Naomi Osaka vs. Anett Kontaveit, US Open R4 Preview

2020 US OPEN – R4 preview + prediction: ??
?? (4) Naomi Osaka vs. ?? (14) Anett Kontaveit

Naomi Osaka continues her quest for a third major title on Sunday with a tricky fourth round match-up with the 14th seeded Anett Kontaveit. This will be a rematch of the Western & Southern Open quarter-final match-up from a few week ago where Osaka just edged past the Estonian in a tight 3 set contest. Can an in-form Kontaveit flip the script at Flushing Meadows?

Naomi Osaka is through to the second week at the US Open for the third consecutive year. The 2018 US Open champion has come through a couple of tough battles on route to the fourth round. The 4th seed laboured through her opening round clash where she defeated Misaki Doi 6/2 5/7 6/2. Osaka produced a far more clinical performance in the second round where she defeated Camila Giorgi 6/1 6/2. The former world number 1 was again forced to dig deep in the third round where she outlasted Marta Kostyuk 6/3 6/7 6/2. A tough opening week for Osaka.

Anett Kontaveit also overcame an opening round scare at Flushing Meadows. Kontaveit rallied to defeat Danielle Collins 5/7 6/2 6/2 in the opening round before cruising past Kaja Juvan 6/4 6/1. The 14th seed secured her spot in the fourth round at the US Open for the first time since 2015 with an easy 6/3 6/2 win over Magda Linette. Kontaveit broke new grounds at the Australian Open earlier this year when she reached her first major quarter-final and will be looking to go even further in New York.

Naomi Osaka has won all 4 of the previous meetings between the pair. Kontaveit was close to beating Osaka in their most recent match, Osaka won from a set and a break down, a 4/6 6/2 7/5 win at the Western & Southern Open a few weeks ago.

I’m going to side with Osaka here. The 4-0 head-to-head record for Osaka says a lot, granted their match a few weeks ago was a close one, but it also showed that Osaka can overcome Kontaveit without playing her best on this surface. Expect Osaka to raise her level for this clash, it is Osaka who has proven that she raises her level at this stage of major events, whilst Kontaveit tends to go back into her shell, especially under pressure. Osaka has the greater power and consistency and should get the job done here.

Prediction: Naomi Osaka to defeat Anett Kontaveit in 2 sets
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Anett Kontaveit vs. Danielle Collins, US Open R1 Preview

2020 US OPEN – R1 preview + prediction: ??
?? (14) Anett Kontaveit vs. ?? Danielle Collins

An in-form Anett Kontaveit begins her 2020 US Open campaign with a first round clash against America’s Danielle Collins. Kontaveit has been one of the most consistent performers since the tour restart and will be keen to keep building on that positive form at Flushing Meadows. The feisty Collins will have other ideas.

Kontaveit has won 7 matches over her first few events back. The Estonian reached the final on clay in Palermo before transitioning nicely to the hard courts of New York where she reached the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open. Kontaveit could have gone further as she pushed Naomi Osaka all the way in a tight 3 set match that she could have easily won. Kontaveit reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open earlier this year in what was her best ever result at a Grand Slam, another strong run at a Grand Slam looks to be on the cards for the 24-year-old.

Danielle Collins enters this opening round match with contrasting form to her opponent. Collins hasn’t won a match since the tour restart, the American suffered a frustrating straight set victory in the opening round of the Western & Southern Open, beaten by Jill Teichmann. Collins was involved in several exhibition events while the tour was postponed, the majority of those matches ended in a loss for former Australian Open semi-finalist.

This will be the first career meeting between the pair.

All signs point to a Kontaveit victory here. Kontaveit is in far better form and will be confident she can get the job done here. Kontaveit has been playing at a high level for the majority of the season, the 26-year-old is developing well under the guidance of coach Nigel Sears. Collins is a dangerous opponent when she is on a roll, but that is certainly not the case here, Collins is lacking in confidence as she hasn’t won an official tour match since January. Kontaveit’s more clinical game should get the job done fairly comfortably.

Prediction: Anett Kontaveit to defeat Danielle Collins in 2 sets
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Naomi Osaka vs. Anett Kontaveit, CincyTennis QF Preview

?? Western & Southern Open – QF Preview + Prediction:
?? (4) Naomi Osaka vs. ?? (12) Anett Kontaveit

Naomi Osaka continues her Western & Southern Open campaign on Wednesday with a quarter-final clash against the 12th seeded Anett Kontaveit at Flushing Meadows. Osaka has won all 3 of the previous meetings between the pair and is showing the form to suggest she can maintain her unbeaten record over the Estonian.

Kontaveit has transitioned nicely from the European clay to the hard courts in New York. Kontaveit was involved in the first tournament of the tour resumption on clay in Palermo a few weeks ago where she made it all the way to the final. The 24-year-old has quickly found her rhythm on the hard courts with 3 commanding straight set wins this week. A 6-3 6-1 win over Daria Kasatkina in the first round, followed by a 6-3 6-4 win over the in-form Jill Teichmann. Kontaveit secured her spot in the final 8 with a 6-3 6-3 win over Marie Bouzkova.

Osaka made a somewhat rusty start in her first tournament since the tour resumption. The 4th seed slowly found her game as she defeated Karolina Muchova 6-7 6-4 6-2 in the second round after receiving a bye through the first round. Osaka produced a far, far more commanding performance in the third round where she smashed the 16th seeded Dayana Yastremska 6-3 6-1 in what was a statement victory at the venue where Osaka won her first major title.

Osaka holds a perfect 3-0 head-to-head record over Kontaveit. The 2-time major champion has won their two most recent matches in straight sets, including a 6-2 7-6 victory in Dubai in 2018 in their latest clash.

I’m going to side with Osaka here. The quick hard courts at Flushing Meadows suit the Osaka game perfectly. Osaka played a great match against Yastremska in the previous match, a similar performance here will see her win fairly comfortably against an opponent she has a great record against. Kontaveit is also playing well but this is a step up for her. Osaka is more powerful and generally more consistent, a bad match-up for Kontaveit.

Prediction: Naomi Osaka to defeat Anett Kontaveit in 2 sets

Anett Kontaveit vs. Fiona Ferro, Palermo Final Preview

??☀️ Palermo Ladies Open – Final Preview + Prediction
?? (4) Anett Kontaveit vs. ?? Fiona Ferro

The first WTA title since the tour shutdown will be up for grabs in Palermo on Sunday as the fourth seeded Anett Kontaveit comes up against France’s Fiona Ferro. Kontaveit and Ferro will both be playing for their second WTA career title, a big moment for both. Who will prevail?

Anett Kontaveit of Estonia in action during the quarter-finals at the 2020 Palermo Ladies Open WTA International tennis tournament

It has been a great week for Anett Kontaveit. The Estonian started the event with a comfortable straight set win over Patricia Maria Tig before requiring 3 sets to get the better of Laura Siegemund and Elisabetta Cocciaretto. Kontaveit secured her spot in the championship match with a 6/2 6/4 win over the top seeded Petra Martic, however it’s hard to read too much into this win given Martic played a terrible match and was seemingly injured.

Fiona Ferro is in outstanding form. Ferro arrived in Palermo having won 10 consecutive matches at exhibition events in France. The 23-year-old cruised through her first 3 matches in Palermo with straight set wins over Nadia Podoroska, Ekaterina Alexandrova and Sara Errani. Ferro booked her place in the final with a hard-fought 2/6 6/2 7/5 win over Camila Giorgi, a gutsy win given she was thoroughly outplayed in the first set.

Fiona Ferro of France in action during her quarter-final match at the 2020 Palermo Ladies Open WTA International tennis tournament

The only previous match between the pair took place in Poitiers in 2016, a 7/5 6/7 6/2 victory for Kontaveit.

I’m going to side with Ferro. It is Ferro who has been the more consistent of the two this week and who looks to be in better shape heading into the final. Kontaveit had her left thigh heavily strapped in her semi-final match and looked quite shaky trying to close out the match against an injured opponent. Ferro has a far superior recent record on clay and is generally better suited to the surface. It is Ferro who has the more reliable point construction and better overall form.

Prediction: Fiona Ferro to defeat Anett Kontaveit in 2 sets

Petra Martic vs. Anett Kontaveit, Palermo SF Preview

??☀️ Palermo Ladies Open – SF Preview + Prediction
?? (1) Petra Martic vs. ?? (4) Anett Kontaveit

The first of the semi-finals at the Palermo Ladies open sees the top seeded Petra Martic come up against the fourth seeded Anett Kontaveit. Martic and Kontaveit are the two remaining seeded players heading into the final 4 and will both fancy their chances to go on and win the title if they can get through this clash.

Petra Martic of Croatia in action during the quarter-final at the 2020 Palermo Ladies Open WTA International tennis tournament

Martic started her Palermo campaign with a comprehensive 6/0 6/3 win over Alison Van Uytvanck before fighting from behind to outlast an in-form Ludmilla Samsonova 5/7 6/4 6/2. The Croatian booked her spot in the semi-finals with a hard-fought 7/6 7/6 triumph against Aliaksandra Sasnovich, two wins in a row for Martic against confident players that came through the qualifying draw in Palermo.

Kontaveit has followed a similar pathway to Martic into the semi-finals in Palermo. The Estonian cruised through her opening round match against Patricia Maria Tig 6/3 6/3 before battling from a set down to defeat Laura Siegemund 3/6 6/2 6/2. The fourth seed cemented her spot in the semi-finals with a topsy-turvy 6/1 4/6 6/1 win over local wild card Elisabetta Cocciaretto. Kontaveit’s best has looked good this week but she has been typically inconsistent.

Anett Kontaveit of Estonia in action during the quarter-finals at the 2020 Palermo Ladies Open WTA International tennis tournament

Martic emerged victorious in the only previous meeting between the pair, a 7/6 6/1 victory on the hard courts of Dubai earlier this year.

I’m going to side with Martic here to make it 2 from 2 against Kontaveit in 2020. Martic was too solid for Kontaveit on a hard court earlier this year and should be further advantaged on the clay in Palermo. Martic has generally been the more impressive of the two this week and has a much better recent record on clay. The versatility and reliability of Martic should get the job done against an erratic opponent.

Prediction: Petra Martic to defeat Anett Kontaveit in 2 sets

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Anett Kontaveit vs. Maria Patricia Tig, Palermo R1 Preview

??☀️ Palermo Ladies Open – R1 Preview + Prediction
?? (4) Anett Kontaveit vs. ?? Maria Patricia Tig

The 4th seeded Anett Kontaveit restarts her 2020 season with an opening round clash against Romania’s Maria Patricia Tig at the Palermo Ladies Open on Tuesday.

Anett Kontaveit of Estonia during practice ahead of the 2020 Palermo Ladies Open WTA International tennis tournament

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. Both prior meetings between the pair took place in 2015. Kontaveit won 3/6 6/0 6/1 on a hard court in Vancouver, Tig won 6/3 6/3 on an indoor hard court in St. Petersburg.

Kontaveit and Tig both enter this tournament off limited preparation. Tig didn’t take place in any exhibition events during the tour shutdown while Kontaveit did play a one-off match against Jelena Ostapenko last week which she won in 3 sets.

I believe this match will be closer than the odds suggest. Kontaveit is a very big favorite and on paper the Estonian looks the logical winner. However, Tig is a tough player on a clay court and on her day, she has what it takes to make this very close. I’ll give the benefit of the doubt to Kontaveit who is generally a class above the Romanian.

Prediction: Anett Kontaveit to defeat Maria Patricia Tig in 3 sets

Simona Halep vs. Anett Kontaveit, Australian Open QF Preview

?? Australian Open, QF preview + prediction:
?? (4) Simona Halep vs. ?? (28) Anett Kontaveit

Simona Halep and Anett Kontaveit will renew hostilities with a place in the final 4 at Melbourne Park up for grabs. It is Halep who heads into this clash as a strong favourite, the Romanian has dominated in this match-up in the past and is in ominous form having reached the quarter-final stage without dropping a set. Kontaveit is faced with a massive task playing in her first Grand Slam quarter-final.

Halep made a slow start to the season but is seemingly peaking at the right time. The fourth seed battled through her first couple of matches in Melbourne, starting with a 7/6 6/1 win over Jennifer Brady before beating Harriet Dart 6/2 6/4. The Romanian certainly raised her level in third and fourth rounds where she smashed Yulia Putintseva 6/1 6/4 and blitzed Elise Mertens 6/4 6/4. The fairly slow hard courts at Melbourne Park this year are working in the favour of the rock-solid Halep.

Kontaveit has surprisingly had the best tournament of her career. The Estonian is through to the final 8 of a major for the first time thanks to some contrasting performances. Kontaveit breezed through the opening round with a 6/0 6/2 win over Astra Sharma before scrapping past Sara Sorribes Tormo 6/2 4/6 6/1. The 28th seed produced her best performance of the tournament thus far in third round where she claimed a commanding 6/0 6/1 win over the 6th seeded Belinda Bencic. Kontaveit battled from behind to clinch a spot in the final 8, fighting from a set and a break down to defeat Iga Swiatek 6/7 7/5 7/5.

Simona Halep holds a perfect 2-0 head-to-head record over Anett Kontaveit. Halep easily defeated Kontaveit on both occasions, both in 2017, a 6/3 6/0 victory in Miami followed by a 6/2 6/4 victory in Rome. It will take a special effort on Wednesday from Kontaveit to avoid a similarly one-sided result.

I have to side with Halep here. All signs point to a Halep victory. Firstly, this Is a good match-up for Halep. The Romanian easily won the only previous matches between the pair, the consistency and defensive skills of Halep are too much for Kontaveit to deal with. Secondly, the slow court favours Halep. Kontaveit doesn’t have the consistency or stamina to outlast Halep in rallies over and over again so the Estonian will need to play an aggressive game and hit through the Romanian to win, that is not going to happen on a slow hard court with Halep playing so well at the moment. Expect Halep to be too solid.

Prediction: Simona Halep to defeat Anett Kontaveit in 2 sets
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Anett Kontaveit vs. Iga Swiatek, Australian Open R4 Preview

?? Australian Open, R4 preview + prediction:
?? (28) Anett Kontaveit vs. ?? Iga Swiatek

Anett Kontaveit and Iga Swiatek will both be competing to reach a maiden Grand Slam quarter-final when they do battle in the round of 16 at Melbourne Park on Monday. Kontaveit will be making her fourth appearance at this stage of a major whilst Swiatek is making her second appearance in the fourth round of a major. This is a huge opportunity for both. 

Anett Kontaveit has been in surprisingly damaging form. The Estonian spent the later stages of 2019 away from the tour due to illness and injury but has quickly found her range in 2020. Kontaveit started her Australian Open campaign with a 6/0 6/2 win over Astra Sharma before claiming a less convincing 6/2 4/6 6/1 win over Sara Sorribes Tormo. It was at the third round stage where the 28th seed made her biggest move with a hugely impressive 6/0 6/1 demolition of the 6th seeded Belinda Bencic.

Iga Swiatek is a player on the rise, the 18-year-old is one of the brightest young prospects on tour and is already making an impact at the majors. Swiatek reached the round of 16 in Paris last year and has emulated that run in Melbourne. Swiatek didn’t drop a set during the first week, starting with a 6/3 6/2 win over Timea Babos before beating Carla Suarez Navarro 6/3 7/5. Swiatek also made her biggest move in the third round where she upset the 19th seeded Donna Vekic with a 7/5 6/3 win.

It was Kontaveit who emerged victorious in the only previous meeting between the pair, a 6/4 7/6 win in Cincinnati last year.

I’m going to give the slight edge to Kontaveit here. This is a very tough match-up to predict, a fairly even match-up. Both players have weapons to cause damage, the key differentiator is levels of experience. I’ll give Kontaveit the benefit of the doubt given her greater experience on the big stage and at the later stages of big events. Kontaveit has been at this stage before in Melbourne and has played in some big matches elsewhere, certainly more so than her vastly less experienced opponent, that could be the difference in an otherwise tight match-up.

Prediction: Anett Kontaveit to defeat Iga Swiatek in 3 sets
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Anett Kontaveit vs. Karolina Muchova, Roland Garros R1 Preview

???? Roland Garros, R1 Preview
?? (17) Anett Kontaveit vs. ?? Karolina Muchova

One of the more intriguing opening round match-ups at Roland Garros sees the 17th seeded Anett Kontaveit take on the in form Karolina Muchova. Kontaveit and Muchova both showed what they are capable of on the clay prior to arriving in Paris. Kontaveit made the final in Stuttgart whilst Muchova made the final in Prague, this is a tough opening round match-up for both.

Anett Kontaveit of Estonia during practice at the 2019 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Kontaveit enters Roland Garros as the 17th seed, the highest she has been seeded at a Grand Slam, with that comes greater expectations. Kontaveit has slowly but consistently moved up the rankings over the last few years but is yet to have a huge breakthrough at a major, a couple of fourth round showings being her best result thus far at the Grand Slam level, including Paris last year. Kontaveit’s form since making the final in Stuttgart has been poor and she arrives in Paris on the back of a disappointing straight set loss to Maria Sakkari In the second round in Rome.

Karolina Muchova played just the one tournament on clay before Roland Garros, Muchova produced her greatest result on a the main tour as she reached her first WTA level final in Prague. Unfortunately for Muchova she did lose in the final to Jill Teichmann in 3 sets, a match she would have expected to win. Muchova has not played since the Prague final, so it will be interesting to see what level she can produce in her first match in about a month.

This will be the first carer meeting between Kontaveit and Muchova, two players who have steadily risen up the rankings in recent times, who will prevail?

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here
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Ashleigh Barty vs. Anett Kontaveit, Miami SF Preview

??? Miami Open, SF #1 Preview
?? (12) Ashleigh Barty vs. ?? (21) Anett Kontaveit

Ashleigh Barty and Anett Kontaveit will both be playing to reach the biggest final of their careers when they do battle at the semi-final stage of the 2019 Miami Open. Barty and Kontaveit both came through tough quarter-final matches and are seemingly both in great shape heading into this match, expect a close one between two players on the rise.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia in action during her quarter-final match at the 2019 Miami Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

The knock on Ash Barty heading into 2019 was that she didn’t play her best tennis on the biggest stages, that is starting to change for Barty and she is now within touching distance of the biggest title of her career in Miami. Barty cruised through her first couple of matches in Miami with straight set wins over Dayana Yastremska and Sam Stosur. Things got much tougher for Barty in her last couple of matches as she fought past Kiki Bertens and Petra Kvitova in 3 sets. Barty’s 7-6 3-6 6-2 win over Kvitova to book her place in the final 4 was particularly impressive, her first win over Kvitova in 5 attempts.

Anett Kontaveit is having her best tournament of the season thus far as she is through to her first semi-final of the year and the biggest of her career. Kontaveit started her Miami campaign with back-to-back 3 set wins, the Estonian defeated Amanda Anisimova 6-3 1-6 6-4 before battling past Ajla Tomljanovic 7-6 2-6 7-6. Kontaveit benefited from the retirement of Bianca Andreescu in the fourth round and went on to secure her spot in the final 4 with an impressive 3-6 6-2 7-5 win over Su-Wei Hsieh. Kontaveit was in real trouble against Hsieh when she trailed 0-4 in the deciding set but picked her game to storm to victory with 7 of the last 8 games.

The only previous match between the pair took place back in 2014 at the final qualifying round of Wimbledon, it was Kontaveit who won a tight one, 6-7 6-3 6-4. The pair have both improved dramatically since their last meeting, it will be interesting to see how the match-ups pans out this time around.

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