By Jake Davies

  • Garbine Muguruza [7] vs Samantha Crawford H2H: First meeting
  • Svetlana Kuznetsova [8] vs Jaimee Fourlis H2H: First meeting
  • Jelena Jankovic vs Julia Goerges H2H: Jankovic leads 3-1
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – After the shock of Simona Halep’s departure on day one – what does Day Three have in store

 

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Garbiñe Muguruza [7] vs Samantha Crawford H2H: First meeting

Currrent Roland Garros champion and World No.7 Garbiñe Muguruza continues her 2017 Australian Open campaign against young talent Samantha Crawford in the second round on Wednesday. Just like the majority of the last twelve months, Muguruza is surrounded by a lot of uncertainty and unrest, where no-one is really sure whether she will be at her very best in this second round encounter.

In her first round match-up, Muguruza had to take a long medical time out off court and found herself a break down to New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic, but eventually found a way to battle through the right thigh injury and win in straight sets.

Her opponent in the second round is a talented ball-striker. Crawford made a name for herself as a great junior by winning the 2012 US Open juniors title beating Anett Kontaveit in the final and has also made a lot of noise on the WTA Tour last year. Twelve months ago she made it to the semi-finals of her first WTA event as a qualifer, which included a win over a Top 15 player, Belinda Bencic.

She is a very aggressive player with a gigantic serve for her age, but struggles with her consistency. In many ways you could compare her to her opponent Muguruza in that respect.

Prediction: Muguruza in two sets

 

Svetlana Kuznetsova [8] vs Jaimee Fourlis H2H: First meeting

Two-time Grand Slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova faces off against one of long list of Australian talent that is starting to emerge in the Women’s game. Jaimee Fourlis had a fantastic start to the season by winning the Australian Open Wildcard Playoff at the age of 17 and has not looked back since. In her first ever major she beat an experienced WTA player Anna Tatishvili comfortably and now challenges one of tennis’ greatest competitors in the second round.

Fourlis plays fearless, high-risk tennis and tries to dominate a lot of the rallies and points with her forehand. It will be interesting to see how her game matches up with the Russian, who is a player renowned for getting a lot of balls back from deep behind the baseline. If Fourlis is feeling confident in her game she can be very hard to contain. The big question is how she will deal with the occasion of playing in a first second round match at a major at such a young age.

Prediction: Kuznetsova in two sets

 

Jelena Jankovic vs Julia Goerges H2H: Jankovic leads 3-1

Jelena Jankovic and Julia Goerges have not played since Sydney back in 2012. The two players, who can both play some good ball on the hard courts, will reignite the rivalry in the second round of the Australian Open. It should be a very interesting match up when you look at the way that both players choose to play their tennis. Jankovic is the counter-puncher that tries to make life awkward and uncomfortable for the harder hitters on the tour, but also can flatten out her backhand down the line when given the opportunity. Goerges is the heavy-hitter that uses the pattern of play of striking a big serve in order to open the court with her forehand side.

The Serbian will fancy her chances of winning if she finds herself in backhand to backhand rallies and looks to use the angles to get Goerges moving at all times. Goerges is the sort of player that can be extra dangerous if you keep playing the ball into her hitting zone, where she is at her most effective. If her opponent exposes her movement by making use of the full dimensions of the court then she is ineffectual.

Jankovic is a previous semi-finalist in Melbourne, but Goerges is playing the more convincing tennis of late, having beaten Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Caroline Wozniacki in Auckland a few weeks ago.

Prediction: Goerges in three sets

 

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