WTA Sydney International 2019: First Round Preview & Predicitons Including Petra Kvitova vs Aryna Sabalenka

The star-studded WTA Sydney International 2019 will include seven of the world’s Top 10 women players. Sydney Park will be the last stop before the 2019 Australian Open. Simona Halep is the only member inside the top 10 who is yet did not Cahill by mutual consent. Halep suffered from a herniated disc towards the tail end of last year, and it will be interesting to see where her game is at with just a week remaining before she heads to Melbourne. Halep will be the top seed at this week’s Sydney International, and her side of the draw is loaded with three former Major champions including Garbine Muguruza, Sloane Stephens, and Jelena Ostapenko.

Angelique Kerber is the defending champion, and is the opposite half of the draw along with Petra Kvitova, and Daria Kasatkina.

The top two seeds have a BYE in the first round. Here are the stand-out matches for the remaining matches of the first round.

Garbine Muguruza vs Carla Suarrez Navarro

One player that is really going to surprise us this year is Garbine Muguruza. She has a point to prove after that abysmal 2018 season. Let’s not forget she is a 2-time Grand Slam winner, and just because she had a bad 12 months does not mean she cannot play great tennis anymore.

She displayed some qualities of her past at Hopman Cup last week. Sometimes in tennis all you need is that one title win, or just a winning streak to get the confidence again. Muguruza will be too powerful to her fellow countrywoman and friend Suarrez Navarro in this matchup.

Prediction: Muguruza in 2
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Dominika Cibulkova vs Samantha Stosur

Sam Stosur is currently in her twilight years, and you almost feel retirement is beckoning sooner rather than later. She had a first round loss in Brisbane a week ago to lowly-ranked Marie Bouzkova. However, Stosur is coming into this match against Cibulkova in high spirits. She leads the head-to-head 5-2 overall, and 2-1 on hard courts. But Stosur’s last win over the Slovak is nearly five years ago which makes the head-to-head slightly irrelevant. Cibulkova plays well in Australia. She has reached the finals in Brisbane and the Australian Open in the past. This is her first match of the year, and knowing Cibulkova so well over the years, she could lose to anybody.

Stosur is in terrible form, but I think she will super motivated to win in front of her home crowd to justify her wildcard. I am only backing the Australian because of home advantage, and considering this is Cibulkova’s first match of the season.

Prediction: Stosur in 2
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Ajla Tomljanovic vs Camila Giorgi

Camila Giorgi reached the semis in Sydney last year, and recorded some major scalps along the way. She lost to Kerber in that semifinal, and could meet her again this year in round two, if she gets past Tomljanovic. The Italian is coming into this match as a slight favorite according to the odds makers, majorly due to her title win at Linz last year. I think smart value would be on Tomljanovic who reached the quarters in Brisbane, and lost to the eventual champion Pliskova.

Prediction: Tomljanovic in 2
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Petra Kvitova vs Aryna Sabalenka

This is quite easily the match of the day. Petra Kvitova is facing the Shenzhen champion Aryna Sabalenka. They have played two times, both in 2018. Kvitova won in three sets in Miami, and Sabalenka upset the Czech at the US Open. It is not often Kvitova goes into the match billed as the underdog, but that shows the remarkable progress made by Sabalenka. Now a lot would feel the Belorussian is still in celebratory mood after winning in China, but Kvitova almost lost to Collins last week. Sabalenka is in top form right now, and the Shenzhen courts are playing similar to Sydney which would suit the Belorussian.

Prediction: Sabalenka in 3

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