Naomi Osaka v Jessica Pegula Live Streaming, Prediction & Preview for WTA Rome 2021: Osaka Hoping to Overcome Mental Block

Naomi Osaka v Jessica Pegula live streaming and predictions
Photo Credit: Murray Foubister

World number two Naomi Osaka will be up against American and 31st-ranked Jessica Pegula in the second round of the 2021 Italian Open on Wednesday, May 12. Get the live streaming options of this Naomi Osaka v Jessica Pegula match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.

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Naomi Osaka v Jessica Pegula Head to Head

There has been one previous match between these two players with Osaka having won that China Open opening round match of 2019 in straight sets.

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Osaka Hoping to Overcome Mental Block

She has four Grand Slam titles to her name but Osaka has often admitted clay is not her favourite surface, and that’s putting it rather mildly. For a player of her stature to have not gone beyond the third round at French Open is hard to comprehend.

In a press conference in the lead-up to this competition Osaka candidly said she wasn’t still comfortable on clay and that is what was causing her problems.

What was interesting to hear is Osaka expressed frustration she didn’t know what was the reason for that lack of comfort – whether it was her lack of tennis on clay growing up or the need to play more of clay court tennis at the moment.

Osaka, who played in her first clay court tournament of the season last week in Madrid, was knocked out in the second round by Karolina Muchova in that tournament. And she now kick-starts her campaign here in Rome against a player who herself isn’t quite a clay-courter.

Pegula Sends Kasatkina Packing

Despite starting out as an underdog in her first round match against Daria Kasatkina, Pegula made fewer mistakes to carve out a straight-set victory over the Russian.

Pegula won 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 37 minutes to come through and set up her second meeting with Osaka.

Despite a poor first serve percentage – just 54% from Pegula to her opponent’s 61 – she won more points on it, but in the end it turned out to be a match of margins. Pegula won just two more points on her serve than her opponent but lost 11 fewer.

And that’s where the match turned in favour of the American.

Kasatkina had three break advantages, one when she broke in the first game of the opening set and then when she broke again in the seventh. All times, however, Pegula broke back and then did that for the fourth time at 6-5 to win the set.

Pegula carved out a couple more breaks in the second set to finish off the match.

Osaka v Pegula Prediction and Tip

Osaka, for all her frustrations on clay, is up against a player who hasn’t done too well on this surface herself and has won just five of her previous 11 matches on clay. Expect Osaka to come through but can Pegula win a set? We think so.

Tip: Pegula to win a set: 8/11 (Click Here to Bet with bet365)

The 2021 Italian Open will be played from May 9-16. You can watch & bet on these matches here. Get your latest premium tennis predictions here.

About Stan Boone 1827 Articles
Love all racket sports but none more than tennis. Fell in love with it thanks to Steffi Graf.

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