?? Australian Open, R1 Prediction
?? (5) Sloane Stephens vs. ?? Taylor Townsend
Sloane Stephens has made a disappointing start to the year, but the former US Open champion almost always raises her level for big events. I expect Stephens to be a class above Taylor Townsend in their opening round match-up at Melbourne Park and I expect Stephens to bring a much greater level of intensity to the court compared to what we have seen from her over the first two weeks of 2019.
This should be a good match-up for Stephens. Stephens can match the firepower of Townsend whilst Stephens is a far superior athlete and has much more versatility to her game. Stephens has not won a match in Melbourne since 2014 and will surely be very, very focused on having a god fortnight at the Australian Open. A motivated Stephens shouldn’t have too much trouble in this match-up.