MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Women to watch at the Australian Open, where play begins Monday:

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ASH BARTY

Seeded: 1

Country: Australia

Age: 23

2019 Match Record: 57-13

2019 Singles Titles: 4

Career Singles Titles: 7

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 1 — 1 at French Open (2019)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2019-Lost in Quarterfinals, 2018-3rd, 2017-3rd, 2016-Did Not Play, 2015-DNP

Australian Open Career Record: 8-6

Aces: Won 79.7% of service games in 2019; among women playing more than 10 matches, only Serena Williams (80.1%) was better. … Led WTA in match wins last season.

Topspin: With her talent and even-keeled demeanor, no reason the locals shouldn’t think they could get their first Australian champion since Chris O’Neil in 1978.

Matchup to Watch For: Alison Riske in the 4th Round

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KAROLINA PLISKOVA

Seeded: 2

Country: Czech Republic

Age: 27

2019 Match Record: 52-17

2019 Singles Titles: 4

Career Singles Titles: 16

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 0 — Best: Runner-Up, U.S. Open (2016)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2019-SF, 2018-QF, 2017-QF, 2016-3rd, 2015-3rd

Australian Open Career Record: 18-7

Aces: Has won 10 of her past 12 finals. … Led tour with 488 aces last season.

Topspin: Might be the best active player yet to win a Grand Slam title and certainly has the skill to change that gap on her resume in Australia.

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Matchup to Watch For: CoCo Vandeweghe in the 2nd Round

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NAOMI OSAKA

Ranked: 3

Country: Japan

Age: 22

2019 Match Record: 40-11

2019 Singles Titles: 3

Career Singles Titles: 5

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 2 — 1 at Australian Open (2019), 1 at U.S. Open (2018)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2019-Won Championship, 2018-4th, 2017-2nd, 2016-3rd, 2015-DNP

Australian Open Career Record: 13-3

Aces: Entered 2020 with career-best 15 ace total; hit 16 in one match, 18 in another at Brisbane this month. … Now working with coach Wim Fisette.

Topspin: Makes her second title defense at a major; after fourth-round exit at U.S. Open in September, says, “I’m more prepared this time.”

Matchup to Watch For: Coco Gauff in the 3rd Round

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SIMONA HALEP

Seeded: 4

Country: Romania

Age: 28

2019 Match Record: 43-17

2019 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 19

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 2 — 1 at French Open (2018), 1 at Wimbledon (2019)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2019-4th, 2018-RU, 2017-1st, 2016-1st, 2015-QF

Australian Open Career Record: 19-9

Aces: Among women playing more than 20 matches in 2019, ranked second on tour by winning 44% of return games. … Reunited with coach Darren Cahill.

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Topspin: Impossible to predict what Halep will do on hard courts or in Melbourne, where she has four 1st-round losses and three quarterfinal-or-better runs in the last eight years.

Matchup to Watch For: Jennifer Brady in the 1st Round, Danielle Collins in the 3rd Round

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PETRA KVITOVA

Seeded: 7

Country: Czech Republic

Age: 29

2019 Match Record: 37-16

2019 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 27

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 2 — 2 at Wimbledon (2011, 2014)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2019-RU, 2018-1st, 2017-DNP, 2016-2nd, 2015-3rd

Australian Open Career Record: 20-10

Aces: Only time past the quarterfinals at any major tournament since 2014 was last year’s run to the final in Melbourne.

Topspin: Her flat power worked so well a year ago; if the courts are quick, look out for the lefty.

Matchup to Watch For: Madison Keys in the 4th Round

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SERENA WILLIAMS

Seeded: 8

Country: United States

Age: 38

2019 Match Record: 25-6

2019 Singles Titles: 0

Career Singles Titles: 73

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 23 — 7 at Australian Open (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2017), 3 at French Open (2002, 2013, 2015), 7 at Wimbledon (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016), 6 at U.S. Open (1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014)

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Last 5 Australian Opens: 2019-QF, 2018-DNP, 2017-W, 2016-RU, 2015-W

Australian Open Career Record: 85-11

Aces: Hadn’t won a title of any sort in three years until this month in Auckland. Before that, it was her 2017 Australian Open trophy, giving her 23 at the majors.

Topspin: After taking time off to have a baby, and dealing with a health scare following childbirth, Williams reached two major finals in 2018, then another two in 2019, going 0-4 in the title matches. In Australia a year ago, was a point from reaching the semifinals when an ankle injury derailed her.

Matchup to Watch For: Naomi Osaka in the Quarterfinals

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MADISON KEYS

Seeded: 10

Country: United States

Age: 24

2019 Match Record: 28-15

2019 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 5

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 0 — Best, Runner-Up, U.S. Open (2017)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2019-4th, 2018-QF, 2017-DNP, 2016-4th, 2015-SF

Australian Open Career Record: 18-7

Aces: Won 4 of past 7 matchups against top-5 opponents. … Run to final at Brisbane shows again she can compete with the best on hard courts.

Topspin: Made first Grand Slam semifinal of her career in Australia and if her big serve and forehand are clicking, could be back to that level.

Matchup to Watch For: Daria Kasatkina in the 1st Round

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CAROLINE WOZNIACKI

Unseeded; Ranked: 35

Country: Denmark

Age: 29

2019 Match Record: 20-15

2019 Singles Titles: 0

Career Singles Titles: 30

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 1 — 1 at Australian Open (2018)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2019-3rd, 2018-W, 2017-3rd, 2016-1st, 2015-2nd

Australian Open Career Record: 34-11

Aces: Playing last tournament of her career. … Last season was her first without a tour title since 2007.

Topspin: She gets a chance to say goodbye to tennis — and the fans get a chance to say goodbye to her.

Matchup to Watch For: Kristie Ahn in the 1st Round

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