World No. 2 Angelique Kerber will meet the Brazilian qualifier Beatriz Haddad Maia in the second round of the Australian Open.
Watch & bet on Angelique Kerber v Beatriz Haddad Maia live with bet365 here* on Wednesday, January 16. The Kerber v Haddad Maia match timings will be announced soon.
*Geo-restrictions apply & pre-funded account needed
Kerber’s Decent Start
Kerber kick-started her bid for the second Australian Open title in front of an almost-packed Rod Laver Arena on Monday against Polona Hercog.
It did not take long for the German to dispatch her Slovenian adversary. Losing just four games, the second seed won the match 6-2, 6-2 in an hour and 14 minutes.
However, at the end of the day, what helped Kerber win this match was the unforced errors committed by Hercog. She made as many as 41 unforced errors in contrast to Kerber’s 15. Additionally, the Slovenian had thrice as many winners as against Kerber’s mere 8.
Needless to mention, Hercog could have very well delivered a stunning upset here, had it not been for her mistakes.
Kerber won the tournament back in 2016 – her first of the three Grand Slams, with the other two being the US Open and the Wimbledon.
She came to Melbourne after losing to Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinal of WTA Sydney last week. She hasn’t been that sharp so far this season and as displayed against Hercog, she still has room for improvement.
Haddad Maia – A Rising Brazilian Star on the Horizon
Beatriz Haddad Maia, who is just 22 years old right now, started her run in Melbourne as a qualifier. She won her qualifying rounds without dropping a single set. As for her opening match in the main draw, she defeated Bernarda Pera 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, in two hours and 23 minutes.
While she maintained an impressive first service win-rate of 84%, she did commit 38 unforced errors against Pera. This is also the first time that she has made it to the second round in a tournament this season. She last played at the Auckland Open where she was sent packing in the qualifiers.
Maia peaked as the World No. 58 in September 2017 on the back of a good run that season. However, all of that changed in 2018 when she started battling with injuries. She picked up a left wrist injury in Charleston following which, she incurred a lower back injury.
The Brazilian returned to the action in September 2018 and played mostly on the ITF circuit to build her momentum again. However, she is still young and is quite talented. Needless to mention, she is more than capable of being a top 30 player and go even further.
Kerber v Maia – Who Will Win?
Kerber was not at her best in her opening match against Hercog. If Beatriz manages to keep her unforced errors at a minimum and dole out winners, then she can give the World No. 2 a run for her money. At the same time, over the years, Kerber has had one of those clinical matches where she has been highly unforgiving. Kerber will start this match as the favourite to win although, it wouldn’t be surprising if this goes to three sets.
You can watch & bet on Angelique Kerber v Beatriz Haddad Maia live with bet365 here on Wednesday, January 16.