Elina Svitolina and Naomi Osaka will battle it out in the quarterfinal of the Australian Open 2019 on Wednesday, as the two players look to reach the semifinal and potentially the No. 1 ranking on the WTA Tour.
Watch & bet on Elina Svitolina v Naomi Osaka live with bet365 here* on Wednesday, January 23. The Svitolina v Osaka match will not be played before 11 am local time (1 am BST).
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Svitolina v Osaka Head to Head
The two players share a rivalry that started back in 2014. Since then, they have met five times so far and Svitolina currently leads by a slim margin of 3-2. They met a couple of times in 2018 alone – in the quarterfinal of WTA Dubai and the second round of Miami Masters.
On both instances, Svitolina emerged victorious in straight sets. These two wins came after Osaka asserted her dominance by winning their two encounters in 2016.
Svitolina’s Imperious Form
For the second time in a row, Svitolina has made it to the quarterfinal at the Australian Open. Last time around, after a phenomenal run, she succumbed to Elise Mertens in straight sets.
Even though the World No. 7 started her season on a disappointing note – a stunning first-round defeat in Brisbane, she has moved on to do superbly in Melbourne and ensured that she stays in the top 10.
In the preceding four rounds, she has moved past Viktorija Golubic, Victoria Kuzmova, Shuai Zhang, and most recently, the 17th seeded American Madison Keys. She dropped a set in her last couple of matches but the Ukrainian never lost her focus and stayed right on the path.
A common point of her campaign has been her ability to keep her unforced errors quite low and dominate the game close to the net. For instance, in her matches against Zhang and Keys, she won more than 80% of the net points at crucial moments. Svitolina also did well to hold on to her service in these matches although, there were moments when the quality of her shots dropped.
Osaka’s Bid for her Second Consecutive Grand Slam
Naomi Osaka ended her 2018 campaign on a high – she won the US Open, reached the final at WTA Tokyo and the semifinal in Beijing. This time around too, she has started her season on a similar note.
The World No. 4 reached the semifinal in Brisbane a couple of weeks ago. She then came to Melbourne where she has thrived handsomely. Time and again, she has proved her mettle and staked her claim that she deserves to be in the top.
Her campaign in the tournament has been quite similar to that of Svitolina’s – a fairly straight-forward path with a couple of three-set victories. She had to fight back from a set down against the likes of Su-Wei Hsieh and Anastasija Sevastova but managed to do so with ease.
In these two matches, Osaka hit 41 and 51 winners respectively – almost twice as many as her opponents’. However, her unforced errors count was much higher – 42 to 31 against Hsieh and 43 to 21 against Sevastova.
Even though the 21-year-old Japanese managed to make up for those errors with her impeccable shots, she cannot afford to make those errors against a clinical player like Svitolina.
Osaka v Svitolina Tips & Predictions
The two players are evenly matched for this encounter, making this one too close to call. Osaka is prone to making errors and Svitolina will be keen on capitalising on those mistakes. At the same time, the fourth seed defeated many big names last year and is well-versed with playing on a big stage such as this. Owing to her slightly better momentum, expect Osaka to start as the favourite but the odds will shift as the match progresses.
You can watch & bet on Elina Svitolina v Naomi Osaka live with bet365 here on Wednesday, January 23.