The WTA goes into full swing Sunday in Melbourne with two stops being play concurrently on the grounds of the Australian Open.
One even is called thee Yarra Valley Classic (Melbourne #2). The 54-draw tournament is loaded with four players in the Top 10 along with 7-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams.
Ash Barty, Sofia Kenin, Karolina Pliskova and Petra Kvitova are the Top 4 seeds in order. Then it’s Serena, Garbine Muguruza, Petra Martic and Marketa Vondrousova.
Barty, who hasn’t played in 11 months, could meet Martic in her QF. Pliskova and the 39-year-old Serena are projected to also meet in a top-half QF. Serena could face Donna Vekic in her second match. After a bye, she will open against Viktoria Kuzmova or Daria Gavrilova. Sam Stosur is also in that top quarter.
“It’s been a long pre-season and I’ve probably grown a little impatient the last three or four weeks about wanting to start and wanting to compete again,” Barty told the WTA.
“But all in all it’s been a unique year for everyone without a doubt, a unique preparation for everyone. It’s been a little bit of a tricky one with everyone having to navigate through different things. But it’s been great and I feel like we’re ready to go and now we’re excited to get out there and have some fun.”
In the bottom half, former French finalist Vondrousova is on a QF collision course with Kvitova. Venus Williams is also in the second against Rus, the last player to make the field at No., 74.
Kenin anchors the bottom quarter where should could meet 2020 Australian finalist Muguruza in her elite eight.
First round player earn $3K (USD) with the winner of the tournament taking $50K (USD). The Top 10 players all have byes.
The final takes place on Saturday, February 6.
This is a new event, so there are no former champions.
On Sunday, the headline matches features Venus-Rus and Stosur against Marie Bouzkova.
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