???? WTA Finals – Shenzhen RR preview
?? (3) Naomi Osaka vs. ?? (6) Petra Kvitova
A blockbuster contest between Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova will kick-start the 2019 WTA Finals in Shenzhen. A rematch of this year’s epic Australian Open final, expect another exciting clash between two of the most dynamic players on tour. Kvitova will be keen for revenge after suffering a painful loss in the Australian Open final but Osaka is arguably the form player on tour and will be tough to stop.
Naomi Osaka arrives in Shenzhen on a 10-match winning streak. The Japanese star has reached at least the quarter-final stage in each of her last 5 tournaments and should be considered the favourite heading into the final tournament of the season. This will be Osaka’s second year in a row competing at the season ending championships. Osaka failed to win a single match at last year’s championships so she will be hoping for a much more successful campaign this time around.
Petra Kvitova returns to the WTA Finals for a seventh time, the 2011 champion is the only player who has played at each of the last 4 venues the tournament has been held at. Kvitova rebounded with some decent results during the Asian swing after a disappointing US Open series. Kvitova reached the semi-finals in Wuhan and the quarter-finals in Beijing.
The only previous match between the pair was in the Australian Open final earlier this year, Osaka claimed a dramatic 7-6 5-7 6-4 victory to capture her second major title.
I’m going to give the slight edge to Kvitova on this occasion. Experience and conditions favour the 2-time Wimbledon champion. Kvitova is the most experienced player in the draw and that will count for a lot in a tournament like this. Conversely, Osaka has never won a match at the WTA Finals. Kvitova has a fantastic career record at indoor events whilst the same isn’t true for Osaka. This is a big match for Kvitova, the Australian Open final defeat to Osaka this year was one of the toughest losses of her career and she will be eager for revenge, I think she gets it, Osaka is also due for a loss.