Australian Open 2019, Day 1: Women's singles predictions
Former champion Angelique Kerber will also be in action, as will be the Sydney International champion Petra Kvitova, who is set to play against Magdalena Rybarikova in less than 48 hours after beating Ashleigh Barty in the final in Sydney.
Here are the predictions of the best women’s singles matches from Day 1 at the Australian Open:
Julia Goerges vs Danielle Collins
Goerges is a strong favorite in this match up partly due to her brilliant form after winning in Auckland two weeks ago. The WTA ace leader is also a clean hitter on hard courts. Collins can be lethal at times and she was very close to beating Petra Kvitova in Brisbane. However, she is playing Goerges at the wrong time.
Prediction: Julia Goerges to win in straight sets
Anna Kalinskaya vs Aryna Sabalenka
It is no surprise to see Aryna Sabalenka being the third favorite to win the Australian Open among the odds makers. The Belarusian is the most improved player on the WTA tour in the last 12 months. She possesses some very powerful groundstrokes which we rarely see on the women’s circuit. Her opponent, Anna Kalinskaya, has gone through qualifying to enter into the main draw. It is time for Sabalenka to live up to her billing as one of the in-form players on tour, and she should win matches like these.
Prediction: Aryna Sabalenka to win in straight sets
Maria Sharapova vs Harriet Dart
I think this will be the first big upset of the Australian Open. Incidentally, it is also the first match on Rod Laver Arena. Harriet Dart has spent most of her career playing ITF events, but when she played at Wimbledon last year, she took a set off Karolina Pliskova who was world no.1 at the time. Also considering that Sharapova had to retire in her match against Sabalenka in Shenzhen, she may not be at 100%. I am not entirely convinced this will be an easy ride for the Russian and I am going for an upset win for Dart.
Prediction: Harriet Dart to win in 3 sets
Sloane Stephens vs Taylor Townsend
This will be a battle between two American players. One is an accomplished major champion while the other is looking to make her mark. Sloane Stephens has been the subject of an attitude problem during the first two weeks of the year. She loses matches which she is expected to win and that begs the question of why she decided to play the event in the first place. Since this a Grand Slam, she will be motivated to do well.
Prediction: Sloane Stephens victorious in straight sets
Maria Sakkari vs Jelena Ostapenko
Jelena Ostapenko’s form has fallen off a cliff recently as she has not won a match since last year's US Open. Maria Sakkari, on the other hand, was part of the Greece team that played so well at the Hopman Cup. Sakkari on paper is a massive favorite to win this one and rightly so.
Prediction: Maria Sakkari to win in 2 sets
Caroline Wozniacki vs Alison Van Uytvanck
Wozniacki will start the defense of her crown against Alison Van Uytvanck. This is a tricky match up for the Dane, but the Belgian is struggling for match wins and was recently injured in her match in Auckland.
Prediction: Caroline Wozniacki to win in 2 sets
Angelique Kerber vs Polona Hercog
Kerber is a former champion in Australia. She usually plays well on hard courts during the Australian summer. She reached the final of the Hopman Cup without losing any singles matches. Last week, she was knocked out of Sydney by the eventual champion Petra Kvitova in the quarter finals. She is one of the in-form during the early weeks of the season, and I think she will be untroubled against the Slovenian Hercog.
Prediction: Angelique Kerber to win in 2 sets