Australian Open 2019, Day 2: Women's singles predictions
Serena Williams headlines day 2 in the women's draw as she returns to the center of her most recent Grand Slam win. The legendary American is bidding to win her first Major title as a mother and is also looking to tie Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam titles.
Serena's sister Venus will also be in action when she plays Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania. World No.1 Simona Halep will also be looking to avenge her last year's early defeat at the US Open to Kaia Kanepi. Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka will also get her campaign up and running when she faces Laura Siegemund.
Here are the predictions of best women's singles matches on day 2 of the Australian Open:
Serena Williams vs Tatjana Maria
Serena Williams is coming to Melbourne in the best possible shape as she looks to win her 24th Grand Slam title. She managed to reach the finals of Wimbledon and US Open last year, but she could not get past the finish line.
This year, the situation is perhaps a bit different. She has regrouped and is looking fitter once more. Tatjana may sense that this is possibly the best time to face Serena early in the tournament, but I feel the American will want to make a statement here.
Prediction: Serena Williams to win in straight sets
Destanee Aiava vs Madison Keys
Both these players have similar game styles as they are powerful baseliners. Aiava is an up and coming Australian who could take advantage of Madison Keys' rustiness in this early part of the season. Considering this is the first match Keys is playing this year, I fancy Aiava's chances.
Prediction: Destanee Aiava to win in straight sets
Daria Kasatkina vs Timea Bacsinszky
This is a massive opportunity for Timea Bacsinszky as Daria Kasatkina is probably the most out of form player in the top 10 right now. A couple of early losses in Brisbane and Sydney could have significant repercussions.
Bacsinszky managed to recover from injury problems and now is climbing her way back up the rankings. She reached the quarters at the Sydney International and is certainly carrying some momentum. I think we will see another seeded player tumbling.
Prediction: Timea Bacsinszky to win in three sets
Johanna Konta vs Ajla Tomljanovic
This is a hard one to call. I am not so sure about Johanna Konta's fitness coming into this match. She retired from her match in Sydney and withdrew from the tournament even after being handed a lucky loser spot.
Tomljanovic will get a vociferous support from the home crowd and she has already beaten the Brit this year in Brisbane. While I understand Konta is the favorite in this one, she may not be at 100 percent.
Prediction: Ajla Tomljanovic to win in three sets
Garbine Muguruza vs Zheng Saisai
One of the players with a point to prove on the women's tour this year is Garbine Muguruza. The Spaniard endured a terrible 2018 and she could not have asked for a more favorable first round opponent to get her confidence back. I think this will be a big year for Muguruza. Let's not forget she is a 2-time Grand Slam champion.
Prediction: Muguruza to win in straight sets
Victoria Azarenka vs Laura Siegemund
It is great to see Victoria Azarenka playing competitive tennis again. While she may not hit the heights of her successful 2012 and 2013 season, she is still one of the players everyone enjoys watching.
It is also worth pointing out that the Belarusian is also seeking a first Grand Slam title post maternity. Laura Siegemund has had injury troubles for the last two seasons and she does not look comfortable playing on the hard courts and this is Azarenka's best surface.
Prediction: Victoria Azarenka to win in straight sets.