Australian Open: Maria Sharapova's return, Simona Halep's tough path and other women's draw talking points

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This year’s Australian Open women’s singles tournament is probably the least predictable in recent history, with so many contenders that can walk away with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup.

Top-seeded Simona Halep will have to tame multiple power-hitters if she plans on claiming a maiden Grand Slam trophy while Maria Sharapova faces a string of tough foes standing between her and a second Australian Open title, which would come a decade on from her first.

Angelique Kerber looks to have recaptured her magic, but seeded 21 and with Sharapova in her sights, will have to do it the hard way if she hopes to add a second crown in Melbourne to go with the one she won in 2016.

US Open runner-up Madison Keys is perhaps a bit under the radar but can cause damage in that stacked second quarter of the draw.


Last year’s finalist Venus Williams has a daunting opener against in-form Swiss Belinda Bencic while second-seeded Caroline Wozniacki has a manageable draw that could see her finally lift a Grand Slam trophy.










Watch the video above where Sport360‘s Stuart Appleby and myself take a close look at the women’s draw Down Under.



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