By Britwatch Team

  • Top Seeds Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, Naomi Osaka, Sloane Stevens
  • Defending champion: Angelique Kerber
  • CLICK our featured players for stats from TennisAbstract
  • British Interest: Johanna Konta [Q]
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Once more Angelique Kerber arrives in blistering form after another Hopman Cup final run, and it will be a first look at Simona Halep without Darren Cahill.

 

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Tournament Fast Facts

Level WTA Premier
Surface Hard (O)
Singles Draw 32
Doubles Draw 16
Prize Money $823,000
Tournament Website Facebook
Twitter Instagram
YouTube
Top seeds [1] Simona Halep

[2] Angelique Kerber

[3] Naomi Osaka – WITHDRAWN

[4] Sloane Stephens

[5/WC] Petra Kvitova

[6] Karolina Pliskova

[7] Kiki Bertens

[8] Daria Kasatkina

Top Half [1} Simona Halep

[6] Karolina Pliskova

[5] Sloane Stephens

[7] Kiki Bertens

Bottom Half [8] Daria Kasatkina

[9] Anastasija Sevastova

[5/WC] Petra Kvitova

[2] Angelique Kerber

 

Draw & Results

Tournament Website
Order of Play
Singles
Doubles
Qualifying

 

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[1] Simona Halep

Having been guided to both the World No. 1 and a maiden Slam by the charismatic Darren Cahill, it will be interesting to see how Halep approaches the new season, especially having struggled with injury and having to cut short her season last year.

On paper – a fit and healthy Halep should coast through into the finals, with strong winning head to heads over her possible opponents along the way. However all (with maybe the exception of Sloane Stephens, who was bounced out of Brisbane in her opening match) have good matches under their belt already, so it all comes down to how quickly Halep can shake the rust off.

Halep’s Path to the Final (Ranking/Seeding)

  • R1: BYE
  • R2: Ashleigh Barty
  • QF: Karolina Pliskova [6]
  • SF: Sloane Stephens [4]
  • F: Angelique Kerber [2]

 

[2] Angelique Kerber

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

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

Kerber looks to be starting the year in much the same style as she did last year. She impressed once more at the Hopman Cup as Germany fell short to Switzerland once more in the final, and coming in as defending champion – she already starts the year with points to defend.

This is not an easy draw though. She is level with Petra Kvitova in their head to head, and by virtue of being a little stronger on the grass, she managed to overturn her deficit against Daria Kasatkina last year. If she does wind up meeting Halep in the final – their rivalry and matches are of such an intensity it would be a rare treat to start the season.

Kerber’s Path to the Final (Ranking/Seeding)

  • R1: BYE
  • R2: Camila Giorgi
  • QF: Petra Kvitova [5/WC]
  • SF: Daria Kasatkina [8]
  • F: Simona Halep [1]

 

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[4] Sloane Stephens

It was a disappointing start to the season for Stephens – although obviously not from a British perspective, as she lost to Johanna Konta (who sadly bowed out in the second round of qualifying with a neck injury – not ideal before the first Slam of the year).

Stephens was pragmatic in defeat, happy with what she had been trying on court, but it just had not worked for her. Without Kamau Murray on side, it remains to be seen if Sylvester Black can help her find that sharpness.

Stephens’ Path to the Final (Ranking/Seeding)

  • R1: Qualifier/Lucky Loser
  • R2: Daria Gavrilova [WC]
  • QF: Kiki Bertens
  • SF: Simona Halep [1]
  • F: Angelique Kerber

 

How to Watch/Follow the Sydney International

TV Coverage on BT Sport 1 & 2

(Subscription required)

Live Streaming WTA TV (Subscription required)
Point by Point LiveScore http://bit.ly/BritwatchTennisLS

 

The Sydney International takes place between 6-12 January (+11 hours)

 

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