All the key facts and talking points as second-round action continues at the first major of 2019.
Alex Macpherson
January 16, 2019

Venus Williams and Alizé Cornet have played twice at Roland Garros (2007 and 2016), twice in Dubai (2009 and 2014), twice in Hong Kong (2015 and 2016) - and today's tilt will be their second Australian Open meeting following Venus's second-round win in 2013. The American won their first five matches without dropping a set, but 2016 saw Cornet finally make an impact on the rivalry, winning her first set from Venus at Roland Garros and a second-round match in Hong Kong 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.

Serena Williams leads the head-to-head against 2014 semifinalist Eugenie Bouchard 2-0, having defeated the Canadian 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in Cincinnati in 2013 and 6-1, 6-1 in WTA Finals round-robin play the following year. In 2015, though, Bouchard scored a 6-2, 6-1 win over Serena in unofficial Hopman Cup play.

2016 semifinalist Johanna Konta has won the two most recent out of three total meetings with Garbiñe Muguruza. Both were crucial stepping stones during the Briton's meteoric rise in 2015: as a wildcard ranked No.146, she upset Muguruza 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in the third round of Eastbourne, and as a qualifier ranked No.97 she did it again two months later, 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 6-2 in the second round of the US Open. The Spaniard's sole victory over Konta was also a three-set epic, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 in Luxembourg qualifying in 2012.

Viktoria Kuzmova scored the second Grand Slam match win of her career on Tuesday over Kateryna Kozlova - and just as for the first, the Slovak's reward is a second-round meeting with Elina Svitolina. The Ukrainian handled Kuzmova 6-3, 6-4 at this stage of Roland Garros last year, their only previous meeting.

World No.1 Simona Halep snapped a five-match losing streak with her defeat of Kaia Kanepi in the first round - and now takes on Sofia Kenin, the Hobart champion currently on a six-match winning streak, for the first time. The 20-year-old American has two Top 10 wins in her career so far, over Caroline Garcia in Mallorca and Julia Goerges in Wuhan last year, and as an unseeded player already has four seeded scalps under her belt in 2019 so far.

Johanna Konta, Garbiñe Muguruza - US Open 2015 - Getty
Johanna Konta and Garbiñe Muguruza shake hands after the Briton wins their 2015 US Open second-round match (Getty)

On Wednesday, 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova upset No.24 seed Lesia Tsurenko to make the third round of her first Australian Open. Today, four more teenage Melbourne debutantes will also seek to score a seeded scalp and join Anisimova: Bianca Andreescu against No.13 Anastasija Sevastova, Anastasia Potapova against No.17 Madison Keys, Dayana Yastremska against No.23 Carla Suárez Navarro and Iga Swiatek against No.27 Camila Giorgi. All will be first encounters.

Since turning 20, Keys has just two losses to teenagers - Belinda Bencic at Eastbourne 2015 and Catherine Bellis in Doha last year. Suárez Navarro suffered two Grand Slam losses two teenagers in 2015 - Carina Witthoeft in Melbourne and Jelena Ostapenko at Wimbledon - but since then has only lost to two, Daria Kasatkina (Moscow 2015) and Bellis (Mallorca 2017). Sevastova's most recent loss to a teenager was to Olga Danilovic in Fed Cup play last February, while Giorgi's was a defeat by Aryna Sabalenka in Lugano last April.

No.21 seed Wang Qiang lost to Aleksandra Krunic in their only previous encounter - a 6-4, 6-3 loss in the first round of the ITF W100 in Ningbo in 2012.

If No.7 seed Karolina Pliskova and sister Kristyna defeat Madison Brengle and Zhang Shuai respectively today, the twins will both reach the third round of the same Slam for the second time in their careers following the 2017 Australian Open.

TRENDING

READING

Local wildcard Kimberly Birrell has beaten three Top 50 opponents in 2019 so far, with No.29 seed Donna Vekic her latest victim - but the 20-year-old isn't thinking beyond maybe buying a car, writes Paul Sakkal in The Age.

Maria Sakkari has enjoyed overwhelming crowd support from Greek fans this week, even while beating Australia's Astra Sharma today. Prior to the Australian Open, Sakkari and ATP compatriot Stefanos Tsitsipas attended a Greek community dinner to feel the love in person, reports Alex Anyfantis for Neos Kosmos.

ORDER OF PLAY

Click here to view the order of play for Thursday.

WATCHING