Australian Open ?? R4 Prediction
?? (1) Simona Halep vs ?? Naomi Osaka
This is a major danger match for Simona Halep. The world number 1 laboured through a dramatic match against Davis In the third round which lasted almost 4 hours. Halep is not playing her best tennis at Melbourne Park and is not at her best physically after rolling her ankle in her opening round win over Aiava. Conversely, Osaka has rolled through her opening 3 matches in Melbourne and has the type of dynamic, powerful game that can trouble the Romanian.
I’m going to stick with Halep here. Osaka clearly poses a real threat to Halep, Osaka’s powerful game can penetrate the defense of Halep. Nevertheless, I think Halep’s experience at this level and improved mental strength will see her come through another tight match against Osaka. In a sense, Halep now has little to lose having saved match points in her third round win, those are the types of wins that often lead to deep runs at an event. I still question Osaka’s ability under extreme pressure, on the big stage against one of best defensive players on tour, I think she will fall just short.