Australian Open Women’s Preview: Swiatek, Gauff The Players To Beat?

by Staff | January 13th, 2024, 7:08 pm
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Is there a new Big Four in tennis? There could be, but it’s in women’s tennis with Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka, Elena Rybakina and Coco Gauff leading the charge.

The foursome are all Grand Slam title winners and currently playing at the top of their games going into the Australian Open.

The tournament favorite Swiatek hasn’t lost a match since October winning her last 16.

Sabalenka is the defending champion and has been tough to beat in Australian winning 15 of her last 16 matches.

Rybakina just crushed Sabalenka in Brisbane and made the finals in Melbourne.

And under Brad Gilbert, Coco Gauff was the story of the last half of 2023 winning the US Open and defends Auckland. The 19-year-old has won 29 of her last 33 matches.

Are there other contenders? And what of the return of former champions Naomi Osaka, Caroline Wozkiacki and Angelique Kerber?

The Top 16 seeds are: 1 Iga Swiatek, 2 Aryna Sabalenka, 3 Elena Rybakina, 4 Coco Gauff, 5 Jessica Pegula, 6 Ons Jabeur, 7 Marketa Vondrousova, 8 Maria Sakkari, 9 Barbora Krejcikova, 10 Beatriz Haddad Maia, 11 Jelena Ostapenko, 12 Qinwen Zheng, 13 Liudmila Samsonova, 14 Daria Kasatkina, 15 Veronika Kudermetova, 16 Caroline Garcia

IGA SWIATEK QUARTER
Seeds: 1 Swiatek, 7 Vondrousova, 11 Ostapenko, 15 Kudermetova, 18 Azarenka, 19 Svitolina, 27 Navarro, 31 Bouzkova
Floaters: Cocciaretto, Collins, Martic, Siniakova, Noskova, Giorgi, Tomljanovic, Kenin
Notable openers: Iga Swiatek-Sofia Kenin, Danielle Collins-Angelique Kerber, Linda Noskova-Marie Bouzkova, Petra Martic-Ajla Tomljanovic, Camila Giorgi-Victoria Azarenka
Projected 3R matches: 1 Swiatek – 31 Bouzkova, 19 Svitolina – 15 Kudermetova, 11 Ostapenko – 18 Azarenka, 27 Navarro – 7 Vondrousova.

ELENA RYBAKINA QUARTER
Seeds: 3 Rybakina, 5 Pegula, 12 Zheng, 14 Kasatkina, 22 Cirstea, 24 Kalinina, 26 Paolini, 29 Zhu,
Floaters: Pliskova, Stephens, Rus, Stearns, Maria, Boulter, Burel, Trevisan, Bucsa, Shnaider, Rogers
Notable openers: Elena Rybakina-Karolina Pliskova, Anhelina Kalinina-Arantxa Rus, Peyton Stearns-Daria Kasatkina, Rebecca Marino-Jessica Pegula
Projected 3R matches: 3 Rybakina – 26 Paolini, 24 Kalinina – 14 Kasatkina, 12 Zheng – 22 Cirstea, 29 Zhu – 5 Pegula.

COCO GAUFF QUARTER
Seeds: 4 Gauff, 8 Sakkari, 10 Haddad Maia, 16 Garcia, 20 Linette, 23 Potapova, 25 Mertens, 32 Fernandez,
Floaters: Kostyuk, Sherif, Parks, Fruhvirtova, Avanesyan, Cornet, Schmiedlova, Putintseva, Dolehide, Bejlek
Notable openers: Maria Sakkari-Nao Hibino, Marta Kostyuk-Claire Liu, Mayar Sherif-Elise Mertens, Magda Linette-Caroline Wozniacki, Linda Fruhvirtova-Beatriz Haddad Maia, Caroline Garcia-Naomi Osaka, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova-Coco Gauff
Projected 3R matches: 8 Sakkari – 25 Mertens, 20 Linette – 10 Haddad Maia, 16 Garcia – 23 Potapova, 32 Fernandez – 4 Gauff.

ARYNA SABALENKA QUARTER
Seeds: 6 Jabeur, 9 Krejcikova, 13 Samsonova, 17 Alexandrova, 21 Vekic, 28 Tsurenko, 30 Wang
Floaters: Badosa, Pavlyuchenkova, Townsend, Anisimova
Notable openers: Lesia Tsurenko-Lucia Bronzetti, UNK-Aryna Sabalenka,
Projected 3R matches: 6 Jabeur – 30 Wang, 17 Alexandrova – 9 Krejcikova, 13 Samsonova – 21 Vekic, 28 Tsurenko – 2 Sabalenka.

The projected quarterfinals:
1 Swiatek – 7 Vondrousova
3 Rybakina – 5 Pegula
8 Sakkari – 4 Gauff
6 Jabeur – 2 Sabalenka

The projected R16 looks like:
1 Swiatek – 15 Kudermetova
11 Ostapenko – 7 Vondrousova
3 Rybakina – 14 Kasatkina
12 Zheng – 5 Pegula
8 Sakkari – 10 Haddad Maia
16 Garcia – 4 Gauff
6 Jabeur – 9 Krejcikova
13 Samsonova – 2 Sabalenka

Former champions: Kenin, Kerber, Azarenka(2), Wozniacki, Osaka(2), Sabalenka
Former finalists: Collins, Rybakina

Last year, (5) Aryna Sabalenka defeated (22) Elena Rybakina 4-6 6-3 6-4.

LAST 10 AUSTRALIAN OPEN CHAMPIONS/FINALS
2023 Aryna Sabalenka d Elena Rybakina 4-6 6-3 6-4
2022 Ashleigh Barty d Danielle Collins 6-3 7-6(2)
2021 Naomi Osaka d Jennifer Brady 6-4 6-3
2020 Sofia Kenin d Garbine Muguruza 4-6 6-2 6-2
2019 Naomi Osaka d Petra Kvitova 7-6(2) 5-7 6-4
2018 Caroline Wozniacki d Simona Halep 7-6(2) 3-6 6-4
2017 Serena Williams d Venus Williams 6-4 6-4
2016 Angelique Kerber d Serena Williams 6-4 3-6 6-4
2015 Serena Williams d Maria Sharapova 6-3 7-6(5)
2014 Na Li d Dominika Cibulkova 7-6(3) 6-0


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