As Kenin looks to build up momentum to mount a title defence in Melbourne in February, she leads a strong field to start off the season. Her first bump in the road might be when she faces the No. 4 seed Aryna Sabalenka, who seems to have the measure of her game, as does Elina Svitolina, should they both read the final.
Svitolina continues to search for that elusive first slam, and on the restart last year picked up from where she left off having won in Monterrey with the Strasbourg title but perhaps disappointingly only a run to the quarter-final of Roland Garros, having opted to miss the US swing.
She ought to eye up a decent run here to start the season.
Pliskova also looks set for a solid run with good head-to head records against potential opponents. Apart from a run to the Rome final the restart was not great for the top-ranked Czech so new year, new start.
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