The 2021 Australian Open draw has been announced, and we will see some incredible matches in the first round. Defending champion Sofia Kenin faces a non-seeded player from Australia. On the other hand, last year’s runner up Garbiñe Muguruza faces a tricky opponent in Margarita Gasparyan. World No.1 Ashleigh Barty will start off against Danka Kovinić, who played well last year and will look for a major upset. These are the best women’s first round matches of the Australian Open.
Top First Round Women’s Matches at the 2021 Australian Open
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs Naomi Osaka
No doubt that this match will be incredible, as both players are heavy hitters. They have lots of power in them and will look to use their force to win this match. The Russian has only defeated Osaka once in their three previous meetings. That win came in 2017 in Hong Kong, where the Russian won in straight sets 6-3 6-3. The other two meetings Osaka won, in the Hopman Cup and in the final of the Osaka Open.
Indeed, Naomi Osaka will look to add another Australian Open to her trophy collection as she is one of the heavy favorites to win it all this year. She is looking great, although she had to retire from the latest tournament due to an injury. Nonetheless, Osaka is a clear favorite for this match, but the Russian has produced plenty of upsets in her career and will look to add another one this year.
Laura Siegemund vs Serena Williams
Undoubtedly Serena Williams is the heavy favorite not just for this match, but also winning the Australian Open. She will start the tournament against the German Laura Siegemund who she hasn’t lost to in their previous two meetings. Also, Williams has not lost a set to the German and will look to continue her impressive form against Siegemund.
Serena had to retire in her previous tournament due to an injury but looks all set to play the German in the first round. No doubt Serena will look to conquer her 24th Grand Slam title this year. It will be a tough match, but the American is the clear favorite in this match up.
Marie Bouzková vs Elina Svitolina
These two ladies have played each other twice both on hard surfaces. The first match went to Marie Bouzková, but the second match went to Svitolina. That second match was in the Monterrey final just before the mandatory lockdown last year due to the global pandemic. It is clear that the Ukrainian will not have it easy if she looks to make a deep run at the Australian Open.
Svitolina hasn’t had any success in the Grand Slams and will look to change that this year. She will face a tough opponent who has beaten her in the past. Svitolina will try to dictate the game early on to avoid any surprises. Lets see if this is the year where Svitolina can win a Grand Slam title as the French Open last year slipped through her hands.
Kristina Mladenovic vs Maria Sakkari
These two players have only faced each other once and the young Greek player came victorious at the Rome Masters back in 2019. Since then Sakkari has improved her game and has risen the WTA rankings. On the other hand, Mladenovic hasn’t had that much success in singles as she has had in doubles. Nevertheless, it looks like a great opportunity for the French star to start a comeback in singles and show us why she was a top ten player back in 2017.
It will not be easy as the Greek is enjoying a great start to the season and looks very tough to beat at the moment. Sakkari is the clear favorite in this match, but anything can happen in the court.
Karolína Muchová vs Jelena Ostapenko
This will be the first encounter between these two young players. The Czech is enjoying a top recent form and she comes as the 25th ranked player at the Australian Open. Whereas Ostapenko has had plenty of ups and downs as of recently. The young Latvian will look to start the tournament on the right path, but will face a tough opponent in Karolína Muchová.
Indeed, Ostapenko will try and dictate the points with her heavy hitting, but has to be careful as Muchová is very crafty and savvy. It looks like an even match up but the Czech is the favorite won to advance to the second round.
Bernarda Pera vs Angelique Kerber
This will be the first meeting between these two players. The American has been playing some decent tennis lately and this is a great opportunity to surprise everyone by defeating Kerber. The German player comes from losing to Maria Sakkari in straight sets in a tune up tournament for the Australian Open.
Kerber will try to make a deep run as she has done so before in her amazing career. Kerber is the clear favorite on paper, but Pera has nothing to lose and a lot to gain in this match. The pressure will be on the German who is the more known and experienced from both players.
Tough Road Ahead
Clearly, this year is loaded with great early matches and potential matches that can come in later rounds. Serena Williams is looking for her 24th Grand Slam title, but will have to defeat some tough opponents during the tournament. Sofia Kenin will also play some tough opponents if she seeks to retain her title. Ashleigh Barty is the hope for Australian female tennis and it will not be a walk in the park. She faces some great obstacles up ahead if she wants to win her home Grand Slam.
Main Photo from Getty.