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Australian Open 2019: Women's singles draw analysis

Vidya K
938   //    12 Jan 2019, 10:21 IST

Wozniacki is the defending champion
Wozniacki is the defending champion

The Australian Open 2019 tournament begins on Monday, January 14th. The draws are out. Let us dive into the Women's Singles Draw and see what lies ahead in the next two weeks.

World Number 1, Simona Halep has no easy ride, beginning with the first round where she faces strong serving Kaia Kanepi. Kaia is Estonia's most successful tennis player and had also defeated Halep in straight sets in the first round earlier in the US Open. If Simona gets past her, she has to face both the Williams sisters. She plays Venus in the 3rd round and Serena in the 4th round, provided they win their earlier rounds.

Serena Williams, still on the path to create history; is chasing her 24th Grand Slam title. She potentially faces Eugenie Bouchard in the second round. Eugenie Bouchard was a rising star and reached a career-best of World No. 5 in 2014 but then lost her momentum. She seems to have got back some of her form and looked strong in the recently concluded Auckland Open where she reached the quarterfinals.

If Serena overcomes Halep in the round of 16, she could face either Karolina Pliskova or Garbiñe Muguruza. Beyond that, she could face Naomi Osaka in the semi-finals and have a rematch of the US Open final. Serena has the drive and the experience, but she lost in the last three Grand Slams.

Karolina Pliskova is a strong player who reached at least the quarterfinals of the last nine major tournaments but somehow falls short of the ammunition needed to be the champion. She claimed the recently concluded Brisbane International title and looks like a strong contender to win the trophy.

Caroline Wozniacki, Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova are in the bottom side of the draw. Caroline Wozniacki, the defending champion might meet Sharapova in the third round and Kerber in the semi-finals if both of them stay on course. Kerber had a slump in form in 2017 but resurged in 2018. She won the Wimbledon and got back into the Top 5. She is looking effective and is a strong contender to win the title.

Naomi Osaka, the latest Grand Slam winner, will be looking to win so as to claim back-to-back Grand Slam titles. She will face the two-time winner, Victoria Azarenka in the third round. Victoria Azarenka is making a comeback to the tennis circuit. Osaka will then have a face-off with Serena in the semifinals if both make it that far. 

All the top players are competing in this year's tournament. An interesting fact is that eight different players have won the last eight Grand Slams. So the next two weeks seem geared up for some exciting tennis.