Adelaide International: Top five favorites and prediction for women’s singles

Simona Halep (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Simona Halep (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images) /
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Ash Barty will play the Adelaide International
Ash Barty will play the Adelaide International (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images) /

1: Ash Barty

Ash Barty insists she has not been affected by the pressure to give Australia their first home Grand Slam winner since 1978.

But her Brsibane loss to qualifier Jennifer Brady was hardly ideal preparation for Melbourne and that 0-1 record this season gives added importance to her appearance in Adelaide.

Like last week, Barty will get a first-round bye. Then, she will face either Anett Kontaveit or Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in round two.

2: Simona Halep

Simona Halep will make her first appearance of the WTA Tour season at the Adelaide International.

The Romanian did not make a semifinal after winning Wimbledon last year and this event will give us a valuable gauge of how well her offseason has gone, having reunited with coach Darren Cahill.

Halep’s possible round-two opponents are Yulia Putintseva or Ajla Tomljanovic.

3: Aryna Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalanka, like Belinda Bencic, did not deliver in Shenzhen. The second seed there, she did at least win one match against Margarita Gasparyan but fell in her next outing against Kristyna Pliskova

A wildcard entry, WTA Elite Trophy winner Sabalenka can be expected to get back on track in Adelaide and is the most likely opponent for Halep in the quarterfinals. The star from Belarus starts against Su-wei Hsieh.

4: Sofia Kenin

Sofia Kenin made huge strides last season and should be able to shoot further up the WTA rankings in 2020.

She was unfortunate to have to face Naomi Osaka in only her second Brisbane match and a first-round meeting with qualifier Viktorija Golubic in Adelaide should allow the underrated American, seeded seventh, to hit the ground running here.