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Osaka vs Sasnovich WTA Cincinnati live streaming, preview and tips - Osaka aiming for first match win in Cincinnati

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 14 Aug 2019
  • Naomi Osaka vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich is live from Cincinnati around 3.00pm local time on Wednesday (8.00pm BST)
  • Osaka has won all three of their previous meetings in straight sets
Naomi Osaka (PA Images)

World No. 1 Naomi Osaka begins her Western & Southern Open title quest on Wednesday against Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the second round in Cincinnati.

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Naomi Osaka targets her first ever match win in Cincinnati on Wednesday against World No. 47 Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus.

Osaka has only played the Western & Southern Open on two occasions, losing in qualifying in 2016 and going down in the opening round of the main draw last year to Maria Sakkari. That loss obviously didn’t mean much as Osaka went on to capture her first Grand Slam title in extraordinary circumstances a few weeks later at the U.S. Open - but the Japanese will certainly want to get some more wins under her belt before she attempts to defend a major title for the first time later this month.

The 21-year-old backed up her U.S. Open triumph by making the final in Tokyo and semi-finals in Beijing, before taking out the likes of Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova and Petra Kvitova to win her second Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, but after that, things began to take a turn for the worse. Osaka split with coach Sascha Bajin and still hasn’t beaten a top 20 player since Melbourne, losing in the fourth round of her Indian Wells title defence, along with falling in the third round of the French Open and opening round of Wimbledon.

However, in saying that, Osaka is still 24-9 for the season, which is solid, and now she’s back onto her favourite surface of hardcourts, you’d expect the Japanese to pick up her results. Osaka, who lost to Serena Williams in the quarter-finals of the Rogers Cup last week, has spoken about her attempt to try and smile on court again and enjoy playing tennis after a rough couple of months.

"In my clay and grass matches, I would shut down and not talk to anyone after a loss. After my match against Serena, I could still talk to everyone and figure out exactly what I could do better.
"When she aces me, I feel like I should get angry, but I’ve watched her do that to people on TV, so I start laughing. I’m like, ‘Yo, I’m really getting aced by her right now.’ It’s like I haven’t fully levelled up my character and I’m playing against a boss."

Can Osaka ‘boss’ her opening match in Cincinnati on Wednesday? She’s up against Aliaksandra Sasnovich, who won her first ever main draw match at the Western & Southern Open earlier in the week, overcoming Australian qualifier Astra Sharma in three sets. It was a much-needed win for Sasnovich, who was on an eight-match losing streak dating back to the Mutua Madrid Open in May.


Sasnovich put together the best season of her career last year, starting off by qualifying for the Brisbane International and making it all the way to the final, while she also made the semi-finals in Moscow and the third round of the Australian and U.S. Opens, to go with her fourth round finish at Wimbledon (where she beat two-time champion Petra Kvitova) to finish 2018 at a career-high ranking of No. 30.

Sasnovich once again started the year on fire, reaching the quarter-finals of Brisbane, semi-finals of Sydney and the the third round at the Australian Open, but as mentioned, she really struggled after January and only won four matches before her victory over Sharma, dropping to No. 47 in the world, which doesn’t seem like that big of a slip when you consider her losing streak, but something that will surely catch up with her soon if she doesn’t start winning more matches.

Wednesday’s clash with Osaka is a tough one, but also an opportunity she should relish. On one hand, Sasnovich is 0-3 vs Osaka, losing all of those in straight sets - including 0-6 0-6 at the U.S. Open last year. But on the other, Osaka is still under immense pressure and hasn’t played at her best since January. It’s a decent opportunity for Sasnovich, but when you consider Osaka’s dominant record against her and the fact she’s back on hardcourts, this is a match the World No. 1 should be winning.


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Osaka vs Sasnovich WTA Cincinnati live streaming, preview and tips - Osaka aiming for first match win in Cincinnati

World No. 1 Naomi Osaka begins her Western & Southern Open title quest on Wednesday against Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the second round in Cincinnati.

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