World number 6 from Ukraine, Elina Svitolina will play her second-round match of the 2019 WTA Australian Open against Viktória Kužmová from Slovakia.
Viktória Kužmová won her opening round match in 3 sets. It was a good performance from Kužmová as she lost the opening set but fought back strongly to get the overall victory. During the win, it was impressive to watch Viktória Kužmová receive serve as the Slovakian won close to 50% of her return points. Kužmová won 6 break points which allowed her to win the final 2 sets. While the returning was excellent, Viktória Kužmová struggled with her serve as she allowed her opponent to break her serve on 4 occasions. Viktória Kužmová will need to improve her serve if she wishes to compete against Elina Svitolina.
Elina Svitolina enters this match in exceptional form. Svitolina ended the 2018 season in an exceptional manner as the Ukrainian won the WTA Finals. That form seems to have passed into this tournament as Elina Svitolina won her opening round match in straight sets. It was a dominant display by Svitolina as she won 5 return games while only losing 1 service game in the entire match. As far as this tournament is concerned, Elina Svitolina played well at Melbourne Park in 2018 as she made the quarterfinals. Judging by her recent form, Elina Svitolina will hope to exceed her performance from the 2018 Australian Open.
Elina Svitolina and Viktória Kužmová have played once in the past. The match was played last season at the Fed Cup where Svitolina won in straight sets.
All in all, I am going to pick Elina Svitolina to win this match. While Viktória Kužmová fought hard in her opening round win, the Slovakian has issues with her serve which could be very costly against an elite player. Elina Svitolina is in incredible form and I see her winning this match with ease.