Caroline Wozniacki, Serena Williams up on Day 4 from Melbourne

The 2017 Australian Open continues on Thursday with Caroline Wozniacki and Serena Williams scheduled for Rod Laver Arena.

Melbourne Park recently updated the order of play for its main showcourt at the 2017 Australian Open. The 2nd round is scheduled for completion on Day 4 and Rod Laver Arena, as it so often does, will feature a couple of the key players in the women’s draw. Caroline Wozniacki will face Donna Vekic in a 2nd round match (early session) while Serena Williams will open the evening session against Lucie Safarova.

Vekic is not likely to challenge the Dane at this stage in the two players’ careers. The 20 year old, possibly best known for being Stan Wawrinka’s girlfriend, is still a work in progress when it comes to making a name for herself in a big tennis tournament. She would take a big step toward doing that if she should knock Wozniacki out, the Dane currently one of the favorites at his year’s Australian Open.

However, Wozniacki, a former semifinalist from Melbourne Park, certainly brings a lot more experience to the table in Grand Slams. While Vekic is into the 2nd round of a majorย for the 5th time in her career, Wozniacki has rarely missed a chance to make the third round when it has been presented. She’ll be looking for her 9th appearance in Melbourne Park’s round of 32 with a win over Vekic.

In regard to Serena Williams’ opponent, Lucie Safarova has certainly made her share of third-round matches inย Grand Slams as well. The soon-to-be 30 year old might set herself up for a deep run in Melbourne this year if she can get passed Serena on Thursday. The two players last met in the 2015 French Open final, a match that Williams won. Including that result, the American is a crushing 9-0 against Safarova. While the Czech player certainly has won her fair share of 2nd round matches in majors, whenever she has bumped into Serena Williams on tour it has been a stop sign in the draw for her. Reversing the trend will likely prove difficult with Serena looking strong to at least make a push to the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park at this point.

Other key players that will see action on the main show courts on Thursday in the women’s draw include Johanna Konta, Karolina Pliskova, Agnieszka Radwanska, and Dominika Cibulkova.

Shane Lambert