2020 Australian Open Women’s First Round Preview & Predictions

Posted by Derrick Harper on January 17, 2020 in

The Australian Open is set to take off this Monday, January 20, with both man and female tennis players making their entrance on the Melbourne Park, which will host the inaugural Grand Slam of 2020. This year will mark the 108th edition of Australian Open and 52nd in the Open Era.

When it comes to the female representatives, all the eyes will be set on Serena Williams, who has not tasted a Grand Slam event victory in three long years.

Her last title in her Grand Slam career came in 2017 when she won her seventh Australian Open title and third in a row. Eight months after winning in Melbourne, Williams gave birth to a daughter and has been struggling to find her old wining rhythm since.

Success was hard to come by for one of the most dominant female tennis players in the history of the sport, as she contested seven Slams, reached four finals, but lost each in straight sets.

That said, she is not to be ignored, as her obsession to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 singles Grand Slams is more than obvious and should be the main driving force behind her motivation to prove once more she is the best. Will her motivation and drive be enough, however, remains to be seen.

It goes without saying all the spotlight will be on Serena Williams, yet there are a plethora of other strong contenders, who deserve to be mentioned. Let’s look at three of those and how they stack up with their opponents in round 1 of the Australian Open. Be sure to check back for the latest Tennis Odds.

2020 Australian Open Women’s First Round Preview & Predictions

Marketa Vondrousova vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova

Marketa Vondrousova is entering the Australian Open as fourth on tour for 12-month data for hard court and while she ended their 2019 season early in July, the Czech leftie has been a force to be reckoned with so far this week in Adelaide.

She dropped only four games across two matches against No. 83 Tatjana Maria and Arina Rodionova but unfortunately lost to Barty (3-6, 3-6) this Thursday.

Nonetheless, Vondrousova still has a strong record against top 20 opposition, which leads us to believe she is capable of making a deep run.

Vondrousova met with Kuznetsova back in April 2019 in Instanbul, when she won (6-4, 6-3) and considering Kuznetsova failed to win a single bout since September, it’s hard to expect her to produce any miracles here.

Expect Vondrousova to keep her momentum going and make easy work of her adversary.

  • Australian Open Prediction: Vondrousova to win 2-0

Elise Mertens vs. Danka Kovinic

Elise Mertens is one of the fastest improving players across the last six months, producing some extremely solid results.

She might not be one of the elite players just yet, but the No.17 in the world showed before she has immense potential, which we can expect she will put on full display in Australia.

Looking at her results in recent months, most of Mertens losses came against high-level opponents and even those usually ended in three sets. On the other side, when Mertens won, it was more times than not a two-set game.

She did, however, drop the ball against Watson (1-2) this week, but that does not change the fact she is the huge favourite to defeat Kovinic, who has not played a game since November when she lost to Diatchenko (0-2) in Taiwan.

This will also be the first meeting between Mertens and Kovinic.

  • Australian Open Prediction: Elise Mertens to win 2-0

Karolina Pliskova vs. Kristina Mladenovic

Karolina Pliskova is an extremely gifted player which has all the skills needed to win a Grand Slam, yet she always finds a way to underachieve, which is something she has become known by – talented underachiever.

It’s been more than three years since she reached her only major final when she lost to Angelique Kerber in New York. Last year in Melbourne, she beat Williams in the quarter-finals (6-4, 4-6, 7-5), before losing to Naomi Osaka in the semis (2-6, 6-4, 4-6).

Will this year be any different for the No.2 in the world is anyone’s guess, but it’s worth noting she has begun 2020 strongly, by defeating the likes of Tomljanovic, Riske, Osaka and Madison Keys, who she met in the finals of Brisbane International.

If her recent results are to go by, Pliskova is set to make waves in Australia and should have a fairly easy time against Mladenovic, who failed to impress with her loss to Samsonova (0-2) in Brisbane at the start of January.

This is a complete mismatch and while Mladenovic already bested Pliskova back in February 2017, we have no reason to believe she will see the same success against the 27-year-old Czech who is particularly strong on hard courts.

  • Australian Open Prediction: Karolina Pliskova to win 2-0