[CR30] Sloane Stephens (USA) vs. [CR50] Julia Goerges (GER)
Stephens hoisted her second career singles trophy today with a 7-5, 6-2 defeat of Goerges. This should be an exciting Australian Open for Stephens and perhaps once again she will be a serious threat at the first Major of the season. This is great for Stephens; however, I know there are few opponents who will want to avoid her early in the draw. Despite an easy victory in their last encounter, Goerges could not duplicate the result today. Stephens was a much different player today than she was in their last encounter. Goerges had chances; however, Stephens elevated her game when it was crucial, a result of her growing confidence.
[CR10] Angelique Kerber (GER) vs. [CR22] Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
It was all Azarenka today and she continued her dominance over Kerber with a 6-3, 6-1 defeat. After a 2015 season where she came so close to defeating Serena Williams on several occasions, this victory is going to give her the confidence to get over that obstacle this year. Williams will have to bring her “A game” this season when she comes up against Azarenka if she wants to walk away victorious. Azarenka will be a threat for the 2016 Australian Open title if she remains injury free.
[CR5] Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) vs. [CR97] Alison Riske (USA)
Great tournament for Riske although it did not end with the title, she defeated a few quality opponents on her way to the final and that should boost her confidence. This will certainly go a long way to improving her ranking and perhaps Riske can build on this not only at the Australian Open but for the season. Radwanska ended 2015 on a high and she has picked up the 2016 season on that same note, this bodes well for her at the Australian Open. The score was almost identical to that of her 2015 defeat of Riske, today it was 6-3, 6-2.