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Kerber vs Giorgi WTA Sydney Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Kerber begins Sydney title defence against dangerous Giorgi

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 7 Jan 2019
  • Angelique Kerber vs Camila Giorgi is live from Sydney on Tuesday, 8 January from 7:00pm local time/ 8:00am GMT
  • Kerber leads 3-0 on head-to-head, and defeated Giorgi in last year's Sydney semi-finals
Angelique Kerber. (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)

World No. 2, Angelique Kerber begins her title defence at the Sydney International on Tuesday when she takes on dangerous Italian, Camila Giorgi in the second round.

Kerber is sticking to the same formula that worked wonderfully well last season, when she began her year at the Hopman Cup in Perth, before competing in Sydney and the Australian Open. Then, the German was coming off a disappointing 2017, when her ranking slipped from No. 1 to No. 22, but a fine Hopman Cup campaign set the foundation for a resurgent campaign.

The 30-year-old went on to win the Sydney International, and added the Wimbledon title to her collection, taking her Grand Slam tally to three. She also made semi-finals at the Australian Open, Dubai and Eastbourne, and was back at No. 2 by the end of the year.

Just like last season, Kerber was a perfect 4-0 in Hopman Cup singles rubbers, beating Garbine Muguruza, Alize Cornet, Ashleigh Barty and Belinda Bencic as Germany finished second behind Switzerland. The German looked really sharp in Perth, playing with the same positivity that served her so well last season, while retaining the defensive doggedness that has been the trademark of her ascent to the top of the women's game.

“It was just the beginning of the new season for me in Perth. I had four really good matches,” Kerber said ahead of her Sydney opener. “I was feeling, from match to match, better and better. And I can see, of course, that I’m feeling good and the rhythm is there.”
“I really love this tournament (Sydney). You have a really strong field here with really top players, and to have a lot of matches before going to Melbourne and finding your confidence,” she said.
Kerber is competing in Sydney for the seventh straight year, and she is again one of the heavy favourites to defend the title she won in 2018. Last year's success didn't come easy, as the left-hander had to come from a set down, and save two match points in a first round victory against Lucie Safarova, while she pulled off another come-from-behind three-set victory over Venus Williams in the second round. She got better as she moved through the draw, easing past Dominika Cibulkova, Camila Giorgi and Ashleigh Barty in straight sets to claim the title.

She meets Giorgi again on Tuesday in a repeat of last year's semi-final. 

Giorgi is a genuine banana skin for Kerber, as the hard-hitting Italian can be difficult to contain when she gets on a roll, just like she did last year, when as a qualifier, she blasted out Sloane Stephens, Petra Kvitova and Agnieszka Radwanska before falling to Kerber. 

Camila Giorgi. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)
Giorgi went on to have her best season till date, reaching a career-high ranking of 26th. She won her second WTA title in her final tournament of the year in Linz, a few months after producing her best Grand Slam performance at Wimbledon, where she reached the quarter finals before falling to Serena Williams in three sets.

After pulling out of the Brisbane International, the 27-year-old opened her 2019 season with a 6-3 6-3 victory over Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic, who had shown very good form in reaching the semi-finals in Brisbane last week. It was a relatively clean Giorgi performance, as she hit 21 winners and 20 unforced errors, and dropped her serve just once as against the four breaks she engineered on her opponent's deliveries.

"It was a very nice match," Giorgi said. "I think I was consistent mentally, because the first match of the season is more mental than technical. I had a very nice preparation, so everything was going well."

Can she back up that performance with her first ever victory over Kerber in what will be the fourth meeting between the two?

Kerber has dropped just one set in her three wins over Giorgi, and was a comfortable 6-2 6-3 victor when the pair last met in Sydney last season. Boasting nine top-10 wins in her career, the Italian underdog is an extremely tricky first-round opponent, but Kerber's supreme counterpunching skills have been too good in all of their past meetings.

The world No. 2 has already found a good early rhythm with her performances at the Hopman Cup, and it will be a big surprise if she doesn't maintain her perfect record against Giorgi on Tuesday.

Angelique Kerber vs Camila Giorgi is live from Sydney on Tuesday, 8 January from 7:00pm local time/ 8:00am GMT

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Kerber vs Giorgi WTA Sydney Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Kerber begins Sydney title defence against dangerous Giorgi

Defending champion, Angelique Kerber takes on Camila Giorgi in the second round of the Sydney International on Tuesday. Can the world No. 2 survive the explosive Italian? Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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