Eleven players from the 2018 WTA Croatia Bol Open are set to compete in the singles main draw of the Australian Open. The roster of players includes Saisai Zheng, Ajla Tomljanovic, Yafan Wang, Mona Barthel, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, Tamara Zidansek, Sara Sorribes Tormo, Magda Linette, Kateryna Kozlova, Viktoriya Golubic, and Ysaline Bonaventure.
Noteworthy first round matches include 2018 Croatia Bol Open finalist Magda Linette vs. 2018 U.S. Open champion and world no. 4 Naomi Osaka. The two have played only once before, in Washington D.C. in 2018, with Linette prevailing in three sets. Osaka is coming off of a run to the semifinals in Brisbane (l. Tsurenko 2-6, 4-6). The match will take place Tuesday on Rod Laver Arena. The winner of that match will face either 2018 Bol Open Champion Tamara Zidansek or Daria Gavrilova. Zidansek, world no. 78, and Gavrilova, world no. 34, have never played each other before. Zidansek is playing in Melbourne for the first time this year, having broken into the WTA’s top 100 after her win in Bol in June. Gavrilova will enjoy home court advantage thanks to passionate Aussie crowds. Their first time encounter will take place on Margaret Court Arena on Monday night.
In addition, world no. 39 Saisai Zheng will play two time Grand Slam champion and world no. 18 Garbiñe Muguruza. Zheng is coming off a strong finish to 2018, which saw her reach a new career high ranking of world no. 38. Muguruza opened her season at the ITF’s Hopman Cup in Perth and then headed to Sydney where she withdrew from the second round due to illness. The two have never played each other before. The match will take place Monday on Court 3. The winner of that match will face either world no. 45 Ajla Tomljanovic or world no. 30 Johanna Konta, who have played each other three times before. Tomljanovic recently overcame Konta in the second round in Brisbane (d. 1-6, 6-3, 6-0). She went on to make the quarterfinals where she lost to eventual champion Karolina Pliskova (l. 1-6, 6-1, 1-6).
The Australian Open is the first Grand Slam of the year. It begins Monday, January 13 at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia.Back