World No.1 Simona Halep returns from injury at the Sydney International on Wednesday, while Petra Kvitova, Sloane Stephens and Samantha Stosur are also in action as rain-delayed first-round play is completed and second-round play continues. Scroll down for full order of play.
Alex Macpherson
January 8, 2019

MATCH POINTS

Simona Halep plays her first match since retiring to Ons Jabeur in the first round of Beijing over three months ago; the World No.1's last match victory was last August, over Aryna Sabalenka in the Cincinnati semifinals. Halep has not dropped a set to Ashleigh Barty in two previous meetings, both of which came over last year's summer hard court swing in Montréal and Cincinnati.

Both of No.4 seed Sloane Stephens' previous encounters with Yulia Putintseva have been tight three-setters. The American prevailed 6-7(4), 6-0, 6-4 in the first round of Toronto in 2017, but Putintseva gained revenge in their most recent bout, 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(3) in the first round of Nurnberg last year. Stephens has not won back-to-back matches in Australia since reaching the fourth round in Melbourne in 2014.

Petra Kvitova has defeated Hsieh Su-Wei in straight sets in both of their previous matches - both in 2016, once on clay at Roland Garros and once on indoor hard courts in Luxembourg.

Since Samantha Stosur reached the final on her Sydney debut in 2005 (a run that involved consecutive walkovers from Lindsay Davenport and Elena Dementieva), the Australian has made just one further quarterfinal here, in 2016. Stosur faces Timea Bacsinszky, who won their only previous encounter 6-4, 6-0 at Oeiras 2014, in a bid for a third last-eight showing.

Local qualifier Priscilla Hon's first-round win over Tatjana Maria was the 20-year-old's first WTA main draw win since reaching the Seoul quarterfinals in 2017. The Australian, who has a wildcard for next week's Australian Open, faces fellow qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich in her bid to make a second WTA quarterfinal.

ORDER OF PLAY

KEN ROSEWALL ARENA (starts 1pm)
After 1 ATP match, not before 2.30pm
Simona HALEP (ROU) [1] vs Ashleigh BARTY (AUS)
After 2 ATP matches, not before 8.30pm
Sloane STEPHENS (USA) [4] vs [Q] Yulia PUTINTSEVA (KAZ)

SHOW COURT 1 (starts 1pm)
[WC] Samantha STOSUR (AUS) vs Timea BACSINSZKY (SUI)
Anett KONTAVEIT (EST) vs [LL] Monica PUIG (PUR) to finish 2-5
[Q] Aliaksandra SASNOVICH (BLR) vs [Q] Priscilla HON (AUS)
After 1 ATP match
[WC] Petra KVITOVA (CZE) [5] vs HSIEH Su-Wei (TPE)

COURT 3 (starts 12 noon)
After 1 ATP match
[Q] Katerina SINIAKOVA (CZE) vs Elise MERTENS (BEL) [10] to finish 6-7(4), 6-2, 1-4
After 1 ATP match
Anett KONTAVEIT (EST) or [LL] Monica PUIG (PUR) vs [Q] Katerina SINIAKOVA (CZE) or Elise MERTENS (BEL) [10]

COURT 4 (starts 12 noon)
Eri HOZUMI (JPN) / Alicja ROSOLSKA (POL) vs Anna-Lena GROENEFELD (GER) / Vania KING (USA)
After 1 ATP match
Bethanie MATTEK-SANDS (USA) / Demi SCHUURS (NED) vs Andreja KLEPAC (SLO) / María José MARTÍNEZ SÁNCHEZ (ESP)
Timea BACSINSZKY (SUI) / Petra MARTIC (CRO) vs Aleksandra KRUNIC (SRB) / Katerina SINIAKOVA (CZE)

COURT 5 (starts 12 noon)
Nadiia KICHENOK (UKR) / Barbora STRYCOVA (CZE) [4] vs Miyu KATO (JPN) / Makoto NINOMIYA (JPN)