Australian Open Day 2 Women’s Predictions–Including Venus Williams vs Mihaela Buzarnescu

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It’s the second day of the 2019 Australian Open. We saw some great tennis on Day 1, including a major upset by an upstart American. Day 2 will see both Williams sisters in action, and we are here to predict the matches for you, as always. Predicting today are writers Eric Han, Tracey Essex, Brett Margolies, and Jay Sandhu.

Australian Open Day 2 Women’s Predictions

Simona Halep vs Kaia Kanepi

Jay:
This is a difficult match to predict as we have no idea how well either player will play. Halep hasn’t won a match since the semifinals of Cincinnati, while Kanepi also hadn’t played in a long time. Although Halep lost to the Estonian at the US Open, I believe Halep will play a lot better as her number #1 spot is on the line and should just pull through this match.
Prediction: Halep in 3

Brett:
Simona Halep didn’t have much luck against Kaia Kanepi in New York, losing in the first round of the US Open before the clock even hit 1 PM local time. I think Halep will be on alert after the early loss last time and will get revenge on the veteran from Estonia.
Prediction: Halep in 2

Eric:
Though Kanepi is an extremely good player, I simply do not see the current World no.1 and last year’s finalist losing in the first round. This might go three sets, as Halep is currently without a coach, so her tactics might not be the best, but the Romanian should win.
Prediction: Halep in 3

Tracey:
I’m sure Kaia Kanepi is looking for a repeat of last year’s US Open. In straight sets, she was able to take out Simona Halep. While that loss came during Simona Halep’s injury plagued 2018, the start of 2019 hasn’t been much kinder. The only match played so far saw Halep lose to Australia’s Ashleigh Barty. Now coachless and without much prep, Halep is up against a match-ready, tough contender. I expect the moments of brilliance typical of Halep but without much prep and no one to keep her nerves at bay, I expect Kanepi will fight through this challenge.
Prediction: Kanepi in 2

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Destanee Aiava vs Madison Keys

Jay:
Aiava will certainly be a big challenge to Keys as she was last year in the first round against Halep. However, Aiava is yet to get a massive win and I don’t think she’ll be able to get that first win over Keys, but I believe it will be a close match.
Prediction: Keys in 3

Brett:
If you’re into big hitting, this is the match for you. Aiava and Keys each play a similar brand of tennis that you’re starting to see more and more of in the women’s game. Keys happens to do everything a little better than Aiava does at this stage in her young career. I think Aiava will come out strong but won’t be able to consistently out-hit Keys. It’ll be close, but I like the American to get through a tough first-round match.
Prediction: Keys in 3
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Eric:
On paper, Keys should win this match. But Keys is coming back from an injury and has not played many matches, so might be vulnerable at times. I will go for an upset here.
Prediction: Aiava in 3

Tracey:
Australia’s Destanee Aiava will definitely have the support of the crowd when she plays at Melbourne Park. She lost in the first round last year, but not before taking Simona Halep to a first-set tie-break. Madison Keys will be rusty – it’s her first competitive match since November. After a two month break, it’ll take some work for Keys to find her form and it may not happen in time to move on to the second round.
Prediction: Aiava in 3
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Bianca Andreescu vs Whitney Osuigwe

Jay:
This a battle between the rising stars, but Andreescu is the clear favourite for this match. She proved herself with her run to the Auckland final, while Osuigwe hasn’t left any big marks yet on the tour yet, and I think she will struggle in this match.
Prediction: Andreescu in 2

Brett:
Andreescu had a career-changing run at the Auckland Open leading up to the first slam of the year. Osuigwe, on the other hand, hasn’t played yet in 2019 so she might be a little rusty. Osuigwe enters the tournament with a wildcard from the USTA earned in the fall for her success on the USTA pro circuit. Osuigwe is most likely going to have a breakthrough season, but this first round is too tough.
Prediction: Andreescu in 2

Eric:
Andreescu had an extremely good week last week in Auckland by beating, most notably, Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams back-to-back and reached the finals before losing to Goerges. Andreescu is coming in as a qualifier, so will already have the prior match play here at Melbourne, and will give her a big advantage in this match.
Prediction: Andreescu in 2

Tracey:
The young Canadian should make quick work of this match. Bianca Andreescu has won 10 of her last 11 WTA matches, and reached the finals at Auckland. Having won three matches to get in the main draw has her in top form. Whitney Osuigwe was the fortunate recipient of a wild card. While it’s great to get here, she’s just not at the caliber of slam play.
Prediction: Andreescu in 2

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Serena Williams vs Tatjana Maria

Jay:
Maria’s variety will be a big challenge for Serena, but I doubt she’ll be able to leave a big mark in this match. It’s a tricky start to the tournament, but I don’t see any other result than Serena winning in straight sets.
Prediction: Williams in 2

Brett:
Serena has had her fair share of tough early round matches at the Australian Open, but this isn’t one of them. They always say the best time to get Serena is early in the tournament before she finds form, but I think Serena is going to want to make a statement early on to the rest of the field in Melbourne.
Prediction: Serena in 2

Eric:
This should be a straight forward match for Serena, and I do not see her being troubled in this match.
Prediction: Serena in 2

Tracey:
While Tatjana Maria has had some spectacular wins, I don’t think she has the firepower to give much trouble to Serena Williams. Looking for her 24th Major singles title, Serena will step onto Rod Laver Arena fresh off her Perth success and confident about her chances to take Melbourne again.
Prediction: Serena in 2

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Venus Williams vs Mihaela Buzarnescu

Jay:
If this had been a year ago, picking Buzarnescu as the winner would have been a no brainer. However, now that she is struggling following a big injury, I can’t see her beating Venus since she can’t even win an ITF match anymore
Prediction: Venus in 2

Brett:
This is a tricky first-round match for Venus. Buzarnescu hasn’t been able to find much form after returning from her injury over the summer, but she went the distance against Bencic in Hobart last week. Venus usually makes matches tougher than they have to be, so I think Buzarnescu takes a set, but Venus should get through in the end.
Prediction: Venus in 3

Eric:
Venus Williams is surprisingly not seeded in this years Australian Open, and has never lost back-to-back first round in a Grand Slam in her career (she lost in the first round last year). Venus should beat Buzarnescu, but Venus is just so inconsistent, it will depend on which Venus turns up.
Prediction: Venus in 3

Tracey:
After a lackluster 2018 and a drop down to world #36, Venus will arrive at this year’s first Slam without long-time coach David Witt. At Auckland, Venus’ return of serve was spot on. Unless Buzarnescu finds some service magic, this won’t be much of a match. In Buzarnescu’s recent loss to Belinda Bencic, she won less that 48% of points on her service and in her two 2019 matches, she’s lost 12 service games. Unless there’s a drastic improvement, Buzarnescu has no chance to win against Venus’ strong return game.
Prediction: Venus in 2

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