Maria Sharapova and Eugenie Bouchard are certainly two of the biggest names in women’s tennis. However, I don’t know how many people are picking either to go deep at the 2016 Australian Open. Serena Williams is the obvious choice to win it all and Victoria Azarenka is the fashionable choice as an alternate pick. But let’s not forget it was Masha who was runner-up last year. She started this year’s campaign with a 6-1 6-3 win over the feisty Nao Habino of Japan. The scoreline doesn’t reflect how much Habino was able to make Sharapova work, particularly in the second set. Meanwhile, Eugenie Bouchard scored an impressive victory over the potentially very tough Aleksandra Krunic, 6-3 6-4. The problem for Genie, as I mentioned in the my last post about her, is that her ranking has slipped so far that she will get tough draws until she can climb back up. Case in point, she gets 4th seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the second round. Bouchard looks better than she has in a year. But is she back to the level where she can beat Aga? We’ll soon find out.
Caroline Wozniacki was in no mood for condolences after blowing an early lead and losing to Yulia Putintseva, 1-6 7-6 (3) 6-4. In fact, I’ll just stop talking about her loss and simply let Caro’s quote tell the tale:
“I would say it’s a pretty sh***y start to the season.” – Caroline Wozniacki
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YULIA PUTINTSEVA d. 16 Caroline Wozniacki, 1-6 7-6 (3) 6-4
EUGENIE BOUCHARD d. Aleksandra Krunic, 6-3 6-4
5 MARIA SHARAPOVA d. Nao Hibino, 6-3 6-1