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Osaka vs Kontaveit US Open tennis live streaming, preview and predictions

hannahwilks in US Open 06 Sep 2020
Naomi Osaka has reached the fourth round of the US Open for the third straight year (PA Images)

Anett Kontaveit has never beaten Naomi Osaka – can she find a way to do so with a place in the quarterfinals of the US Open on the line?

Osaka vs Kontaveit is live from New York on Sunday 6 September, 8.30pm local/1.30am BST

Despite an ongoing left hamstring injury, 2018 US Open champion Naomi Osaka has made it to the last 16 in New York for the third year in a row – and she has an unbeaten 4-0 record vs her opponent Anett Kontaveit.

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Kontaveit, who is looking to make her second Grand Slam quarterfinal of the year, came as close as she ever has to beating Osaka when they played less than two weeks ago at the Western & Southern Open, before the Japanese-Haitian player pulled off a great escape. With Osaka hampered by injury, could this be Kontaveit’s chance?

Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.

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Osaka vs Kontaveit: Head-to-head

Naomi Osaka has a 4-0 record vs Anett Kontaveit, with three of their matches having taken place on hard courts. That includes their most recent encounter, when Kontaveit led 6-4, 2-0 before losing 6-4, 2-6, 5-7.

Osaka vs Kontaveit: Preview

It was a potential fourth-round match that drew everybody’s eye when the draw was released, but there were times when it looked like Osaka and Kontaveit would not manage to meet in the last 16.

Anett Kontaveit has won six straight sets at the US Open, averaging 2.3 games lost in those six sets (PA Images)

Estonia’s Kontaveit has been largely unwavering, continuing her very, very strong form from the first half of 2020, both sides of the shutdown. The powerful 24-year-old, coached by Nigel Sears, made her first major quarterfinal at the Australian Open in January, then returned from hiatus to make the final in Palermo and the quarterfinals in ‘Cincinnati’, where she was stopped by Osaka; at the US Open, she dropped the first set 5-7 to former Australian Open semifinalist Danielle Collins, but has won six straight sets since then against Collins, Kaja Juvan and Magda Linette, dropping an average 2.3 games in each of those sets.

Kontaveit thus enters the match at a clear physical advantage: She’s an incredibly fit player, and has kept her time on court to a minimum, conserving plenty of energy for tougher challenges.

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Osaka, meanwhile, has not had quite such a smooth path. The Japanese-Haitian player impressed at the Western & Southern Open, not least with her wins over Kontaveit and Elise Mertens, but injured her leg in the late stages of the latter match and pulled out before the final against Victoria Azarenka. The last thing she needed was tough matches during the first week, but that’s what she got, dropping the second set against Misaki Doi in the first round.

Osaka lost just three games against a below-par Camila Giorgi in the second, but in the third round she again found herself having to work very hard against an impressive Marta Kostyuk. The 18-year-old Ukrainian had first made the third round of a major as a 15-year-old at the 2018 Australian Open, and she played very well against Osaka, constantly attacking the net and producing some dazzling tennis. Osaka won the first set, but slightly lost her way after Kostyuk needed a lengthy medical time-out at the beginning of the second, and ended up losing it in a tie-break. The fourth seed had to save five break points at 1-2 in the decider, before going on to break Kostyuk twice to record a 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-2 victory in just under two and a half hours.

I still think Osaka’s leg is a concern, and these types of matches will not have helped it. The match against Kontaveit in ‘Cincinnati’ really was very close, with Osaka’s slightly more creative shotmaking – the ability to open the court with shorter, angled balls – one of the things that made the difference in the end. Kontaveit has a big serve, powerful groundstrokes and she’s playing like a well-oiled machine right now

Osaka vs Kontaveit: Prediction