AO Thursday: Caroline & Aga On Court
Published January 15, 2014 12:11
MELBOURNE, Australia - Caroline Wozniacki looks to avenge a couple of defeats against Christina McHale, and Agnieszka Radwanska aims to thwart Olga Govortsova's upset bid as the Australian Open's second round includes.
Thursday, Second Round
Rod Laver Arena
 Caroline Wozniacki (DEN #10) vs. Christina McHale (USA #62)
Head-to-head: McHale leads 2-1
Christina McHale has to like her chances to upset Caroline Wozniacki, in that two of her five Top 10 wins have come against the Dane, including when Wozniacki was No.1 in the world at Cincinnati in 2011. If she is able to beat Wozniacki again, she would match her best Grand Slam showing.
As for Wozniacki, she has reached the third round of the Australian Open in all six previous appearances and is looking for her 70th Grand Slam match win. She appeared in fine form in surrendering just two games in her opener against Lourdes Domínguez Lino.
"She's a good player," Wozniacki said about her match-up with McHale. "She had a tough year last year but played well at the end of the year. She's a player that likes to mix the ball up as well, likes to play topspin but then go on the attack. She has a pretty good serve, moves pretty well. So an all-around player that's trying to break down your game by changing the rhythm."
 Agnieszka Radwanska (POL #5) vs. Olga Govortsova (BLR #98)
Head-to-head: Radwanska leads 2-1
Olga Govortsova has just one win in 18 matches against Top 10 foes, but the lone triumph came against then-No.2 Agnieszka Radwanska by virtue of retirement at New Haven in 2012. That being said, in the other two matches in their series, Govortsova mustered just five games. If she is able to upend Radwanska again, Govortsova would be into the Australian Open third round for the first time and would match her best Grand Slam showing.
Radwanska has not fallen to an opponent outside the Top 90 since losing to No.92 Angelique Kerber at the 2011 US Open. She also has not fallen short of the quarterfinals here since 2010 but is still looking to find her top form in 2014, having been extended to three sets in her opener against Yulia Putintseva on the heels of her second round loss at the hands of Bethanie Mattek-Sands in Sydney.
 Simona Halep (ROU #11) vs. Varvara Lepchenko (USA #50)
Head-to-head: First meeting
Simona Halep is seeking to extend her spectacular success in non-majors in 2013 to Grand Slam play in 2014. Just 4-4 in Grand Slam matches in 2013, she was 49-13 in all other matches. After collecting six WTA titles, second-most on the WTA in 2013, she was named the Most Improved Player Of The Year. And after dropping just one game versus Katarzyna Piter in the first round here, Halep improved to 10-1 in her last 11 matches dating back to last October. A triumph over Varvara Lepchenko would lift her to 3-5 in the second round of majors.
As for former Top 20 player Lepchenko, she is aiming for her 10th Top 20 win and her first third round outing here. She is coming off a tough three set victory over Lesia Tsurenko in her opener.
Around the grounds…
World No.2 Victoria Azarenka continues her quest for her third straight Australian Open title against Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, World No.3 Maria Sharapova takes on Karin Knapp and World No.8 Jelena Jankovic squares off with Ayumi Morita.