Sydney 2016 preview
We are now only a week away from the Australian Open and the first titles winners already decided the tour is heading to Sydney with 9 of the world’s Top 15 playing here. If you saw my predictions from last week then you can see how dreadful they went with quite a few top 10 players withdrawing or retiring.
Quarter 1 Halep (1) V Pliskova (5)
The top seed here is Simona who’s season didn’t get off to the best start as she withdraw from the tournament in Brisbane with a leg injury. She has a bye into the second round and will play either Mladenovic or Garcia. Mladenovic started her season in Brisbane where she lost in the first round to Alize Cornet. Whereas Garcia started at the Hopman Cup where she won all three matches she played. I expect the Halep will play Garcia in the second round if she doesn’t withdraw. Kristina Pliskova will play Ivanovic in the first round who took a late wildcard into the tournament after losing in the first round of Auckland last week. Like Garcia Pliskova also started her season playing in the Hopman Cup where she won two of the three games she played only losing to Svitolina. I think that Pliskova will come through in this match. The other match in this quarter is Pavlyuchenkova who takes on a qualifier. Pavs played in Brisbane where she made the quarters where she lost the Kerber.
Pliskova df Garcia
Quarter 2 Kvitova (3) V Suarez Navarro (7)
Kvitova takes on Lisicki in her first round match neither of them had the best start to the year, Kvitova retired in her first round match in Shenzhen with illness and Lisicki is coming back after an injury and lost all three of her matches at the Hopman Cup. I expect that Kvitova is back to full health as will easily win this match. Kvitova is also the defending champion so will look to make a good start to her title defence. Suarez Navarro takes on Errani in this first round match. Suarez Navarro who didn’t end her season in the way that she would have liked came back with a bang in Brisbane by making it to the semis where she lost to Kerber whereas, Errani lost in her first round match in Brisbane to Bencic, Although Errani does lead their head to head 7-3 and has won their last four matches. I think that Suarez Navarro will come through and win this match. Jankovic takes on Vandeweghe in this first round match both players lost in the first round last week both in three sets. CoCo leads their head to head 3-2 and has won their last three matches although I have a feeling that Jankovic will come through in this match. The other match in this quarter is Kuznetsova against wildcard Patterson I expect that Kuznetsova will come through this match easily.
Kvitova df Suarez Navarro
Quarter 3 Kerber (4) V Bencic (8)
Belinda takes on a qualifier in her first match of the tournament. Bencic lost in her second round match last week to qualifier Samantha Crawford who was in good form making it all the way to the semis I don’t think that Bencic surfer the same result in her first round match. Kerber takes on Svitolina in her first round match. Both look to be in good form Kerber made it to the final in Brisbane last week before losing to Azarenka and Svitolina made to the final of the Hopman Cup only losing to Gavrilova in the final. Kerber leads there head to head 3-2 and won their last match. Pironkova was given a wildcard into the tournament this having come through qualifying the past two years and winning it one year and making it to the semis the other year she takes on Tsurenko in the first round. Something about this tournament brings out the best in Pironkova and she plays well compared to the rest of the year. Pironkova leads their head to head but they haven’t played each other since 2013. The other match in this quarter is Makarova against a qualifier which I expect her to win.
Kerber df Bencic
Quarter 4 Radwanska (2) V Bacsinszky (6)
Radwanska like Halep has a bye into the second round and will play either Stosur of Vinci. Vinci had a good week in Brisbane and made it to the quarters in Brisbane whereas Stosur lost in the second round there have both won once each when they have played each other with Stosur winning their most recent but that was back in 2013. Bacsinszky takes on Schmiedlova in the first round they both lost their first matches of the year in Brisbane last week. They will both want a win under their belt going into the Australian Open. Schmiedlova has won both of their previous matches. I think that Bacsinszky will win this match. In final match in this quarter is Gavrilova against a qualifier Dasha had a good start to the season winning the Hopman Cup in Perth where she looked in good form so I expect her to do well here.
Radwanska df Gavrilova
Kvitova df Pliskova
Radwanska df Kerber
Kvitova df Radwanska