As the largest tennis tournament taking place anywhere in the world just now, the Australian Open is drawing massive viewing audiences. Tennis fans who have been starved of Grand Slam fun will be tuning in to see a major headline tournament progress. However, so far, we have seen precious few upsets – this could lead to a positive later on in the tournament, though, as the final stages look set to include some of the biggest names on the WTA schedule.
Indeed, defending champion Sofia Kenin is in fine form, winning eight games straight in the tournament including her previous win. Meanwhile, the second-round will see two rising stars of the WTA game face off in the form of Elina Svitolina and Coco Gauff. It is expected to be a future winners tie, with both talents seen as players who could go all the way in the sport.
Kenin was able to come back from a challenging match-up against Maddison Inglis, holding off her opponent who was determined to make a fight of a comeback. Speaking after the game, she said: “Some nerves were coming in,
“I’m sure everyone saw that. But, yeah, it’s obviously nice to get the win. I obviously love the court, have great memories. It was a little bit emotional.”
It was a very impressive match-up, and could set the tone for the future rounds of the tournament to come. While some of the younger names and up-and-comers are making headlines, so are some of the more experienced names on the WTA circuit.
Big names progressing for a Grand Slam to remember
Some other big names have started to cruise through to the next rounds, too, including popular Swiss star Belinda Bencic. She is expected to go far, and will want to overcome her best showing down under so far, when she managed to reach the last sixteen in 2016. She overcame Lauren Davis in a 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 win that took over two hours.
She will next take on Svetlana Kuznetsova, who is expected to offer stern opposition. The former No.2 would be a fantastic match-up, with her playing style making an excellent contrast to the game that Bencic plays. Other big ties that are coming together will see the likes of Serena Williams, who overcame Nina Stojanovic, face off against precocious teenager Anastasia Potapova. This will see the duo meet after Potapova, 19, who won the 2016 Wimbledon junior singles tournament, defeated Timea Babos and Alison Riske. This is her first ever appearance at the third round of a Grand Slam tournament.
We should expect to see some pretty big match-ups, then, as some of the lesser lights and prospects crash out.
It is expected that the tournament will begin to really pick up the competitive pace, too, as some of more even ties begin to appear on the match-up. The one to watch in the next round, though, will be between Coco Gauff and Svitolina – a proper match-up for two players expected to come back and win in future.