Australian Open, Final Preview
🇯🇵 (4) Naomi Osaka vs. 🇨🇿 (7) Petra Kvitova
Saturday’s championship match at Melbourne Park promises to be an epic as Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova go head-to-head for the very first time. Not only will the winner walk away with another Grand Slam title, they will also move to number 1 in the world rankings for the first time. Osaka and Kvitova are both in outstanding form, both know what it takes to win a Grand Slam, this is a very tough match to pick a winner!
Naomi Osaka continues to show maturity well beyond her years. The 21-year-old has made gigantic improvements in the last 12 months and is now just 1 win away from winning back-to-back Grand Slam titles. The reigning US Open champion has certainly not suffered a let-down like most others have in her position after winning their first Grand Slam title, the signs are that she will be at the top of women’s tennis for some time.
Osaka’s route to the final in Melbourne has been a tough one. Osaka has impressively navigated her way through several tough matches. The Japanese star was untroubled in her first few matches against Magda Linette and Tamara Zidansek where she won in straight sets. Osaka then battled past Su-Wei Hsieh and Anastasija Sevastova from a set down before beating Elina Svitolina in straight sets. Osaka secured her spot in Saturday’s final with a hard-fought 6-2 4-6 6-4 win over Karolina Pliskova. Osaka was seemingly cruising to a straight set win when she led Pliskova by a set and a break but valiantly fended off a Pliskova comeback, saving early break points in third on route to a tough victory.
Petra Kvitova is in devastating form. Kvitova has bullied her way through the draw at Melbourne Park without dropping a set. Kvitova enters Saturday’s final on an 11-match winning streak having arrived in Melbourne fresh from winning the Sydney International title. Kvitova is also on an 8-match winning streak in finals and has an incredible 26-7 W/L record in finals.
Kvitova stormed through the first week with wins over Magdalena Rybarikova, Irina-Camelia Begu and Belinda Bencic. Kvitova upped her level in the next couple of matches in crushing victories over Amanda Anisimova and Ashleigh Barty. The 2-time former Wimbledon champion secured her spot in the final with a 7-6 6-0 victory over Danielle Collins. Kvitova played a messy opening set against Collins but raised her level in the second as she cruised to victory to reach her first Australian Open final.
Expect fireworks in this match-up, the first time the pair have gone head-to-head.
Who will prevail and capture the first Grand Slam title of 2019?