Australian Open Day 5 Women’s Predictions Including Simona Halep vs Veronika Kudermetova

Spots in the elusive second week of the a Grand Slam are on the line as day 5 at the 2021 Australian Open features third round action. Fraser Learmonth and Damian Kust offer their predictions, including whether Simona Halep and Naomi Osaka are at risk of earlier exits than they would like.

Simona Halep vs Veronika Kudermetova

Damian: Simona Halep survived a thriller against Alja Tomljanovic and it’s not getting any easier for her as Veronika Kudermetova has been playing brilliant tennis recently. Halep’s impressive mentality was on full display again on Wednesday as she had to dig really deep and play her best under pressure. This won’t come easy but she can do it again. Halep in 3

Fraser: Simona Halep survived a serious scare against Australian Alja Tomljanovic in her second round matchup, coming from a break down in the deciding set to book her place in the third round. She faces another tough test here against an in form Kudermetova. Kudermetova has the power to trouble Halep if she is hitting her spots. Halep’s defensive abilities and court coverage should be enough to see her through here but it will be close. Halep in 3

Marketa Vondrousova vs Sorana Cirstea

Damian: Marketa Vondrousova got just one game off Garbine Muguruza last week and hasn’t been particularly convincing. Meanwhile, Sorana Cirstea should be flying really high after a fantastic win over Petra Kvitova. The Romanian is one of the most dangerous unseeded floaters in the draw and while her level can fluctuate wildly, I expect her to prove that again here and expose Vondrousova’s relative lack of weaponry. Cirstea in 3

Fraser: Vondrousova looks to have finally out her injuries behind her and seems well on her way to becoming the elite talent many though she could be after her run to the french open final in 2019. She faces tough opposition in Cirstea, who upset Kvitova in the first round. However, The Czech is playing top tennis and is full of confidence and it is too big of an ask for Cirstea to upset to top quality lefties in a row. Vondrousova in 2

Ann Li vs Aryna Sabalenka

Damian: Aryna Sabalenka may be off her winning streak already but perhaps that will also help her get rid of the additional pressure. The Belarusian is still looking for her big Grand Slam breakthrough and all the signs are pointing to the possibility that it might come here. She better not disregard Ann Li, who’s been playing great tennis the past week or so and is capable of cleaning up if Sabalenka goes into her error after error mode. Sabalenka in 3

Fraser: Ann Li is in the form of her life to start the year and is yet to lose in Melbourne after making it as far as she could in the Grampians trophy warmup event that didn’t feature a final. However, she will have to produce something truly special to beat Sabalenka. The Belarussian won three tournaments on the bounce before falling to Kanepi in her warmup event. However, she looks to have found a groove again and was impressive in dismissing Kasatkina. Li may well turn into a star this year, but it won’t happen at the Australian Open. Sabalenka in 2

Naomi Osaka vs Ons Jabeur

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Damian: Ons Jabeur is an uncomfortable opponent to face with her unique playstyle and a lot of variation of spins and tactics. But Naomi Osaka has been looking really convincing in the first two rounds, scoring decisive wins over dangerous opponents. It looks like the Japanese’s withdrawal from the Gippsland Trophy was merely a precaution and she is ready to go deep here again. Osaka in 2

Fraser: Ons Jabeur made history here last year by becoming the first ever Arab woman to make the quarterfinal of a grand slam. Unfortunately she won’t be repeating that feat again this year as she is up against a Naomi Osaka in frightening form. The Japenese star has demolished all comers so far in Australia and will surely do the same here. Her combination of breath-taking power and great movement make it hard to pick against her at the moment. Osaka in 2

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