Samantha Stosur vs Heather Watson, Australian Open R1 Preview

Australian Open, ?? First Round Match Preview
(18) ?? Samantha Stosur vs ?? Heather Watson

Top ranked Australian Sam Stosur will begin her Australian Open campaign on Tuesday with a tough opening round clash against Heather Watson. Stosur’s poor record in Australia has been well documented over the years, Stosur suffered an extremely disappointing first round loss to Kristyna Pliskova at the opening stage in Melbourne last year. Stosur will be desperate to avoid another first round loss in Melbourne as her time runs out to make an impact at her home Slam. 

Sam Stosur arrives in Melbourne without a win to her name in 2017. Stosur suffered an agonisingly close loss to Garbine Muguruza in the first round at the Brisbane International, Stosur was up a break in the final set ultimately lost 5-7 7-6 5-7, it was still a good match for the Aussie who was playing good tennis throughout. Stosur’s performance in Sydney a week later was less convincing, Stosur was uncompetitive in a 6-3 6-1 loss to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Heather Watson started the year at the Hopman Cup. Watson was beaten by Belinda Bencic and Kristina Mladenovic in her opening two matches before beating Andrea Petkovic to ensure she did not go through the tournament winless. Watson also has a poor record at the Australian Open, having suffered three consecutive opening round losses. 

Sam Stosur will head into this opening round clash with confidence having beaten Watson in their two previous meetings, both on a hard court. The most recent clash between the pair saw Stosur earn a 7-5 6-3 win at the Rogers Cup last year, on a similar surface to the one at Melbourne Park.

This is a tough opening round match-up for both ladies. Both enter this match with fairly poor results to start the season and both have poor records at Melbourne Park in recent years. What works in Stosur’s favour is her perfect record against Watson and her impressive showing against Muguruza in Brisbane. Watson does have the type of flat game that can trouble Stosur, but the Australian can trouble Watson with her heavy shots. Whoever executes their game will win, I suspect that will be Stosur on this occasion, her form in recent times have been better and she seems to like this match-up. 

Prediction: Samantha Stosur to defeat Heather Watson in 3 sets

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