Naomi Osaka vs Anett Kontaveit: US Open Preview and Prediction
Fourth seed Naomi Osaka clashes against 14th seed Anett Kontaveit in the fourth round of the US Open.
Touted as one of the favourites for clinching the title, Osaka had a tough opener winning in three sets against compatriot, Misaki Doi.
Osaka has been outspoken against racial inequality but her commitment to social justice has not affected her game.
The Japanese delivered a ruthless performance conceding just three games in a second-round drubbing of Camila Giorgi.
In a titanic tussle against a teen, Marta Kostyuk, Osaka romped home in a tight three-set win.
On the other hand, Kontaveit started slowly losing the first set of her opening match before bouncing back to win in three sets against Danielle Collins. She delivered a masterclass performance against Kaja Juvan winning 6-4 6-1. She ousted 24th seed Magda Linette 6-3 6-2 in the third round.
Head to Head record
Osaka leads the head to head record 4-0 against Kontaveit. The pair met each other just a few days ago in the quarterfinals of the Cincinnati Open which Osaka won in three sets.
Having booked her place in the pre-quarterfinals for the second time, Kontaveit seems to enjoy playing on the American hard-courts. With a meek surrender at the hands of Belinda Bencic in the same stage last year, Osaka will look to shake off the blues.
Osaka's strength lies in her mental resolve and her strong return of serve. She often takes control of the rallies with her deep forehands. She also uses her two-handed backhand as an attacking weapon. Osaka can experiment more by advancing to the net to finish off points.
Kontaveit's weapons lie in her hard-hitting and ability to take risks. She is never afraid of the big players and always pushes her opponents to the limit. She cannot afford a slow start against Osaka.
Having won the US Open in 2018, the odds are in favour of Osaka to clinch it once again. She just needs to bring her A-game and relentlessly pull down her opponents.
Prediction - Naomi Osaka to win in three sets
Featured image credits: firstsportz.com