Six-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams leads the bottom half of the draw into action on Day Two at Melbourne Park. We preview the matchups right here at
WTA Staff

MELBOURNE, Australia - Six-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams leads the bottom half of the draw into action on Day Two at Melbourne Park. Dominika Cibulkova and Agnieszka Radwanska are also in action on the last day of Round 1. We preview all the day's matchups right here at

Tuesday, First Round

[2] Serena Williams (USA #2) vs Belinda Bencic (SUI #59)
Head-to-head: Tied at 1-1
Key Stat: 2017 Australian Open marks first Grand Slam where Serena hasn't been top seed since 2013 Australian Open (No.3)

Belinda Bencic's reaction to the draw is quite different to how you'd think someone would react when finding out their first-round opponent is six-time champion Serena Williams:

"My first reaction was actually, like, really happy," Bencic told press ahead of the match. "I'm super-pumped, like excited I get to play on the big court, I guess.

"Yeah, everyone is like, 'Oh, bad luck with the draw.' Me, I'm pretty happy and excited about it!"

Bencic has a reason to feel good: back in 2015, she scored the biggest victory of her career over Serena at the Rogers Cup, becoming one of just 3 players to defeat the American that year.

But a lot has changed since in two years, and injury woes have caused the Swiss wunderkind's ranking to plummet. And Serena - as always - has her eye on making history and reclaiming the No.1 ranking in Melbourne Park.

"All I can do is do my best," Serena said. "If I can play the way I've been practicing, it will be fine. I know she's been playing well, so it will be good for both of us."

Agnieszka Radwanska

[3] Agnieszka Radwanska (POL #3) vs Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL #64)
Head-to-head: Radwanska leads 9-3
Key Stat: Pironkova's last Top 5 win came over Radwanska in 2016 Roland Garros R16

World No.3 Agnieszka Radwanska has many positives to take away from her run to the Apia International Sydney final: before getting thoroughly outclassed in the last match by Johanna Konta, Radwanska hadn't dropped a set all tournament long and her tricky, deliberate game was flowing freely.

"Of course, losing finals always is disappointing," Radwanska reflected in pre-tournament press. "But it's still a good week with great matches against top players.

"I'm very confident. I really hope I can play the same tennis, even the tennis I played in the final. But every tournament is different story, especially in the tough first round."

After the quick turnaround to Melbourne, Radwanska will bring all of that confidence and preparation against an opponent who has troubled her in the past: Tsvetana Pironkova. The pair have met 12 times previously, with the Bulgarian stunning Radwanska in the fourth round of Roland Garros.

"Pironkova is a very tricky opponent," she said. "I'm expecting everything from her side. For sure it's going to be a lot of running. I'm going to really have to work on each point."

Karolina Pliskova

[5] Karolina Pliskova (CZE #6) vs Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP #106)
Head-to-head: First meeting
Key Stat: Sorribes Tormo is playing just the second Grand Slam main draw match of her career

After her dominant performance at the Brisbane International, where she claimed the first title of her season, Karolina Pliskova took two days off before heading straight to Melbourne.

"I've been practicing here since Tuesday. Even yesterday," the Czech said in pre-tournament press. "But I've been feeling good so far. I was even ready for Monday start, but will be ready even for Tuesday.

"That's what I did in New York, as well. So I just did it here. I don't know if it's going to work, but I just want to leave everything in this tournament."

But despite her red-hot start to 2017, Pliskova wouldn't be drawn into discussing her Australian Open chances - not even on the eve of the tournament after drawing Sara Sorribes Tormo in the opening round.

"I would definitely not take me as a favorite of this tournament. It's a big draw," the Czech said in pre-tournament press. "There is a lot of players. I just take it step by step."

"I just know my opponent from the first round. I want to pass this one. Then we can talk about the next one."

Her opponent, Sorribes Tormo, is a 20-year-old Spaniard who might be out of her depths against the big-hitting Czech: this will be the just the second Grand Slam main draw match of her career, and her first match against a Top 10 opponent.

Around the grounds?
Reigning WTA Finals champion Dominika Cibulkova will open against No.90-ranked Denisa Allertova on Day 2. The Slovak reached the final here in 2014, and will hope her 2016 momentum will carry her to a maiden Grand Slam title. Britain's No.1 Johanna Konta will square off against Kirsten Flipkens - Konta leads the head-to-head 2-1.