This will be their first meeting.
We see stronger hard court stats from Aiava in the last 12 months. She played well in Brisbane 2 weeks ago.
Barthel has shown some form in the first 2 weeks of the season too and has come through the qualifying rounds for Melbourne. She has reached the third round twice before but went out in the first round last year to Vania King.
Barthel will have to serve near her best to control this match. We didn’t see a great deal of consistency from her in 2016 and if things start to go against her her confidence could be fragile.
I think we have a good chance of 3 sets. Some value on Aiava at the start with Barthel starting around 1.37