By: Mike McIntyre
Photos: Jimmie48 Tennis Photography
The action continued on Tuesday at the Sydney International with several high profile matches. I'm really impressed with how stacked the draw is at this event and it's a great test for some of the game's top stars ahead of the Australian Open next week.
On Tuesday Australian's Daria Gavrilova defeated wildcard compatriot Olivia Rogowska in a tight match 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 to advance to the second round. Gavrilova is currently ranked 25th in the WTA Tour rankings and at the age of 23 seems poised to make some moves in 2018.
Gavrilova will next face another Aussie - Sam Stosur - who also advanced in three sets. The former US Open champion (2011) took down Carina Witthoeft of Germany 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
In other matches Ekaterina Makarova fell against Barbora Strycova. It was the Czech who prevailed 6-4, 6-1.
One veteran player with something to prove in 2018 is Aga Radwanska who suffered through a difficult season a year ago in terms of her on-court results. She's off to a great start with a huge win over 4th seeded Johanna Konta whom she defeated in straight sets 6-3, 7-5 on Ken Rosewall Arena. She will face youngster Cici Bellis in her next match.
Dominika Cibulkova has early season success in Australia in the past as she was a finalist at the Aussie Open back in 2014. Cibulkova is a dangerous unseeded floater here in Sydney and beat Elena Vesnina 6-4, 6-4.
The most anticipated match of the day however was between 2nd seeded American Venus Williams and former World No. 1 Angie Kerber. Kerber went undefeated in her four singles matches last week at the Hopman Cup and has carried forward that momentum in Sydney. She dropped the opening set against Venus before coming back for the upset 5-7, 6-3, 6-1. It is amazing what a difference a year makes as suddenly Kerber is being talked about as an Aussie Open favorite after a tough year in 2017 that has seen her ranking drop to 22nd in the world.
Keep checking back with us this week for WTA results and analysis from the Sydney International. And feel free to follow us on Twitter as well!