In a repeat of this year’s Indian Wells match, World No. 1 Naomi Osaka will face Belinda Bencic in the quarterfinal of the 2019 Madrid Open on Thursday. The match will take place on May 9 after 2:00 pm local time (1:00 pm BST). Get Naomi Osaka v Belinda Bencic live streaming options here.
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Naomi Osaka v Belinda Bencic Head to Head
The head to head record between the two players is currently tied at 1-1. They last met in Indian Wells this year, where Bencic stunned the top seed with 6-3, 6-1.
Bencic With a Commanding Run
Bencic’s performance in Madrid has been quite impressive over the course of the week. It is certainly something, given that she is playing in the tournament for the first time since 2015.
Her path to the quarterfinal started with a straight-set win over Alison Van Uytvanck. In the second round, she battled past the Russian wildcard Svetlana Kuznetsova with 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-3. Following that massive win, she met Kateryna Kozlova and sailed to a clinical win with 6-0, 6-2.
This is the second time that the Swiss has had a run like this on clay this season. She played in a Charleston a few weeks back, where she lost to Petra Martic in the quarterfinal. Between then and now, World No. 18 also featured in Lugano and Stuttgart but lost in the early rounds.
The year has marked a massive resurgence for Bencic, given that she started it outside the top 50. She won the WTA Dubai and followed it with a run to the semifinal in Indian Wells.
Osaka Continues to March On
Naomi Osaka has had a pretty good week in Madrid, just like her Swiss adversary. Following her three-set win over Sara Sorribes Tormo, she got back to her efficient ways with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Aliaksandra Sasnovich. This is also the first time in her career that she has made it to the quarterfinal here.
In the post-match conference, Osaka mentioned that she is having fun playing tennis again – something that should be an integral part of a player’s personality. With that kind of spirit, she can very well reach the latter rounds.
Osaka’s form took a hit after she won the Australian Open but she found her rhythm in Stuttgart once again, when she reached the semifinal. She retired against Anett Kontaveit with an abdominal injury but now, it appears that she is back to her former self again.
Osaka v Bencic Predictions & Tips
This is a must-win match for Osaka if she wants to retain her No. 1 crown; otherwise, she stands to lose it to Simona Halep. Being a two-time Grand Slam winner, Osaka has all the necessary experience and drive to upset Bencic here. However, the Swiss herself is in a good form, having defeated the top seed once already this season.
This is going to be an entertaining affair that can very well go either way.
Tip: Over 21.5 games in the match: 10/11 (888Sport)