Adelaide International 2020: Women's singles draw analysis, preview and prediction
As we head into the second consecutive week of action on the WTA Tour, the Australian hardcourts will present to fans and players a newly minted tournament in the South Australian capital of Adelaide.
The 2020 Adelaide International will replace the regular feature of the calendar, the Sydney International. The inaugural edition of the tournament will see the participation of top stars including world no. 1 Ashleigh Barty, Sydney 2019 champion Petra Kvitova, and Grand Slam winners Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep, among others.
With main draw play set to start in about a day's time, here is look at the prospects of some of the top players in the draw.
Expected semifinal: Ashleigh Barty vs Belinda Bencic
Analysis: Barty's section of the half features two other former Grand Slam winners in Angelique Kerber and Sloane Stephens who will square off in the first round itself. The two women made first-round exits in Brisbane and will be looking get back to winning ways.
The winner of this match will then have to face the eight seeded Marketa Vondrousova before getting a shot at taking on Barty. That is if the Australian can herself make it to the quarterfinals over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Anett Kontaveit.
Prediction: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs Sofia Kenin
Expected semifinal: Petra Kvitova vs Simona Halep
Analysis: The half is anchored by two of the most seasoned campaigners of the WTA Tour, Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep. With nothing to show for besides a first-round exit at Sydney in 2019, Halep has a lot to play for here.
Kvitova, on the other hand, will look to replicate her title run from last year. She will have to be at her best if she wants to get over tough opponents including Qiang Wang, Donna Vekic and Kiki Bertens, the other seed in the section.
Prediction: Petra Kvitova vs Aryna Sabalenka