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Osaka vs Bencic US Open Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Can defending champion, Osaka snap two-match losing streak against Bencic?

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 2 Sep 2019
  • Naomi Osaka vs Belinda Bencic is live from New York on Monday, 2 September from 12:00pm local time/ 5:00pm BST
  • Bencic has beaten Osaka twice in 2019
Naomi Osaka. (Photo by Jo Becktold/CSM/Sipa USA)

World No. 1, Naomi Osaka continues her US Open title defence on Monday when she plays Swiss, Belinda Bencic in the fourth round. 

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Osaka goes into the match on a 10-match winning streak at the US Open, having won the title last year, and added three more wins to her Flushing Meadows tally in the last week.

She needed three sets to get through the first round, overcoming Russian young gun, Anna Blinkova 6-4 6-7 6-2, but she has got better through the draw, beating Bronx champion, Magda Linette 6-2 6-4 in the second round before producing her best performance of the tournament to breeze past 15-year-old American sensation, Coco Gauff 6-3 6-0 in the third round on Saturday night. 

An expectant crowd gathered inside Arthur Ashe for the hugely-anticipated Osaka-Gauff contest, with majority hoping for a sensational home victory, but Osaka fired an early warning of what was to come by rushing out to a 3-0 lead. Gauff broke back for 2-3, and recovered another break for 3-4, but Osaka turned on the afterburners afterwards, winning the next eight games to race to a 6-3 6-0 victory in just an hour and five minutes.

The world No. 1 served up five aces and won 74% of points on her first serve, while she reduced Gauff to less than 50% of points on both her first and second serves. Osaka hit 24 winners and just 17 unforced errors in a devastatingly ruthless performance.

"I'm just out here trying my best," Osaka said in her post-match press conference. "I'm just going with the flow at this rate. I've never defended a Grand Slam before. We out here, you know. We're just having fun."

In a true moment of sportsmanship, and what will become one of the most iconic and enduring scenes at the 2019 US Open, Osaka invited a tearful Gauff to join her in an emotional post-match press conference.

"I haven't played a night match on Ashe since last year," said the reigning champion. "I felt the atmosphere was, of course, going to be very different. I think the day crowds and the night crowds are very different here. I mean, everyone was very into this match, I think. For me, I just wanted to see how [Gauff] played. I think that was the biggest thing."

By extension, Osaka has now won 17 straight matches in hard court majors, having also won the 2019 Australian Open title in January to add to her US Open success from the previous season. She has not been able to match that Grand Slam winning form since Melbourne, making just one semi-final in her last 11 tournaments, but the Japanese superstar is looking ominous again, and poised for a deep run.

The world No. 1 has got a tough one against Belinda Bencic in the fourth round on Monday.

Bencic is just only 22, but she seems to have been around for a lot longer than Osaka, and she has been. The Swiss made the quarter finals of the US Open as a 17-year-old on debut in 2014, while she broke into the top-ten for the first time in 2016, while still in her teenage years.

Unfortunately, her progress was afflicted by injuries, as she slid to 43rd at the end of 2016, and was out of the top 300 by September 2017 after missing five months following wrist surgery. The Swiss fought her way back into the top-100 in the final three months of that season with a superb run in the lower tier ITF Tours and WTA 125 tournaments, and she consolidated that top 100 ranking with a steady, if unremarkable 2018, ending the season at No. 54 in the world.

The 22-year-old has been on the charge again this year, the highest point of her season being a tremendous title run in Dubai, where she defeated four top-ten players- Aryna Sabalenka, Simona Halep, Elina Svitolina and Petra Kvitova to claim her maiden Premier Mandatory title, and her first tour level title since 2015. Bencic followed that up by reaching the semi-finals at Indian Wells, beating two more top-ten players- Osaka and Karolina Pliskova- before falling to Angelique Kerber in the last four.

She was also a beaten finalist in Mallorca, a semi-finalist in Hobart and Madrid, and is 37-15 for the season. 

Currently at No. 12 in the world, Bencic has somewhat flown under the radar at the US Open, beating Mandy Minella in straight sets, and Alize Cornet in three to reach the third round, where she gained a walkover against Anett Kontaveit who withdrew from their scheduled meeting due to illness.

The Swiss is contesting the round at Flushing Meadows for the fourth time in five appearances, and she will attempt to reach the last eight for the first time since 2014 when she confronts Osaka on Monday. Bencic boasts a very impressive 21 top-ten wins, and three wins over a reigning world No. 1, two of which have been against Osaka.

"Playing [Bencic] is always super challenging," Osaka admitted. "I'm unsure if I've ever won a match. I know that I lost the two times we played earlier this year. For me, I just expect a fight. She doesn't really ever give up. She kind of fights for every point. I know that's going to be a really difficult match for me."

Osaka does have a win over Bencic, but it was at an ITF event in Pelham in 2013. Bencic has won their two WTA meetings, a crushing 6-3 6-1 victory at Indian Wells, and a more competitive 3-6 6-2 7-5 win at the Miami Open.

It's a difficult one to call, as two of the best young players on the tour go head-to-head- Osaka has momentum in this tournament, but Bertens can count on her two wins over the Japanese in 2019, and the fact that she has done well in New York before. 

Will it be Osaka to maintain her US Open winning streak, or can Bencic make it a hat-trick of wins over the Japanese in 2019?

Naomi Osaka vs Belinda Bencic is live from New York on Monday, 2 September from 12:00pm local time/ 5:00pm BST

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Osaka vs Bencic US Open Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Can defending champion, Osaka snap two-match losing streak against Bencic?

Defending champion, Naomi Osaka faces Switzerland's Belinda Bencic in the fourth round of the US Open on Monday. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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