WTA Sydney International 2019: Day 2 Preview & predictions including Angelique Kerber vs Camila Giorgi

There will be no shortage of fireworks on Day 2 at the WTA Sydney International 2019. Aryna Sabalenka plays Petra Kvitova in a mouth-watering first round match. Angelique Kerber–who was a given a BYE in the first round due to her status as the second seed–will play Italian Camila Giorgi, who dispatched Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic in straight sets.

Garbine Muguruza was not at her mesmerizing best, but she produced a professional performance to beat compatriot Suarrez-Navarro in straight sets. Last year’s finalist Ashleigh Barty is one of three Australians in the main draw, and she will play Jelena Ostapenko, who won just two games in a harrowing loss to Monica Niculescu in Shenzhen last week.

Here are my picks for the four best matches from Day 2

Sloane Stephens vs Ekaterina Alexandrova

Sloane Stephens is like the equivalent of Stan Wawrinka. One moment she is unstoppable, and the next moment she would lose to almost anybody. She lost in the first round last year to Camila Giorgi at this event. Ekaterina Alexandrova is 24, but is pretty raw on tour level tennis. This is their first meeting, but Stephens should have too much for the Russian.
Prediction: Stephens in 2
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Daria Kasatkina vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich

Kasatkina needs to work on her attitude towards her opponents. She could very easily be a Grand Slam winner. You look back at Indian Wells last year, she was very much on par with Naomi Osaka until they met in the final. Osaka won that match, and look what it did to her career. Kasatkina squandering opportunities against low ranked players is not uncommon. She has such a beautiful game. She can hit with spin, and is one very few players on the WTA that is not afraid to take risks midway through a rally. But, she is very reckless at times. Sasnovich has actually beaten Kasatkina in their only hard court meeting at the US Open last year. I fancy the Belorussian big time in this one. She is definitely the player in form.
Prediction: Sasnovich in 3
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Ashleigh Barty vs Jelena Ostapenko

Jelena Ostapenko is in terrible form at the minute. Her form has fallen off a cliff. I watched her in Shenzhen last week, and she was absolutely shocking. I would be very surprised if this is even a contest.
Prediction: Barty in 2
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Angelique Kerber vs Camila Giorgi

Kerber is coming into this match as arguably the in-form player during the first week of the year. I know she played Hopman Cup, but she never lost a singles match. Plus, she is the defending champion in Sydney. The German leads 3-0 on head-to-head against the feisty Giorgi. Their last meeting was actually in Sydney when Kerber easily beat the Italian in straight sets. I think this time Giorgi will trouble the German to take at least a set, but I can only see one winner in this one.
Prediction: Kerber in 3

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