World number 1, Simona Halep will play Sofia Kenin from the United States in the second round of the 2019 WTA Australian Open.
Simona Halep had a tough 2018 season as the Romanian superstar struggled with injuries which forced her out of the WTA Finals. Halep ended her long absence at the Sydney International last week but was eliminated in the opening round. Halep entered this tournament with many doubting her fitness, but the Romanian looked very good in her match as she won in 3 sets. During the win, Halep received serve exceptionally well as she won over 44% of her receiving points which allowed her to win 5 return games. Halep has an exceptional record at the Australian Open as she finished second last season. With form returning, Simona Halep will be hard to beat in this match.
In comparison, Sofia Kenin has been exceptional in recent times as the American won the WTA Hobart International last week. Kenin continued her good form as she won her opening round match in 3 sets. It was a close match for Kenin but she proved her worth by returning serve very strongly. Kenin won 5 break points which allowed her to gain a big advantage over her opponent. It is important to note that Sofia Kenin struggled with her serve as she allowed her opponent to win 4 return games. Kenin is still very young and she lacks experience at big tournaments which might make it hard for her against the best player in the world.
Simona Halep and Sofia Kenin have never played in the past.
As far as this match is concerned, I am going to pick Simona Halep to win this match. Halep has more experience when compared to Kenin. Furthermore, Simona Halep looks to be back in good form after her win in the previous round. With all these factors taken into consideration, I see Simona Halep making it into the third round of the Australian Open.