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Keys vs Kasatkina tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Keys aims to improve to 6-0 vs slumping Russian in Osaka

Hannah Wilks in WTA Tour 16 Sep 2019
  • Madison Keys faces Daria Kasatkina in the first round of the Toray Pan-Pacific Open
  • Keys vs Kasatkina is live from Osaka on Tuesday at 11am local/3pm BST
Madison Keys (PA Sports)

Madison Keys has struggled for wins outside the USA in 2019 but has a perfect record against Daria Kasatkina, her opening opponent at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Osaka on Tuesday.

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Can Madison Keys maintain her unbeaten record against Daria Kasatkina as they face off in the first round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open on Tuesday?

Keys during her US Open defeat to Svitolina (PA Sports)
Keys is on a three-match losing streak at the Toray PPO, having made the round of 16 on her first appearance in 2013 but lost her opening match on both subsequent appearances, defeated by Lucie Safarova in 2014 and Yulia Putintseva in 2016.

Keys was a semifinalist in Beijing in 2016 but otherwise this part of the season has never been a fruitful one for the American, who has only played a handful of matches after the US Open in the past couple of years. And in 2019, it’s noticeable that Keys has had her best results on American soil. Champion at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston and at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Keys is 16-6 in matches played in the USA in 2019 and 8-6 outside it, with her best result a quarterfinal showing at the French Open.

It’s been an odd year for Keys, who made the last 16 at three of the four majors but was only rarely a factor elsewhere, and who came into the US Open as a hot favourite having warmed up by winning Cincinnati in brilliant style and holding a great recent record in New York, only to more or less hit herself off the court in a storm of unforced errors against Elina Svitolina in the fourth round, unable to find any alternative solutions when her plan A didn’t immediately work.

Currently sitting at 16th place in the Porsche Road to Singapore, Keys looks extremely unlikely to repeat her 2016 feat of qualifying for the year-end championships, but she can improve on her fairly dismal 3- 3 showing post-US Open last year and perhaps start to climb back towards the top 10, having dropped seven places to world no. 16 after failing to defend her US Open semifinal points.

In the same quarter of the draw as Angelique Kerber, Keys can hardly have asked for a better first-round opponent than a player she is unbeaten against in multiple matches – one, moreover, who is mired in a slump.

Daria Kasatkina (PA Sports)
Daria Kasatkina looked for a minute like she might be one of the best of the promising 1997 generation when she won her maiden title in Charleston in May 2017, going on to reach the finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and Indian Wells in the first quarter of 2018. A quarterfinalist at the French Open and Wimbledon, Kasatkina’s results did dry up in the second half of the year, but she still won the Premier-level Kremlin Cup title in Moscow and broke into the top 10 as a result, ending the year at world no. 10 even if she missed out on qualifying for the WTA Finals Singapore.

The 2019 season has been a disaster for the Russian, however, who comes into Osaka ranked world no. 40 and with a 10-17 record. Only once this entire season, on clay in Rome in May, has Kasatkina won back-to-back matches at one tournament; she went winless on Australian hard courts and grass, failed to defend her Indian Wells finalist points as she lost 2-6, 1-6 to Marketa Vondrousova in her opening match and lost in the first round of three of the year’s four majors, as well as splitting with her coach Philippe Dehaes.

Kasatkina has got a couple of good wins, notably over Elise Mertens in Stuttgart and Angelique Kerber in Toronto, she just hasn’t been able to string any victories together and is clearly flailing for confidence and more besides, with tight three-set defeats to Bianca Andreescu at the Rogers Cup and Johanna Kona at the US Open standing out as matches she might have won.

Kasatkina is making her second appearance at the Toray Pan Pacific Open after losing to Kerber in the second round in 2017, and comes in very much on the wrong end of the history between her and Keys. In five previous matches against the American, Kasatkina has only once managed to take a set, and that was in Wuhan three years ago; in their last encounter in Cincinnati in August, Kasatkina lost 4-6, 1-6 as Keys went on to take the title.

This is, as has been mentioned, not a strong part of the season for Keys but if she’s playing the tournament, she must be fairly fit and her record against Kasatkina is exemplary. There’s no real reason to believe, with Kasatkina’s current dire form, that the Russian will be able to get her first win over the American in Osaka on Tuesday.  

Keys vs Kasatkina Toray Pan-Pacific Open tennis is live from Osaka on Tuesday at 11am local/3pm BST

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Keys vs Kasatkina tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Keys aims to improve to 6-0 vs slumping Russian in Osaka

Madison Keys vs Daria Kasatkina live streaming, preview and predictions for the WTA Osaka second-round match on Tuesday 17 September: Kasatkina is just 10-17 in 2019 and has only once taken a set from Keys in five previous matches

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