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.