Fixture: (17) Angelique Kerber vs Ajla Tomljanovic
Date: 31 August 2020
Tournament: US Open 2020
Round: First round (Round of 128)
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $39,024,000
Match timing: 11 am EDT, 8:30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Star Sports / Hotstar
Angelique Kerber vs Ajla Tomljanovic preview
Angelique Kerber returns to action for the first time in seven months when she takes on Ajla Tomljanovic in the first round of US Open 2020.
The former World No. 1, who won at Flushing Meadows in 2016, will be playing her first competitive match since bowing out of this year's Australian Open in the fourth round.
The German southpaw used the extended hiatus to rebuild her team, joining forces with coaTorben Beltz once again after having parted ways with him in 2017.
The reunion is significant ahead of the US Open for it was Beltz who had guided the 32-year-old to the title in New York four years ago. It is thus no surprise that the three-time Grand Slam champion feels confident enough to restart her season at this very venue.
In sharp contrast, world no. 57 Ajla Tomljanovic has already played eight events this year, including two since the tour resumed. She enters the US Open on the back of a gruelling 7-5, 3-6, 5-7 loss to Veronika Kudermetova in the first round of the Western and Southern Open this week.
Angelique Kerber vs Ajla Tomljanovic head-to-head
Angelique Kerber and Ajla Tomljanovic will lock horns five years after their first meeting, which took place on the claycourts of Roland Garros in 2015. On that occasion, Kerber blitzed the Australian to secure a commanding 6-3, 6-2 win.
Angelique Kerber vs Ajla Tomljanovic prediction
While Kerber is certainly the more accomplished player and has an edge in their head-to-head, this will be Tomljanovic's biggest opportunity to beat the German and make it to the second round at Flushing Meadows for the second straight year.
The fact that the Croatia-born 27-year-old has had valuable match practice at the Top Seed Open and the Western and Southern Open holds her in good stead heading into this contest. She will also have a fair idea of the speed of the courts after her Western and Southern Open stint.
On the other hand, Kerber could take some time to adjust to the conditions as she returns from a seven-month layoff which means defeating an opponent as dangerous as Tomljanovic is a tough ask.
Prediction: Ajla Tomljanovic to win in three setsPublished 30 Aug 2020, 02:39 IST