By Ros Satar, in Melbourne

  • Sloane Stephens [5] v Timea Babos
  • Maria Sharapova [30] v Rebecca Peterson
  • Angelique Kerber [2] v Beatriz Haddad Maia [Q]
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – More Slam champions on show as we continue to whittle the field on Day Three of the Australian Open.\

 

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Maria Sharapova [30] v Rebecca Peterson | First Meeting

The key question is how long a run can Maria Sharapova have? Since her return from a drugs ban, Sharapova has not really managed to get into any type of groove in terms of consistent competition, and even her start to the year has already been marred with injury.

That being said, she clobbered Britain’s Harrier Dart off the court in the opening round and should be able to just player her kind of game against Rebecca Peterson and advance with not much issue, but as the rounds get harder for the Russian, it will be interesting to see how the shoulder, that is still causing issues, holds up.

Prediction: Sharapova in straight sets.

 

Sloane Stephens [5] v Timea Babos | H2H: Stephens leads 1-0

Sloane Stephens in the first round robing match of the WTA Finals Singapore, 2018

Sloane Stephens in the first round robin match of the WTA Finals Singapore, 2018 | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

It has been a strange start to the year for Sloane Stephens. On a break from coach Kamau Murray, who guided his charge to a Slam title and final, Stephens maintains a confident exterior as she looks for her first back to back wins in 2019.

Next up for her is Timea Babos, who actually was Stephen’s doubles partner back in 2012 for a couple of tournaments. Babos is probably now more noted for her doubles accomplishments most recently with Kristina Mladenovic.

Much like Stephens she is known for being pretty athletic around the court and while she has a strong attacking game, Stephens probably has just a little bit more variety to her game.

Prediction: Stephens in straight sets.

 

Angelique Kerber [2] v Beatriz Haddad Maia [Q] | First Meeting

Angelique Kerber in the first round robin match at the WTA Finals 2018, Singapore

Angelique Kerber in the first round robin match at the WTA Finals 2018, Singapore | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

A handy pick for the title, Angelique Kerber has already come in with some solid form. She looked very confident and in command in the Hopman Cup before bowing out in the Sydney semi-final giving her more than enough time to prepare for the Australian Open.

The former champion leads off the night session at Rod Laver Arena and ease her way into a potential third round clash with Donna Vekic (now coached by Kerber’s former coach Torben Beltz).

Prediction: Kerber in straight sets.

 

How to Watch/Follow the Australian Open

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