Day 12 – Australian Open Predictions (Final)
Halep d. Wozniacki in three sets – Bumper Preview
Day 11 – Australian Open Predictions (Semifinals)
Kerber d. Halep in three sets – Preview
Wozniacki d. Mertens in three sets – Gutted to have missed the time to write a full-length preview it deserves! I am super tempted to go for Mertens; she does have the firepower to overcome Wozniacki’s defensive shots but the only thing I am worried about is her inexperience. Wozniacki has largely been passive throughout this tournament but I think that extra experience she has will bring her through into a third Slam final.
Day 10 – Australian Open Predictions (Top Half)
Kerber d. Keys in three sets – Kerber leads the head to head 6-1, but both are the in-form players right now and it definitely sounds like it’ll be a cracking contest. Conditions favour Keys, but I think Kerber will continue her winning ways. Keys hasn’t played a defensive player enroute to the quarters as of yet.
Halep d. Pliskova in three sets – Halep leads the head to head 5-2. Similarly to Kerber-Keys, the conditions favour Pliskova, but I think Halep’s defense will be too strong. The ankle is not 100%, but it does not seem to be affecting the Romanian on court.
Day 9 – Australian Open Predictions (Bottom Half)
Svitolina d. Mertens in two sets – Preview
Wozniacki d. Suarez Navarro in two sets – Ran out of time to write a preview but I believe Wozniacki will win this in straight sets. She leads the head to head 5-2, and has never lost to CSN on hard courts. Both have similar games, but Wozniacki is more superior in the defensive aspect. Suarez Navarro has also played three-set matches in her last three matches and I’m not sure she has the belief to upset Wozniacki and to break new ground at a Slam as well.
Day 8 – Australian Open Predictions (Top Half)
Keys d. Garcia in two sets – This is probably a rare ocassion that a big hitter like Garcia can get overpowered by someone. Garcia’s form has been erratic throughout the whole tournament but it was her experience that brought her through the draw. On the opposite, Keys’ groundstrokes have been just stunning throughout the whole tournament and she’s rarely missing at all.
Kerber d. Hsieh in two sets – Hsieh has had a magical run thus far but I don’t think it’ll continue here. Although Hsieh has been overpowering her opponents as of yet, she will need much more penetration against Kerber’s astounding defense. I believe Kerber’s experience will kick into play and she will win this one in straights.
Ka.Pliskova d. Strycova in two sets – Could be a juicy one based on their coaching tussles last year, but I believe Pliskova will win this comfortably. She leads the head to head 2-1, and is the more potent player on these faster hard courts. Strycova hasn’t been challenged much in Melbourne thus far and she will have to quickly adapt to Pliskova’s quick serves and easy power.
Osaka d. Halep in three sets -Wonder if Halep’s fitness and ankle is 100% after that marathon match against Davis, and in this match-up her defense will have to be really good if she is to bring back more balls against Osaka’s power game. Plus Osaka has beaten Halep before; I think she will not be overawed on this occasion and score the upset.
Day 7 – Australian Open Predictions (Bottom Half)
Suarez Navarro d. Kontaveit in three sets – Preview
Woznaicki d. Rybarikova in two sets – This is a great match-up for Wozniacki. Rybarikova does not have the firepower to blow Wozniacki off court and the Dane can deal with everything that she can send at her.
Svitolina d. Allertova in two sets – Preview
Mertens d. Martic in three sets – Both are aiming for their first quarterfinal in a Slam and there’ll be plenty of nerves. Mertens is the more solid player; if Martic cannot peform her best under pressure then the consistent Belgian should scoop up the win.
Day 6 – Australian Open Predictions (Top Half)
Halep d. Davis in two sets (Wow, what a match.) – If Halep was having any problems with the ankle, she clearly did not show it as she produced a tennis masterclass against Bouchard. Davis is low on confidence and I don’t think she’ll be winning too many games here.
Barty d. Osaka in two sets – Barty will be playing a huge-hitter for the third time in a row. At such a young age Osaka has reached her sixth Grand Slam 3R appearance, but I don’t think she can have a solid enough gameplan to outlast the Australian. Can’t wait to watch these two youngsters fight it out!
Kerber d. Sharapova in three sets – Preview
Keys d. Bogdan in two sets – Impressive for Bogdan to make the third round, but Keys’ power should be way too much for her. She was so impressive against Alexandrova, beating the Russian in JUST 40 minutes.
Ka.Pliskova d. Safarova in three sets – Pliskova leads the head to head 5-2, and a 4-0 record against her on hard courts. Both players have been breezing through their respective draws so this will probably be a high quality encounter. I think Pliskova’s more solid base level and bigger serve will be the factor when it comes to the big moments.
Hsieh d. Radwanska in three sets – If Hsieh plays like she did against Muguruza then she will definitely win this match. Hsieh has definitely improved her tennis from last year and she has been surprising me with her aggressive tennis whilst mixing up the play. However, she can be prone to surprising results (see Hsieh vs Zhu R1) and the more experienced Radwanska can scoop it up. The Pole hasn’t been playing her best game at all this tournament though and she’ll definitely find it tough against a player who gives less pace and chase down every ball.
Sasnovich d. Garcia in three sets – Garcia has been a little off in her last two matches so if she’s not playing her best, a more consistent Sasnovich has a huge chance to score an upset win.
Strycova d. Pera in two sets – Strycova’s experience will probably see her through.
Day 5 – Australian Open Predictions (Bottom Half)
Martic d. Kumkhum in three sets – Both players are powerful but can lose concentration and go on a scenic route anytime in the match. If it goes to a messy three-setter then I’ll expect Martic’s experience to prevail in the end.
Svitolina d. Kostyuk in two sets – The 15-year-old Kostyuk has been super impressive but her run should ultimately end. The heat seemed to be too much for her against Rogowska and her game will have to be super clean against an always solid Svitolina.
Wozniacki d. Bertens in two sets – Expecting Wozniacki to loosen up a little after saving two match points against Fett in an epic R2 clash. Bertens is 0-7 against top 10 opponents on hard courts.
Linette d. Allertova in three sets – Both players are aiming to reach the second week in a Slam for the first time so I’ll expect tons of nerves. Allertova has the bigger game, but Linette is the more consistent and her consistency could be the key when it comes to the bigger moments.
Rybarikova d. Bondarenko in three sets – The head to head is tied at two wins apiece but they haven’t met since 2011! I suspect Rybarikova’s variety could be too much for Bondarenko but really, it could go either way.
Kontaveit d. Ostapenko in three sets – I’ve gone against Kontaveit in her last two matches but I’m feeling the upset in this one. Ostapenko has left me unconvinced in her last two matches and if her serve isn’t working then Kontaveit could eat up those second serves. Only worry is that Kontaveit can’t close it out…
Cornet d. Mertens in three sets – Gone back and forth but eventually with Cornet. Mertens must be feeling fatigue after the long week in Hobart and Cornet’s tricky game could make some problems for Mertens. The Belgian is also aiming for her first Grand Slam second week appearance and must feel some pressure.
Kanepi d. Suarez Navarro in two sets – Would love CSN’s run to continue but if Kanepi continues firing then I don’t think Suarez Navarro stands a chance.
Day 4 – Australian Open Predictions (Top Half)
Sharapova d. Sevastova in three sets – I went for Sevastova in this match-up orignally, but I’m going for the ‘upset’ now. Dropping a set to Lepchenko in her 1R match is a slightly surprising result and Sharapova looked mightly impressive in a two-set beatdown of Tatjana in 1R. The head-to-head is tied at one win apiece and I wouldn’t be surprised if this could be another 3-set thriller…
Muguruza d. Hsieh in two sets – Slightly worried for Muguruza in this match-up, on her day she will win this but if she’s a little patchy then Hsieh’s unorthodox and no pace balls could cause a lot of problems for the Spaniard. Still, she’s the favourite in this one and I have to go with her.
Barty d. Giorgi in three sets – Barty faces another type of power player in the night session and this time it’s in the form of a confident Giorgi, who had performed really well in the previous week. The night conditions will probably help Giorgi, but Barty has showed she can deal with such kind of players with her variety and defense. Barty’s the more mentally focused player and should win this with the crowd on her side.
Kerber d. Vekic in two sets – Vekic has taken Kerber’s coach for the season so I’ll be interested to see this encounter. If they’re both playing their usual games then I’ll guess Kerber’s classy counter-punching will be too much for the Croatian.
Keys d. Alexandrova in two sets – I don’t really think Alexandrova has the experience to get her through this one, unless it’s a really bad performance from Keys.
Halep d. Bouchard in two sets – Halep’s ankle is a concern, but if she’s able to move well enough then the victory should be hers. Bouchard played one of her best matches ever of late against Dodin but Halep is a completely different player and she will need to make sure she doesn’t miss too much (which is what she always does).
Garcia d. Vondrousova in three sets – Another match-up where I went for the upset in the draw but backed off in the end. If the back’s OK, Garcia’s firepower could be too much for a still maturing player who’s adjusting to the big stages.
Ka.Pliskova d. Haddad Maia in two sets – I think Haddad Maia can be a very tough opponent who can get Pliskova’s balls back yet can produce some spectacular shot making. I would still think Pliskova’s serve and experience will get her into the next round.
Konta d. Pera in two sets – Konta all the way unless she manages to produce some kind of shocker.
Safarova d. Cirstea in three sets – Safarova leads the head to head 4-1, but their last match was actually back in 2014. Love the sound of this hard-hitting battle and this match can definitely go either way but I’ll go for the seeded player.
Sasnovich d. Lucic-Baroni in two sets – Sasnovich is on fire at the moment and I think she’ll be able to use her spin and power to deal well with a hit-or-miss opponent.
Vesnina d. Osaka in two sets – Not been convinced with Osaka in 2018 so I’m going for Vesnina. Her win against Jabeur sounded pretty convincing.
Radwanska d. Tsurenko in two sets – I think it could be a close encounter given both are not at their best in 2018. I remember seeing a match stat in Hobart with Tsurenko hitting 40 errors – these kind of stats will not cut out against an experienced player who is playing better by the day. I’m expecting Aga to improve vastly from her first round and win this in two sets.
Bogdan d. Putintseva in three sets – Haven’t been impressed with Putintseva at all of late and Bogdan must be flying high after her win over Mladenovic. Could be a classic scrappy three-set mess…
Strycova d. Arruabarrena in two sets – Arruabarrena leads the head to head 2-1, but I think the faster-paced courts in Melbourne will help Strycova to hit past her. Strycova just does everything a little better than the Spaniard.
Petkovic d. Davis in three sets – Both are prone to shocking dips of concentration and form in matches; expecting this to be a crazy one. Ironically Petkovic was the one that Davis beat to end her horrible losing streak last year, but I’m feeling the heat for Petkovic in this one.
Day 3 – Australian Open Predictions (Bottom Half)
Svitolina d. Siniakova in two sets – Siniakova has real weapons and I’m a fan of her game, but she definitely can’t keep up with Svitolina on the mental part. I expect a tight encounter, but Svitolina’s experience and clutchness on big points should help her to win in two sets.
Wozniacki d. Fett in two sets – Fett has the power to do some damage, but she probably won’t be consistent enough to be able to compete with Wozniacki regularly.
Mertens d. Gavrilova in three sets – The last time they met was at the Hopman Cup two weeks ago where Mertens won in a scrappy three-setter encounter. Both players looked good on the first day in AO – Mertens won with a 6-2 6-1 scoreline, while Gavrilova blasted a ton of forehand winners past Falconi on Rod Laver Arena. Both players have similar games but I think Mertens is the more dynamic and consistent when it comes to big moments. Only worry for me about her is that she is competing against the Australian crowd, but if she’s able to control the nerves then it should be OK.
Kostyuk d. Rogowska in two sets – Kostyuk looked impressive against Peng and I think she can keep the streak going if she can keep the nerves under check against a home crowd.
Duan d. Ostapenko in three sets – Well, why not? Duan was so, so good against Duque-Marino and against big hitters Ostapenko’s second serve can get a huge beating.
Goerges d. Cornet in two sets – Goerges’ on a 15-match losing streak and it should continue against a player she leads the head to head in, 5-0. Cornet was a real scrap in her first match here and she probably won’t be able to handle Goerges’ power.
Bondarenko d. Pavlyuchenkova in three sets – Pavlyuchenkova’s prone to shock losses at Slams and I wouldn’t be surprised if the experienced Bondarenko will be able to pull it out.
Bencic d. Kumkhum in two sets – Everything points to Bencic for the win, she’s in super form right now and must be high on confidence after the win against Venus.
Kasatkina d. Linette in two sets – Kasatkina’s the more dynamic player and the more experienced on the Slam level. I was actually very impressed with her level against Schmiedlova.
Bertens d. Gibbs in three sets – I didn’t watch any of their first round matches but Bertens has the more solid game and just a little more firepower. If she has a good gameplan and is able to execute it then the win should be hers.
Flipkens d. Rybarikova in three sets – Battle of the slice backhands, another difficult one to pick but I don’t know why I’m super high on Flipkens to make a deep run at this tournament.
Kanepi d. Puig in two sets – Kanepi is on fire right now and an inconsistent Puig could be no match at times.
Zhang d. Allertova in three sets – Expecting Zhang’s Melbourne memories to get her through this one. Allertova’s big game could be a real problem.
Martic d. Begu in two sets – Begu won a marathon match against Makarova but against Martic, her defense will be have to be at her best. I suspect Martic’s power should get her through amidst some patchy moments.
Barthel d. Kontaveit in three sets – Nice win for Kontaveit but I’m not convinced with her level post-Wimbledon last year. Barthel is a solid player and will take advantage of patchy moments from Kontaveit.
Suarez Navarro d. Babos in two sets – Suarez Navarro’s the more solid player here, and she also leads the head to head 3-0.
Day 2 – Australian Open Predictions (Top Half)
Ka.Pliskova d. Cepede Royg in two sets – Cepede Royg pushed Pliskova to three sets at the French Open, but on this quick surface Pliskova’s groundstrokes will be too much to handle for Cepede Royg.
Halep d. Aiava in two sets – Great match-up for Halep, even though the big-hitting Aiava has some weapons, the lack of a solid gameplan and tactical awareness should be too much for a confident Halep.
Barty d. Sabalenka in three sets – I’m expecting this one to be a super fun match, with Barty’s courtsmart against Sabalenka’s brutal strength. It could be a tough one, with Sabalenka on cloud nine after a good end to 2017 & start to 2018. However I think Barty is the more complete player and will be able to move Sabalenka around and expose her weaknesses.
Garcia d. Witthoeft in three sets – I won’t be surprised if this turns out to be an upset because Garcia is returning from a back injury at Brisbane. If Witthoeft manages to move Garcia from side to side she has a real chance at the upset but I’m afraid her inconsistency will fail her.
Sharapova d. [Tatjana] Maria in three sets – Maria has a tricky game including the lethal slice which I saw Sharapova had tons of difficulty dealing with it at the US Open. Other than that, Maria doesn’t have any huge weapons, so eventually I would still think Sharapova will get away with her experience and power.
Muguruza d. Ponchet in two sets – Injury concerns are still a problem for Muguruza, but if she’s feeling OK, this match should be OK too.
Konta d. Brengle in two sets – Konta was a complete mess in her last outing against Radwanska in Sydney but since it was her first match since a hip injury sustained in Brisbane, I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. Brengle thrives on opponent’s errors so Konta will have to be super sharp in this one.
Kerber d. Friedsam in two sets – Kerber is in awesome form right now, on a nine-match losing streak. This is Friedsam’s first WTA event since the US Open in 2016.
Bouchard d. Dodin in three sets – Expecting this to be a hugeeee mess, the only reason I’ve gone for Bouchard is because Dodin hasn’t played a WTA match since September due to illness.
Kvitova d. Petkovic in two sets – Kvitova leads the head to head 5-4, but they haven’t met since 2016 and a lottt has changed since then. I don’t think Petkovic will have the patience to rally with Kvitova and stay consistent. While it’s the same for Kvitova, I think she’ll be motivated to play in Melbourne and be super sharp after reading the piece she’d written for some article.
Tomljanovic d. Safarova in three sets – These two have super similar games so it’ll be a fun clash to witness! I have more faith in Tomljanovic as she lives in Australia and has already played a couple of matches, while Safarova only played one warm-up tournament, losing to Kerber in the first round.
Bogdan d. Mladenovic in three sets – The last 5 times I predicted Mladenovic to end her losing streak, it did not happen, so here I am to jinx 😂 . In all seriousness, I actually think Bogdan can capitalise on Mladenovic’s low confidence if she can stay consistent enough.
Vesnina d. Jabeur in two sets – Vesnina had lower back issues in Sydney so I’m hoping she had recovered enough for this clash. Jabeur was a big mess in Shenzhen and against an elite player, don’t think she has the confidence and quality to step it up in this match.
Tsurenko d. Vikhlyantseva in three sets – I can sense this is going to be a messy match, in this case the more experienced Tsurenko should come up trumps.
Haddad Maia d. Cabera in two sets – Never watched a Cabera match to be honest so I’ll be going with the Brazilian.
Giorgi d. Kalinskaya in three sets – Big-hitting all around… get ready for the helmets!! Giorgi’s confident from Sydney for sure but whether she can bring the form here, it’s anybody’s guess!
Wang Qiang d. Keys in three sets – Gone for Wang even though I’ve read a supe positive article about Keys. I think Wang’s solid counter-punching could be too much for Keys but equally, Keys’ power could be too much for Wang! It’s only Keys’ second match of the year so I wonder if Wang getting an extra ball back every time will be the downfall for her.
Radwanska d. Kr.Pliskova in two sets – Kr.Pliskova’s a dangerous opponent but her lack of ability to be able to rally with her opponents and her lacklustre movement might cost her the upset. Radwanska was solid in her first two tournaments, but bigger hitting opponents took her out pretty easily. I hope she’ll mix up the play a little with slices and higher balls in this match because if she does, I think it’ll be an easy scoreline for the day.
Rogers d. Lucic-Baroni in two sets – Lucic-Baronis should be happy coming back to a place with memories but I don’t think she can defend her semifinalist points from last year at all. She retired in Brisbane and seemed to be struggling physically since Rome last year.
Kucova d. Osaka in three sets – I would go for Osaka in such kind of match-ups but the tennis she was playing in Hopman Cup was a little disappointing. Just think she’ll make too many errors and let Kucova get into this match.
Vondrousova d. Nara in two sets – Should be a good match-up for Vondrousova to be honest, let’s see how she fares because I think she has a legit shot at upsetting Garcia in the next round…
Vekic d. Hibino in two sets – This time of match-up will always come down to whether Vekic will stay consistent enough. At the moment, I’m pretty positive towards her.
Sevastova d. Lepchenko in two sets – Don’t think Lepchenko has what it takes to upset Sevastova. The Latvian has a ton of variety to disturb Lepchenko here.
Watson d. Putintseva in three sets – Been disappointed with Putintseva a ton in her recent matches, think Watson’s confidence from Hobart may shine here.
Strycova d. Ahn in two sets – Strycova’s the more experienced, the win should be hers.
Cepelova d. Davis in two sets – I’ve spoken a lot about Davis’ losing streaks of late so I won’t mentioned further. I suspect it may continue…
Blinkova d. Pera in two sets – Never seen Pera play fully, Blinkova’s the one with the mroe dymanic game.
Hsieh d. Zhu in two sets – Zhu has a nice game but Hsieh the more experienced for the win. She also has a different game which could cause Zhu difficulties.
Diyas d. Cirstea in two sets – Just think there’ll be a slight upset here. Cirstea went 1-2 in her first two tournaments and I really liked watching Diyas in Shenzhen against Sharapova (even though she lost).
Hercog d. Alexandrova in two sets – Alexandrova can get a little streaky at times which is where Hercog will sweep up; she reached the Auckland quarterfinals in the first week.
Sasnovich d. McHale in two sets – Sasnovich reached the final in Brisbane, while McHale has lost her last four matches. Mismatch.
Hogenkamp d. Arruabarrena in two sets – Hogenkmap has the more powerful and dynamic game; Arruabarrena hasn’t had a great start to 2018.
Day 1 – Australian Open Predictions (Bottom Half)
Ostapenko d. Schiavone in two sets – Preview
Bencic d. V.Williams in three sets – Preview
Zhang d. Stephens in three sets – Stephens is on a seven-match losing streak and her game has reached a serious low, as against Giorgi in Sydney she only managed to snag off three games. Zhang is a confidence player and although she hasn’t had the best of starts to the season, she is coming back to the place where her career revival started and I believe she will be buoyed on by the 2016 memories to make the upset.
Puig d. Stosur in two sets – Even though Puig failed to win a main draw match in her first two tournaments, I believe Stosur’s Australia woes will continue. Out of 16 main draw appearances, the Australian has only reached the second week of AO twice. These woes have seem to continue into 2018 as well as a loss to Sevastova in Brisbane was concerning.
Wozniacki d. Buzarnescu in two sets – Wozniacki is a nightmare opener for Buzarnescu. Coming from Hobart on Saturday, the Romanian must feel some fatigue from there and the ‘wall’ will not give anything away as usual. Expecting a comfortable victory for the Dane.
Goerges d. Kenin in two sets – Kenin is an up-and-comer on the tour and I believe she probably wouldn’t have faced such a big hitter as Goerges before. Goerges is on a 14-match winning streak and she is in the best form of her life – I think Goerges will easily blow away the defenses of Kenin.
Vandeweghe d. Babos in two sets – Babos has weapons but I don’t think she’ll be able to be consistent throughout the match. If Vandeweghe is in a focused mood as she usually is at the Slams, I expect a comfortable victory.
Townsend d. Rybarikova in three sets – This sounds like it could be a super wacky match! Both players have unique games and their games suit each other in this match-up. I’ve gone for Townsend solely because Rybarikova’s performance in Sydney was a little worrying.
Cibulkova d. Kanepi in three sets – Sounds like a potential upset alert but I’ll give Cibulkova the benefit of the doubt. Both players have similar games, and I think Kanepi can push Domi to the limit, but I suspect her nerves will falter her in the end, just like in the match against Pliskova (Brisbane) where she was two points away from the win.
Fourlis d. Rogowska in three sets – Haven’t seen both players in action a lot but from memory Fourlis has a big game.
Flipkens d. Riske in three sets – This match-up was supposed to happen in Hobart but it didn’t so clearly the Australian crowd wants to see this! Riske leads the head to head 2-0 but my gut tells me Flipkens will have a good week so…?
Fett d. Eguchi in two sets – Fett has a big game and I don’t think Eguchi will be able to deal with it well. Both players will be aiming for their first ever Grand Slam win.
Makarova d. Begu in two sets – Begu’s serve has looked slightly suspect in 2018 and I think Makarova will be eager to attack it. Makarova is not in the best form of late but she’s not the Bourne-GOAT who always peaks in Melbourne for nothing!
Pavlyuchenkova d. Kozlova in two sets – Pavlyuchenkova to win on her day but she’s prone to shock losses in the Slams. Losses to Cepede Royg in RG, Rodionova in Wimbledon and McHale in US come to mind, but I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt!
Duan d. Duque-Marino in two sets – Duan has a great game but she’s prone to surprise losses. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one here even though I picked her to win!
Krunic d. Kontaveit in three sets – The battle of the K’s is an intriguing one. Kontaveit would probably win when her nerves are kept aside but she has had loads of trouble closing out matches in late 2017 till now. Krunic is a smart player and will be able to take advantage of Kontaveit’s weaknesses and nerves. It’s a tough choice but I’ll say Krunic.
Linette d. Brady in three sets – This sounds like a classic three-set mess. No data points so I’ve gone for the more solid Linette in the end.
Barthel d. Niculescu in three sets – Barthel leads the head to head 2-1, but they have not met since 2014. Barthel is on a five-match losing streak but Niculescu was forced to withdraw from Hobart with a neck injury. Tough to guess if that injury is serious or not thus I’ve gone with Barthel.
Cornet d. X.Wang in three sets – In case you didn’t know who Wang is, she won the AO wildcard playoff with her powerful groundstrokes and serve. One for the future, but she is playing in her first Slam draw and must feel some nerves. Cornet’s full of variety game will probably cause some problems for Xin Yu.
Bellis d. Bertens in two sets – I think Bellis’ head smart will outdo Bertens in this one. Bertens is still not the most comfortable on hard courts and these fast courts will definitely not be suitable for her game.
Siniakova d. Sakkari in two sets – So impressed with Siniakova in Shenzhen where she outlasted Sharapova with her new and improved first serve and power strokes. Sakkari is on a three-match losing streak.
Martic d. Van Utyvanck in three sets – The sound of this match-up sounds wacky to me! Could go either way.
Kumkhum d. Larsson in two sets – Kumkhum’s coming from qualifying; she must be high on confidence and Larsson hasn’t won many matches of late.
Gavrilova d. Falconi in two sets – Gavrilova always excels on home soil and her tactical awareness should be too huge a barrier for Falconi.
Mertens d. Kuzmova in three sets – Mertens is coming off victory at Hobart in both singles and doubles, which means that while she is high in confidence, fatigue is sure to be there after a rain-affected final day. Kuzmova has a huge game and if Mertens is not at her best the former who has already adapted to the conditions due to qualifying can easily cause tons of problems. Still, I will go with the more consistent Mertens but I would not be shocked to see an upset.
Allertova d. Parmentier in two sets – Have never been impressed with Parmentier on hard courts; think Allertova’s big game on these fast conditions should be too much for Parmentier.
Kasatkina d. Schmiedlova in three sets – Kasatkina hasn’t won a singles match in two tournaments this year thus the dangerous Schmiedlova who has already played on these courts for three matches will be a tough challenge. However, Schmiedlova hasn’t been playing on the WTA tour for quite a while and could not get accustomed to playing on a higher level, thus I think Kasatkina will get through with her steady game.
Kostyuk d. Peng in three sets – Going for the upset. Kostyuk is another young player with a great game and Peng who hasn’t played a match this year (due to injuries) should be rusty.
Svitolina d. Jorovic in two sets – Svitolina to win comfortably.
Suarez Navarro d. Frech in two sets – Suarez Navarro is not in the best form but the young Frech may be too inexperienced to trouble the Spaniard too much.
Tomova d. Gibbs in two sets – From my (bad) memory Tomova can hit the ball really hard? Could be problematic for Gibbs.