first career victory over Serena Williams in the final.
Aga’s only loss at the Hopman Cup was to Alize Cornet however she avenged that loss in Sydney just a couple of days later in her opening round match. The Pole’s stay in Sydney was cut short by Garbine Muguruza in the second round.
Kurumi Nara has made a solid start to the season. Nara made a second round exit in Auckland, where she was totally outplayed by eventual champion Venus Williams. In Hobart Nara reached the Semi-Finals before falling to Madison Brengle in three sets. This is an extremely tough first round matchup for Nara but a good opportunity to play a top player on a big occasion.
Agnieszka Radwanska prevailed in the only previous meeting between the two, a comprehensive 6-2 6-2 in Cincinnati last season.
Kurumi Nara is a great mover and solid from the baseline however this is not a good matchup for her, Aga simply does everything better than her. I suspect Aga will get the job done in two relatively straightforward sets.
It’s important that Aga makes light work of these early round matches. One of her biggest weaknesses at Grand Slams has been that she is forced to work much harder than her main competitors during her early round matches.
Prediction: Agnieszka Radwanska to defeat Kurumi Nara in straight sets