Category Archives: Hopman Cup

Hopman Cup Day 2 Preview

Ukraine vs United States: Elina Svitolina vs Serena Williams

Serena Williams will begin her 2016 season on Monday when she comes up against Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine at the Hopman Cup in Perth. Serena dominated the tour in 2016, coming agonizingly close to winning all four Grand Slams. Serena will be determined to once again dominate at the Grand Slam level and claim another Olympic gold medal in Brazil in 2016.

Serena made a sluggish start to her 2015 season at the Hopman Cup, the American used the tournament as a genuine warm-up and ended up losing 3 of her 4 matches at the event. It turned out to be a good preparation for Serena as she went on to win the Australian Open for the first time since 2010. It will be interesting to see if Serena takes a similarly relaxed approach to the Hopman Cup in 2016.

 

Elina Svitolina continued her rise up the rankings in 2015 and is expected to continue to climb in season 2016. This will be the first time a Ukrainian team has taken part in the event for 21 years. Svitolina will see her clash with Serena Williams as a real opportunity to claim her maiden victory over the world number 1.

Serena has won all 3 previous encounters between the pair, including a 6-4 6-3 victory at the semi-final stage in Cincinnati last year in their most recent clash. This looks like a good opportunity for Elina to pick up a victory over Serena given the American’s approach to the tournament last year. Svitolina is the type of players that will always give her all and will be a tough opponent for Serena in her first match of the year. Serena is usually quite rusty in her very first match of the season, an upset looks possible.

Prediction: Elina Svitolina to defeat Serena Williams in 3 sets
Great Britain vs France: Heather Watson vs Caroline Garcia

Heather Watson and Caroline Garcia enter 2016 at a very similar stage in their careers. Both have shown that they have potential to compete with the very best players in the world, however both have been unable to make a major impact at the Grand Slam level and at other big events on a consistent basis. Both Heather and Caroline will be looking to change that in 2016, they will look to use the Hopman cup to gain much needed momentum heading into the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne.

Heather Watson has won both of the previous encounters between the pair, including an epic 1-6 6-3 8-6 victory at Wimbledon last year in their most recent clash. However, I think it will be third time lucky for Garcia on Monday, she will finally pick up a victory over Watson.

Prediction: Caroline Garcia to defeat Heather Watson in 3 sets

Hopman Cup Day 1 Preview

The 2016 Hopman Cup will begin on Sunday where both Australian teams will be in action. Serena Williams will be the headline act at the event for the second year in a row, the tournament also features a number of WTA rising stars including Karolina Pliksova, Elina Svitolina, Caroline Garcia and Daria Gavrilova. Unfortunately Poland will not be defending their title 2016 title, a new champion will be crowned.

Australia Green vs Germany: Daria Gavrilova vs Sabine Lisicki

Daria Gavrilova will be representing Australia for the very first time when she contests the opening match of the tournament against German Sabine Lisicki on Sunday.

It will be interesting to see how Gavrilova responds to the occasion, this will be an important moment for Daria. Gavrilova is a passionate character and should thrive in this type of situation, Daria will be keen to impress with a spot in the Australian Fed Cup team up for grabs in 2016.

Sabine Lisicki will be making her first appearance at the Hopman Cup since 2010. Lisicki has struggled at the Australian Open in recent years, failing to get passed in the second round in her last three appearances. Sabine will be hoping a change in preparation will lead to better results in Melbourne, a guaranteed 3 matches is always useful.

This will be the first ever meeting between Daria and Sabine. The two were scheduled to meet in the second round at Roland Garros last year but Daria was forced to hand Sabine a walkover due to injury.

This is an interesting match-up between one of the hardest hitters on the tour and one of the quickest players on the tour. Both have the ability to hurt the other, it will all be about who is able to execute their game in their first competitive match of the year. I think Gavrilova will be extra motivated to pick up a victory in her first match representing Australia. It will be tough for Sabine to come out and hit Daria off the court in her first match of the year.

Prediction: Daria Gavrilova to defeat Sabine Lisicki in 3 sets
Australia Gold vs Czech Republic: Jarmila Gajdosova vs Karolina Pliskova

Both Jarmila Gajdosova and Karolina Pliskova were late entries into the 2016 Hopman Cup. Jarmila Gajdosova is replacing the injured Casey Dellacqua whilst Karolina Pliskova is replacing the injured Lucie Safarova. This promises to be fast paced match between two ladies who prefer to keep rallies as short as possible. 

Jarmila and Karolina are quite experienced when it comes to representing their country, Gajdosova has represented Australia in the Fed Cup world group stage whilst Karolina Pliskova was a crucial member of a triumphant Czech Republic Fed Cup team in 2016.

Karolina Pliskova and Jarmila Gajdosova were both pretty active during the off-season, competing in the IPTL. Karolina’s off-season was particularly busy given she also competed in the Fed Cup final, this could give Karolina an edge heading into this event as she will not be as rusty as her opponents.

Karolina won the only previous encounter between the pair, a 7-6 6-1 victory in Miami 2013 at the qualifying stage. Karolina does most things better than Jarmila and should enjoy the slightly more relaxed atmosphere at the Hopman Cup.

Prediction: Karolina Pliskova to defeat Jarmila Gajdosova in 2 sets