As one of the favourites to win the tournament, there will be a lot of pressure on Angelique Kerber coming into this event. The German is back at No.2 after a bounceback 2018 and will be looking to win her second title in Melbourne, having done so impressively back in 2016 with a win over Serena Williams. Serena is the bookmakers favourite but there continues to be a lot of support for Kerber, who lost here in the semi finals last year. She won’t be adding to that pressure however. “I’m not putting too much expectation on me, like, with the results and everything like that. I’m here to, like always, at the Grand Slams, finding my rhythm, playing the first round, trying to do my best, then looking day by day.” Kerber said. The German begins her tournament against Polona Hercog. Check out the Kerber vs Hercog H2H.
Hercog, ranked just inside the top 100, is a player that has always been more comfortable on clay as showcased by her titles on the surface. She has lost both her matches this season, including one to Olivia Rogowska. The Australian wildcard came from a set down to win against Hercog in the qualifying in Hobart. In Melbourne, Hercog has twice made the second round but not since 2015.
Kerber’s year begin in Sydney where she made the quarter finals before being dumped out by eventual champion Petra Kvitova. Despite the loss, she is feeling good going into this tournament. “We have new season coming, and the motivation is really high again. I was really working hard in the pre-season, and now I’m really looking forward to having the competition and playing matches again.” she said.
Kerber is only 4-2 against Hercog, although the bulk of those meetings came before the German had established herself as a consistent top level player. Their last meeting was in 2016, ending in retirement for Hercog when the score was 6-0 1-0 in Kerber’s favour.
Prediction – Angelique Kerber in straight sets