?? 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 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?