Some great clashes will mark the start of the 2019 Australian Open.
Some great clashes will mark the start of the 2019 Australian Open.

Eight mouth-watering Australian Open clashes

The draw for the Australian Open is out and there are plenty of intriguing match-ups in the opening round.

Here are eight of the best clashes.

 

 

 

EIGHT OF THE BEST

Simona Halep v Kaia Kanepi

Halep's glorious 2018 grand slam season came to an abrupt end in the first round of the US Open when she was rolled by Kanepi. Expect a powerful response from the world No 1.

 

Simona Halep. Picture: AAP
Simona Halep. Picture: AAP

 

Maria Sakkari v Jelena Ostapenko

Sakkari is one of the most gifted and consistent shotmakers on tour. French Open Ostapenko is among the most unpredictable. Expect the unexpected.

 

Nick Kyrgios v Milos Raonic

The ledger stands at 3-all in the head-to-head rivalry, with Canadian holding a 2-1 edge at grand slam level. Kyrgios is the underdog in the battle of ballistic servers. This is a blockbuster with a string of subplots.

 

Milos Raonic. Picture: Getty Images
Milos Raonic. Picture: Getty Images

 

Nick Kyrgios. Picture: AAP
Nick Kyrgios. Picture: AAP

 

Marin Cilic v Bernard Tomic

Cilic contested the final here last year but will be wary of Tomic after the Australian claimed their most recent meeting. Tomic will need to be at his mesmeric best to unhinge the US Open winner, but is more than capable.

Sloane Stephens v Taylor Townsend

The Americans have never clashed in either WTA or grand slam combat. This is a potentially intriguing match-up between contrasting talents. US Open winner Stephens should come out on top, but ….

 

Sloane Stephens. Picture: AAP
Sloane Stephens. Picture: AAP

 

Taylor Townsend. Picture: Getty Images
Taylor Townsend. Picture: Getty Images

 

 

Andy Murray v Roberto Bautista Agut

Depending on who you believe, Murray is either crocked or the most dangerous floater in this year's draw. Bautista Agut is flying with victory over Novak Djokovic in Doha.

Ajla Tomljanovic v Johanna Konta

The adopted Aussie against the former Aussie. Tomljanovic has the power to keep Konta on the defensive. The question is for how long.

 

Ajla Tomljanovic. Picture: AAP
Ajla Tomljanovic. Picture: AAP

 

Tomas Berdych v Kyle Edmund

Cracking first-round encounter between Wimbledon finalist Berdych and last year's break-out Australian Open semi-finalist Edmund. This shapes as a brutal encounter.

News Corp Australia


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