Potential Serena Williams-Ashleigh Barty, Naomi Osaka-Coco Gauff Clashes in WTA 500 Melbourne Draws

Published 01/29/2021, 4:52 AM EST
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 31: Cori Gauff of the United States and Naomi Osaka of Japan speak following their Women’s Singles third round match on day six of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 31, 2019 in Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


As the Australian Open 2021 is around the corner, there are two WTA 500 tournaments to be played prior to the Grand Slam event. The two events are Gippsland Trophy and Yarra Valley Classic. Players such as Serena Williams and Simona Halep will be seen here, and both competitions are going to be played simultaneously in Melbourne, from January 31 till February 6.

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At the Gippsland Trophy event, players Simona Halep and Naomi Osaka are the top seeds. If the Japanese player wins her opening round match, there will be a possibility of her playing the American teenager Coco Gauff. Other players such as Elina Svitolina and recently crowned Abu Dhabi Open champion Aryna Sabalenka will be seen too. 

Tennis – A Day at the Drive Exhibition – Memorial Drive Tennis Club, Adelaide, Australia – January 29, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka with Serena Williams of the U.S. at A Day at The Drive REUTERS/Morgan Sette

Serena Williams to be seen at Yarra Valley Classic event

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At the Yarra Valley Classic tournament, World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty and 2020 Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin are the top two seeds. 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams is also part of the event. There is a possibility of the American meeting Ashleigh in the semifinal if they sail smoothly in the initial rounds. 

Czech professional tennis player Karolina Pliskova and two-time Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza will also be seen at the Yarra Valley Classic event. Both the tournaments will be played on the courts of Melbourne Park, where the Australian Open is usually held. 

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 19: A ballboy on court during a match between Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands and Ana Ivanovic of Serbia during day four of the 2012 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 19, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images)

At the moment, Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep, and Serena Williams are in Adelaide for the exhibition event ‘A Day at the Drive’. It is a one-day event and players will travel to Melbourne after that. After the WTA 500 tournaments are over, the first Grand Slam of the season begins in two days’ time. Sofia Kenin won the Australian Open in the previous season. 

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Rohan Kollare

887 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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