Hopman Cup Day 1 Preview

The 2016 Hopman Cup will begin on Sunday where both Australian teams will be in action. Serena Williams will be the headline act at the event for the second year in a row, the tournament also features a number of WTA rising stars including Karolina Pliksova, Elina Svitolina, Caroline Garcia and Daria Gavrilova. Unfortunately Poland will not be defending their title 2016 title, a new champion will be crowned.

Australia Green vs Germany: Daria Gavrilova vs Sabine Lisicki

Daria Gavrilova will be representing Australia for the very first time when she contests the opening match of the tournament against German Sabine Lisicki on Sunday.

It will be interesting to see how Gavrilova responds to the occasion, this will be an important moment for Daria. Gavrilova is a passionate character and should thrive in this type of situation, Daria will be keen to impress with a spot in the Australian Fed Cup team up for grabs in 2016.

Sabine Lisicki will be making her first appearance at the Hopman Cup since 2010. Lisicki has struggled at the Australian Open in recent years, failing to get passed in the second round in her last three appearances. Sabine will be hoping a change in preparation will lead to better results in Melbourne, a guaranteed 3 matches is always useful.

This will be the first ever meeting between Daria and Sabine. The two were scheduled to meet in the second round at Roland Garros last year but Daria was forced to hand Sabine a walkover due to injury.

This is an interesting match-up between one of the hardest hitters on the tour and one of the quickest players on the tour. Both have the ability to hurt the other, it will all be about who is able to execute their game in their first competitive match of the year. I think Gavrilova will be extra motivated to pick up a victory in her first match representing Australia. It will be tough for Sabine to come out and hit Daria off the court in her first match of the year.

Prediction: Daria Gavrilova to defeat Sabine Lisicki in 3 sets
Australia Gold vs Czech Republic: Jarmila Gajdosova vs Karolina Pliskova

Both Jarmila Gajdosova and Karolina Pliskova were late entries into the 2016 Hopman Cup. Jarmila Gajdosova is replacing the injured Casey Dellacqua whilst Karolina Pliskova is replacing the injured Lucie Safarova. This promises to be fast paced match between two ladies who prefer to keep rallies as short as possible. 

Jarmila and Karolina are quite experienced when it comes to representing their country, Gajdosova has represented Australia in the Fed Cup world group stage whilst Karolina Pliskova was a crucial member of a triumphant Czech Republic Fed Cup team in 2016.

Karolina Pliskova and Jarmila Gajdosova were both pretty active during the off-season, competing in the IPTL. Karolina’s off-season was particularly busy given she also competed in the Fed Cup final, this could give Karolina an edge heading into this event as she will not be as rusty as her opponents.

Karolina won the only previous encounter between the pair, a 7-6 6-1 victory in Miami 2013 at the qualifying stage. Karolina does most things better than Jarmila and should enjoy the slightly more relaxed atmosphere at the Hopman Cup.

Prediction: Karolina Pliskova to defeat Jarmila Gajdosova in 2 sets

Jarmila Gajdosova vs Sabine Lisicki, Wimbledon R1 Preview

Jarmila Gajdosova vs (18) Sabine Lisicki

Sabine Lisicki will open her 2015 Wimbledon campaign against the always dangerous: Jarmila Gajdosova. Sabine Lisicki has been a serial giant-killer at Wimbledon over the past couple of years, the German looks set for another deep run at SW19.

Jarmila Gajdosova arrives at Wimbledon with a good number of grass court matches under her belt. Jarka successfully battled through qualifiers in Nottingham in Eastbourne, but failed to make it past the second round in both events.

Jarka has reached the second round at Wimbledon on one previous occasion, the Australian reached the fourth round at SW19 back in 2010. Jarka has had a typically erratic season, her best is very good, however we very rarely see her best tennis displayed consistently enough.


Sabine Lisicki has been one of the most consistent performers at Wimbledon over the past 5 years, Sabine has reached at least the quarter-finals in her last 5 appearances at the All England Club. Sabine’s best result was in 2013 where she reached the final, however the German was overwhelmed by the occasion and lost to Marion Bartoli in straight sets.

Sabine’s lead up to this years event has been promising. The German reached the semifinals in Birmingham where she succumbed to the eventual champion: Angelique Kerber. It was in the opening round at Birmingham where Sabine created headlines, firing 27 aces past Belinda Bencic in her 6-1 7-6 victory, breaking the WTA record for the most aces in a match. Sabine’s serve is one the biggest weapons on tour, especially on grass, if she serves well she is always going to difficult to beat.


This will be the first career meeting between Sabine and Jarka, two of the most explosive players on tour, expect to see a lot of big hitting and short rallies.

Sabine Lisicki been surprisingly consistent at Wimbledon over the years. The German feels right at home on the grass, it will take a big effort for anyone to defeat her over the next fortnight. Gajdosova is capable of challenging Lisicki, however the German does everything a little better and will come through this one.

Prediction: Sabine Lisicki to defeat Jarmila Gajdosova in 2 sets

Angelique Kerber vs Jarmila Gajdosova Preview, Fed Cup World Group R1

Angelique Kerber and Jarmila Gajdosova will go head to head in the critical opening rubber match between two Fed Cup powerhouses at the Stuttgart Arena in Germany. Germany will be looking to go one step better than their runner-up finish in 2014 but the Germans will have their work cut out progressing past a solid Aussie team.

Jarmila Gajdosova had a fantastic Australian summer, leading to her being picked over Casey Dellacqua to play singles in this critical Fed Cup tie. Gajdosova defeated Andrea Petkovic and Dominika Cibulkova on route to the semi-finals in Sydney before succumbing to eventual champion, Petra Kvitova in a tight three set match. Gajdosova then went on to win her first ever Australian Open main draw match but proved no match for Simona Halep in the second round.


Alicia Molik has seemingly made a smart decision to pick an in form Gajdosova over Casey Dellacqua, Gajdosova has weapons to worry both Angie and Andrea whilst Casey is solid but predictable.

Angelique Kerber made a promising enough start to her season, reaching the quarter-finals in Brisbane and the semi-finals in Sydney. However the German number 1 suffered an extremely disappointing first round loss at the Australian Open, defeated by Irina-Camelia Begu in three lopsided sets.


Angie won the only previous encounter between these two, a 6-3 0-6 6-2 victory in the opening round of the Australian Open in 2014. That match showed that Jarmila has the capabilities to beat Angie, the question is whether she can sustain a high enough level for long enough?

I think Angie’s experience in matches like this will be a critical factor in the outcome of this match. Gajdosova is known to get nervous in big moments and I doubt she will be able to maintain a high enough level when it really matters to win this match, Agnie is too solid.

Prediction: Angelique Kerber to defeat Jarmila Gajdosova in 3 sets

Simona Halep vs Jarmila Gajdosova, Australian Open R2 Preview

(3) Simona Halep vs Jarmila Gajdosova

One of Wednesday’s most intriguing second round matches sees third seed Simona Halep take on Aussie Jarmila Gajdosova on Rod Laver Arena.

Simona Halep opened her 2015 Australian Open campaign with a solid performance to defeat Karin Knapp in straight sets 6-3 6-2. Karin Knapp lurked as a potentially dangerous first up opponent for the Romanian however the Italian failed to mount a serious challenge, hitting far too many unforced errors in a wayward performance.

Simona finds herself in a very favourable section of the draw. With Ana Ivanovic now eliminated, the Romanians pathway to the Semi-finals looks very manageable.


Jarmila Gajdosova finally ended her 10 year Australian Open drought by comfortably defeating Alexandra Dulgheru 6-4 6-3 on Margaret Court Arena. Gajdosova’s form leading into Melbourne was impressive therefore it was no surprise to see the erratic Aussie finally progress to the second round at Melbourne Park.

Gajdosova’s reward is a second round showdown with Simona Halep on Wednesday night at Rod Laver Arena. Gajdosova has shown in the past few weeks that at her best she can match it with quality opponents. Jarmila defeated both Cibulkova and Petkovic in Sydney before pushing Petra to three sets. However it will take an almighty performance if she is to upset Simona in Wednesday night.


This will be the first career meeting between Jarka and Simona. At her aggressive best Jarka has the ability to hit through Simona, however it’s very difficult to see Jarka performing at a high enough level to defeat the solid Romanian. Simona is a class above Jarka and should progress through to the third round.

Prediction: Simona Halep to defeat Jarmila Gajdosova in straight sets