WTA Toray Pan Pacific 2019 Predictions & Tips for September 20: Naomi Osaka v Yulia Putintseva & Angelique Kerber v Madison Keys

Naomi Osaka beats Jennifer Brady

Quarter-final action at the 2019 WTA Toray Pan Pacific will kick-start on Friday, September 20 with top seeded Naomi Osaka leading the way for them. Get all the information on the Naomi Osaka v Yulia Putintseva & Angelique Kerber v Madison Keys tips and predictions with some of the other previews below.

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Naomi Osaka v Yulia Putintseva Predictions & Preview

The world number four Naomi Osaka will look to put it across the 36th-ranked Yulia Putintseva but she would have a fair idea about the enormity of the task on hand. Three previous meetings, and all three have led to a win for Putintseva and two of them have come this year.

The good news for Osaka is that both those losses came on grass – Putintseva won at Birmingham in the second round and then at Wimbledon in the first round. And while Putintseva did win on hard court as well against Osaka, that victory had come early in 2018, way before Osaka’s rise to stardom.

In this competition, after a first round bye, Osaka was a 7-5, 6-3 winner over Viktoriya Tomova while Putintseva, who won a title on clay earlier this year, has won back to back straight-set matches against Katarzyna Kawa and Varvara Flink to set up this meeting. We could see a gruelling three-setter here.

Tip: Three sets in the match: 8/5 (Unibet)

Angelique Kerber v Madison Keys Predictions & Preview

These two have met a whopping 10 times and Angelique Kerber holds an 8-2 advantage over Madison Keys. However, the last of these matches came in Wuhan in 2018, long before Kerber lost her mojo and form. Such has been a case of horrible run of form that the former world number one was on a five-match losing streak coming into this tournament.

That she finally managed to win one – beating Nicole Gibbs in the second round following an opening bye – would have come as a huge relief for the German. However, an opponent like Keys is a different proposition altogether, and beating the world number 16 might not be as straightforward.

In fact, Keys, who has two titles under her belt already at Charleston and Cincinnati this year, might go into the match as a huge favourite. Kerber winning this could well be termed as an upset given her opposition and her own form.

Tip: Keys to win: 13/20 (Unibet)

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Elise Mertens v Camila Giorgi Preview

This will be the very first time that Elise Mertens and Camila Giorgi will be facing off at the highest level and it promises to be an exciting encounter. For one, Mertens, ranked 24th could hold a slight edge over the 54th-ranked Giorgi, but the Italian has shown some dazzling form in patches this season too.

There was a final at the Washington Open and another final at the New York Open, but what would bother her is the Toronto Open, Cincinnati Open and US Open saw her bow out in the first round. And now again in Osaka, Giorgi registered a crushing 6-0, 6-3 win over Sloane Stephens in the second round to set up this meeting.

Mertens has had her share of early exits but has shown a lot more consistency across tournaments, and that includes a title win earlier in Doha as well. A quarter-final at the US Open exhibited her big-tournament temperament after having made the fourth round at Wimbledon as well.

She will start off as a favourite but Giorgi should be able to push her deep.

Tip: Over 20.5 games in the match: 4/5 (Unibet)

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova v Misaki Doi Preview

Now this is a real surprise. If someone said that Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Misaki Doi would be meeting at the quarter-final stage ahead of the likes of Kristina Mladenovic, Donna Vekic and Kiki Bertens, then they would have won big odds for it. Doi accounted for Mladenovic and Vekic in her first two rounds while Pavlyuchenkova was a winner over Bertens in her second.

And even between the two of them, Doi is 42 places behind Pavlyuchenkova on the WTA rankings, just that the Japanese player is in such form it would be foolhardy to write her off. Last week she made the final of the Hiroshima Open before losing to Nao Hibino and now has won against a couple of more sterling opponents to enter the quarter-final here.

Pavlyuchenkova’s form, on the other hand, has been slightly iffy. She was on a six-match losing streak heading into the Toronto Open, and then lost three of her five matches before this tournament. If Doi can play to her potential, Pavlyuchenkova might not have the weapons or consistency to overcome her opponent here.

Tip: Doi to win: 13/15 (Unibet)