Australian Open 2019, Day 3: Women's singles predictions
The women's singles draw is yet to register any significant upset as we head in to day 3 of the 2019 Australian Open. Apart from Julia Goerges losing to Danielle Collins and Daria Kasatkina losing to Timea Bacsinszky, all the top seeds have safely progressed to the next round.
Here are the predictions of the best women's single matches from Day 3 of the 2019 Australian Open:
Katie Boulter vs Aryna Sabalenka
This is undoubtedly the match of the day on the women's side. Aryna Sabalenka, who is widely tipped by many as the darkhorse at this Australian Open, will face a very tricky opposition in Katie Boulter.
The Brit was victorious against veteran Russian Ekaterina Makarova after winning the first ever 10-point final set tiebreak. I say this is a tricky opposition because Sabalenka will play a carbon copy of herself. Boulter hit a staggering 53 winners in that win over Makarova. Her forehand is almost equal to that of Sabalenka. I think Boulter is good enough to take at least a set off Sabalenka, but you have to fancy the 11th seed to win this match
Prediction: Aryna Sabalenka to win in three sets
Sloane Stephens vs Timea Babos
With Sloane Stephens, you are not quite sure what you are going to get. One moment she is untouchable and the next she could lose to anyone outside the top 100. Her match against Taylor Townsend was certainly not high quality, but she managed to get the job done.
Timea Babos has failed to replicate her doubles form to singles and she struggled big time in 2018. The Hungarian was impressive against Ons Jabeur in the first round, but that win was her first in singles since Linz last year. If Stephens brings her A game to the table, there will be only one winner.
Prediction: Sloane Stephens to win in straight sets
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs Kiki Bertens
As I wrote above, a lot of people have picked Sabalenka as the darkhorse to win the whole tournament and she is now the third favorite behind Serena and Kerber. But I actually think Kiki Bertens has a shot to go very far in this tournament, and if the draw opens up, she could be very dangerous.
She has a reliable serve and a very powerful forehand. The Dutchwoman also has a positive head-to-head record against her second round opponent Pavlyuchenkova. This will not be an easy one for Bertens considering she lost her last hard court meeting against the Russian. I will also not be surprised if Pavlyuchenkova fails to complete the match due to heat.
Prediciton: Kiki Bertens to win in three sets
Ashleigh Barty vs Yafan Wang
Ashleigh Barty is in top form at the moment. She won the WTA Elite trophy at the end of last year and managed to reach the final of Sydney this year, where she lost in three dramatic sets to an inspired Petra Kvitova.
Yafan Wang defeated Australian Ellen Perez in her opening round, but she will be playing Australia's No.1 here and everything points to a Barty win.
Prediction: Ashleigh Barty to win in straight sets
Haddad Maia vs Angelique Kerber
This will be a real test for Angelique Kerber. Haddad Maia, just like Kerber, is also a left hander. But the Brazilian, unlike Kerber has been in terrible form prior to the Australian Open.
A series of defeats in ITF events would have hurt her confidence badly. Kerber has only lost one match this year and that was against Kvitova in Sydney. But grand slam matches sometimes can spur a player to perform on adrenaline. I think Kerber will win but Haddad Maia will certainly make it competitive.
Prediction: Angelique Kerber to win in three sets