🇫🇷 Roland Garros, R3 Preview 🇷🇺 (14) Daria Kasatkina vs. 🇬🇷 Maria Sakkari
A Fascinating third round clash on Friday in Paris sees the 14th seeded Daria Kasatkina take on Maria Sakkari. This will be as close as it gets to playing against a clone for these two, Kasatkina and Sakkari have very similar playing styles, similar strengths and similar weaknesses. Both have moved into the third round without dropping a set and both are aiming to reach the second week in Paris for the first time, who will prevail?
The expectations are high for Kasatkina heading into this year’s tournament. Kasatkina has had some great results in 2018, most notably a run to the final at Indian Wells and more recently a quarter-final appearance in Madrid. Kasatkina has the perfect game to thrive on clay and she is now into the third round in Paris for the third straight year courtesy of straight set wins over Kaia Kanepi and Kristen Flipkens. If Kasatkina wins this she is likely to face Wozniacki next, an opponent she has beaten on the last few occasions, so there is a big opportunity for Kasatkina to reach new heights.
Maria Sakkari is into the third round in Paris for the first time, Sakkari has now reached the third round at every Grand Slam on 1 occasion. Sakkari arrived in Paris with confidence after claiming two huge wins over Kiki Bertens and Karolina Pliskova in Rome. Sakkari has produced two typically gutsy performances to start her Roland Garros campaign, a 7-6 6-2 win over Mandy Minella followed by a noteworthy 7-5 6-3 win over the 23rd seeded Carla Suarez Navarro.
Interestingly the pair have met at the tour level on just 1 previous occasion. It was Kasatkina who won that match, a 6-1 7-5 win on clay in Bucharest back in 2015, both have improved significantly since then.
To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here
BNP Paribas Open, 🇺🇸🌴 Indian Wells R4 Preview 🇯🇵 Naomi Osaka vs 🇬🇷 Maria Sakkari
Naomi Osaka and Maria Sakkari will go head-to-head for the first time when they meet at the fourth round stage of the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday. Osaka and Sakkari are two young players on the rise, both will see this as a huge opportunity to reach the quarter-final stage of a premier mandatory event for the first time. Osaka and Sakkari have both beaten big names on route to the final 16, expect a quality encounter.
Naomi Osaka started the event with a big upset as she defeated 2-time former champion Maria Sharapova in the opening round, a fairly comfortable 6-4 6-4 victory. Osaka backed up her big win over Sharapova impressively well, claiming a dominant 6-3 6-2 win over former finalist Agnieszka Radwanska. Osaka confirmed her spot in the fourth round when she defeated America’s Sachia Vickery 6-3 6-3. Osaka has shown great consistency this week, something we have rarely seen from the talented 20-year-old, certainly something she has shown more of in 2018.
Maria Sakkari has also moved into the fourth round in Indian Wells without dropping a set. Sakkari started the week with a 6-4 6-2 win over Donna Vekic before causing two big upsets in a row. A 6-4 6-2 win over Ashleigh Barty and a 6-2 6-4 win over CoCo Vandeweghe. Sakkari’s win over Vandeweghe was particularly impressive, Sakkari was very consistent and diligent as she successfully exposed the weak backhand side of Vandeweghe to claim a fairly comfortable victory.
It will be interesting to see how this match-up pans out, a match-up we should see a lot more of in the future as these two continue to rise up the rankings.
To view my Analysis / Prediction for this match: Click here