Serena Williams vs. Naomi Osaka, US OPEN Final Preview

🇺🇸🗽 US OPEN: Final Preview
🇺🇸 (17) Serena Williams vs. 🇯🇵 (20) Naomi Osaka

Serena Williams is now 1 win away from claiming a record breaking 24th Grand Slam title. Standing in the American’s way is Japan’s Naomi Osaka who will be competing in her very first Grand Slam final. This is a battle of the generations. An all-time great against a future star, an exciting match-up between a pair of explosive hitters. Will Serena claim a 7th US Open title? Or is this the moment Osaka shakes up the sport and becomes the first Japanese women to win a Grand Slam title?

Serena Williams of the United States in action during her third-round match at the 2018 US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Serena Williams enters Saturday’s final in supreme form. Williams cruised past Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 6-0, winning 12 of the last 13 games to book her spot in a 9th US Open final Williams has only dropped 1 set on route to the final and has generally looked very sharp throughout the event. Williams has come up against several powerful opponents this tournament, great preparation for taking on Osaka, granted Osaka is a class above Serena’s previous victims.

S. Williams route to the final:

R1 def. Magda Linette 6-4 6-0
R2 def. Carina Witthoeft 6-2 6-2
R3 def. Venus Williams 6-1 6-2
R4 def. Kaia Kanepi 6-0 4-6 6-3
QF def. Karolina Pliskova 6-4 6-3
SF def. Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 6-0

N. Osaka route to the final:

R1 def. Laura Siegemund 6-3 6-2
R2 def. Julia Glushko 6-2 6-0
R3 def. Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-0 6-0
R4 def. Aryna Sabalenka 6-3 2-6 6-4
QF def. Lesia Tsurenko 6-1 6-1
SF def. Madison Keys 6-2 6-4

Naomi Osaka of Japan in action during the fourth round at the 2018 US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Naomi Osaka has reminded the tennis world that her best is as good as it gets over the last few weeks at Flushing Meadows. Osaka produced her most impressive performance of the tournament at the semi-final stage as she fended off all 13 break points faced to claim a 6-2 6-4 win over Madison Keys. Osaka was incredibly clutch under pressure in her semi-final win and has generally stormed through her matches this event. Clearly, Serena will be Osaka’s greatest test, but there is reason for Osaka to be very confident heading into this match.

The only previous meeting between the pair ended in a commanding 6-3 6-2 win for Osaka earlier this year in the opening round at the Miami Open. Osaka entered that match on a high having just won the title at Indian Wells whilst Serena had only just returned to the tour after giving birth. The circumstances are very different heading into Saturday’s final.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Serena Williams vs. Anastasija Sevastova, US Open SF Preview

🇺🇸🗽 US OPEN: SF #1 Preview
🇺🇸 (17) Serena Williams vs. 🇱🇻 (19) Anastasija Sevastova

Thursday’s first semi-final sees a 6-time former US Open champion take on a first time Grand Slam semi-finalist. On paper, this is a big mismatch as Serena Williams and Anastasija Sevastova go head-to-head for the fist time. Williams is 2 wins away from creating more history as she seeks a record-breaking 24th Grand Slam title whilst Sevastova is playing to reach a maiden Grand Slam final. Sevastova will be no pushover, the Latvian is in career best form and has an awkward game that can trouble anyone, can Sevastova pull off a big upset?

Serena Williams of the United States in action during her quarter-final match at the 2018 US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Serena Williams has had her doubters over the last month, myself included. But, she is again set to prove everyone wrong as she looms as a strong favourite heading into the semi-final stage of the tournament at Flushing Meadows. Williams rolled through the first week with commanding straight set wins over Magda Linette (6-4 6-0), Carina Witthoeft (6-2 6-2) and Venus Williams (6-1 6-2). Serena dropped her only set of the tournament thus far in a topsy-turvy 6-0 4-6 6-3 win over Kaia Kanepi, Williams rebounded strongly with a 6-4 6-3 win over Karolina Pliskova to book her spot in the final 4. Serena looked particularly sharp in her win over Pliskova after a slow start.

After a pair of quarter-final appearances in New York over the last few seasons, Sevastova had gone one step further in 2018 to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final. Sevastova started her run to the final 4 with wins over Donna Vekic (6-2 2-6 6-3) and Claire Liu (6-3 6-1). The 19th seed enters the semi-final stage in great form having beaten 3 quality opponents in a row. Wins over Ekaterina Makarova (4-6 6-1 6-2), Elina Svitolina (6-3 1-6 6-0) and Sloane Stephens (6-2 6-3). Sevastova’s commanding win over the defending champion was particularly impressive, an even better performance will be required to get the better of Serena Williams.

This will be the first career meeting between Williams and Sevastova. This is a match-up that features a fascinating contrast in styles. Serena has the explosive power but Sevastova has the delicate touch. Serena has struggled in these types of match-ups in the past, on the big stage too, think loses to Alize Cornet at Wimbledon and Roberta Vinci at the US Open. Will history repeat itself?

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Naomi Osaka vs. Lesia Tsurenko, US OPEN QF Preview

🇺🇸🗽 US OPEN: QF Preview
🇯🇵 (20) Naomi Osaka vs. 🇺🇦 Lesia Tsurenko

A huge opportunity presents itself to Naomi Osaka and Lesia Tsurenko on Wednesday when they go head-to-head for a spot in the semi-finals at the US Open. These two are at very different stages of their careers but this will be the biggest moment for both. Osaka and Tsurenko will be making their first quarter-final appearance at a Grand Slam, who will step up and make the most of this rare chance?

Naomi Osaka of Japan in action during the fourth round at the 2018 US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Naomi Osaka stormed through the first week at Flushing Meadows. Osaka dropped a combined 7 games in commanding victories over Laura Siegemund, Julia Glushko and Aryna Sabalenka. Osaka faced her first big test in the fourth round where she won the battle of the young guns, a 6-3 2-6 6-4 win over a red-hot Aryna Sabalenka. It was an emotional win for Osaka, a huge occasion for the 20-year-old.

No one would have predicted that Lesia Tsurenko would reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final at this year’s US Open. Tsurenko also cruised through the first week of the event without dropping a set. The 29-year-old started her campaign with a win over Alison Van Uytvanck before claiming a huge 6-4 6-2 upset win over the 2nd seeded Caroline Wozniacki. Tsurenko eased past Katerina Siniakova 6-4 6-0 before securing her spot in the final 8 with a grueling 6-7 7-5 6-2 win over Marketa Vondrousova. Tsurenko has always been physically fragile, dealing with some type of injury every other week, there have been concerns this event but so far she has been able to battle through.

This will be the first meeting between the pair at the tour level. A match that features an interesting contrast in styles. The power of Osaka against the consistent game of Tsurenko. Osaka will look to overpower Tsurenko but the Ukrainian thrives on power and has experience on her side.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

CoCo Vandeweghe vs. Kirsten Flipkens, US Open R1 Preview

🇺🇸🗽 US OPEN: R1 Preview
🇺🇸 (24) CoCo Vandeweghe vs. 🇧🇪 Kirsten Flipkens

The 24th seeded CoCo Vandeweghe begins her 2018 US Open campaign on Tuesday with a tricky opening round clash against Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens. Vandeweghe has won both of the previous matches between the pair but enters this match in poor form and under a huge amount of pressure. Can Flipkens claim her first victory over the feisty American?

Coco Vandeweghe of the United States in action during her first-round match at the 2018 Western & Southern Open WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Vandeweghe enters the final Grand Slam of the year having not won a match in almost 3 months. Vandeweghe is on a 5-match losing streak, her most recent win was in 's-Hertogenbosch. Vandeweghe is defending semi-finalist points at this year’s US Open, an early round exit would see her ranking plummet. Vandeweghe was forced to retire in the third set of her opening round match against Magdalena Rybarikova last week in New Haven. Injury has been an ongoing issue for Vandeweghe over the last few months.

Kirsten Flipkens arrives in New York having also not had the greatest results of late. Flipkens competed in the qualifying draws in Montreal, Cincinnati and New Haven, successfully qualifying in just 1 of the 3. Most recently Flipkens was easily beating in the second round of qualifying in New Haven against Tamara Zidansek.

Vandeweghe holds a 2-0 head-to-head record over Flipkens. The most recent match between the pair was in Doha in 2016, Vandeweghe claimed a 7-5 6-2 victory.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Karolina Pliskova vs Shuai Zhang, U.S Open R3 Preview

US Open, 🇺🇸🍎🗽🚕 R3 Preview + Prediction
(1) 🇨🇿 Karolina Pliskova vs (27) 🇨🇳 Shuai Zhang

World number 1 Karolina Pliskova survived a scare in the second round at Flushing Meadows, Pliskova was forced to came from a set down to defeat Nicole Gibbs and set up a third round clash with China’s Shuai Zhang. Pliskova will be happy to see Shuai Zhang in the third round, Pliskova holds a perfect 4-0 head-to-head record over Zhang and easily accounted for Zhang 6-2 6-0 in their most recent match in Doha earlier this year. Pliskova will be hoping for an improved performance on Saturday and another straightforward win over Zhang as she continues her quest to claim a maiden Grand Slam title and go one step better than her runner-up appearance in New York last year. 

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Garbine Muguruza vs Magdalena Rybarikova, U.S Open R3 Preview

US Open, 🇺🇸🍎🗽🚕 R3 Preview + Prediction
(3) 🇪🇸 Garbine Muguruza vs (31) 🇸🇰 Magdalena Rybarikova

Garbine Muguruza continues her U.S Open campaign on Thursday afternoon with a potentially tricky third round clash against Magdalena Rybarikova. Muguruza has stormed through her first two matches at Flushing Meadows in straight sets and continues to be the form player on tour at the moment. Rybarikova also brings good form into this matches after a pair of straight set wins over tough opponents. Rybarikova has twice beaten Muguruza but their most recent match at the semi-final stage at Wimbledon earlier this year ended in a 6-1 6-1 demolition in the Spaniard’s favour.

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Ekaterina Makarova vs Carla Suarez Navarro, U.S Open R3 Preview

US Open, 🇺🇸🍎🗽🚕 R3 Preview + Prediction
🇷🇺 Ekaterina Makarova vs 🇪🇸 Carla Suarez Navarro

Ekaterina Makarova finally claimed her first career victory over Caroline Wozniacki to move into the third round in New York where she will face Carla Suarez Navarro. Makarova was seemingly on route to a straight set win over Wozniacki but was dragged into a third set where she regrouped to secure a 6-2 6-7 6-1 win. Makarova had a 0-7 head-to-head record heading into her match with Wozniacki and will need to overcome another very negative head-to-head record if she is progress any further in New York. Suarez Navarro holds a 6-2 head-to-head record over Makarova and easily accounted for the Russian earlier this year in Eastbourne. Makarova is in much better form heading into this match and despite the negative record, she does have the game to really trouble the Spaniard.

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Ashleigh Barty vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich, U.S Open R2 Preview

US Open, 🇺🇸🍎🗽🚕 R2 Preview + Prediction
🇦🇺 Ashleigh Barty vs 🇧🇾 Aliaksandra Sasnovich

Ashleigh Barty made an impressive start to her 2017 U.S Open campaign on Monday, Barty came from a set down to defeat the 21st seeded Ana Konjuh 4-6 6-0 6-1. Barty has been in great form over the last couple of months claiming wins over the likes of Garbine Muguruza and Venus Williams. Barty will be back in action at Flushing Meadows on Wednesday evening where she takes on Belarus’s Aliaksandra Sasnovich. This section of the draw is very open after the elimination of Johanna Konta in the first round, there is a good opportunity for Barty to go on a deep run in New York.

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Julia Goerges vs Saisai Zheng, U.S Open R2 Preview

US Open, 🇺🇸🍎🗽🚕 R2 Preview + Prediction
(30) 🇩🇪 Julia Goerges vs 🇨🇳 Saisai Zheng

The 30th seeded Julia Goerges entered the final Grand Slam of the year in good form, Goerges is the type of player that can be a threat to most players over the next fortnight if she can maintain a high level of play. Goerges cruised through her opening round match in New York, smashing compatriot Annika Beck 6-1 6-0. The German will come up against Saisai Zheng in the second round on Wednesday evening in what will be the first meeting between the pair. Zheng secured her spot in the second round with a 6-4 3-6 6-1 win over Alison Van Uytvanck. It will be interesting to see how this match-up unfolds given the huge contrast in styles between the two.

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Magdalena Rybarikova vs Kristyna Pliskova, U.S Open R2 Preview

US Open, 🇺🇸🍎🗽🚕 R2 Preview + Prediction
(31) 🇸🇰 Magdalena Rybarikova vs 🇨🇿 Kristyna Pliskova

The 31st seeded Magdalena Rybarikova will face a tough task in the second round at Flushing Meadows on Wednesday as she comes up against the big-serving Kristyna Pliskova. Rybarikova and Pliskova both cruised through their opening round matches on Monday. Rybarikova navigated her way past the always-dangerous Camila Giorgi 6-3 6-4 whilst Pliskova comfortably accounted for Misa Eguchi with a 6-2 6-2 win. This will be the first career meeting between Rybarikova and Pliskova, this should be entertaining match-up between two very contrasting types of competitors.

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