Eugenie Bouchard, Caroline Wozniacki alive in WTA Sydney draw

Angelique Kerber crashed out of the Sydney draw on Tuesday, but both Eugenie Bouchard and Caroline Wozniacki loom large in the tournament.

Angelique Kerber is now 0-6 for tournament titles as the World’s No. 1 player following results from WTA Sydney 2017 on Tuesday. Kerber faced Daria Kasatkina in the 2nd round of the draw, a result that went the Russian’s way in a surprise upset. Kerber fell 7-6, 6-2 and will next focus on her Australian Open defense beginning next week. However, the German has not started the year off strong as she underachieved in Brisbane last week before losing in Sydney.

Her poor form to start the season may yet see her drift in the Aussie antepost although at present she’s still the 2nd favorite for the title at Melbourne Park. It’s definitely worth noting that Kerber had a better start to the season before the Aussie in 2016. Last year she went 5-2 ahead of her Australian Open title while this year she enters Melbourne Park with a 1-2 record. Her confidence can’t be that high heading into the tournament, one that starts on January 16th.

The day of results on Tuesday also saw Dominika Cibulkova, the three seed in the event, crash and burn. The WTA Finals champion fell 6-4, 6-3 to what could be a resurging Eugenie Bouchard. The Canadian has a reasonable look at making the final with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Kasatkina, and Johanna Konta sharing a path. That’s an open part of the draw with each player having to feel ambitious about a shot at the Sydney title.

On the bottom half of the draw, both Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska remain alive. Wozniacki will be looking to make amends in the quarters following a meltdown a week ago in that round in Auckland. Her fans will remember her loss to Julia Goerges from that tournament, a result that came after the Dane held a set and two-break lead. Wozniacki has a tough opponent next up in Barbora Strycova with a Radwanska showdown possibly looming in the next round. Her and Wozniacki are the favorites to make the final on the bottom half of the draw, with the survivor the likely favorite for the whole tournament.

Shane Lambert