Naomi Osaka faces 18-year-old Marta Kostyuk, a rising player on an impressive run, with a place in the last 16…
Naomi Osaka faces 18-year-old Marta Kostyuk, a rising player on an impressive run, with a place in the last 16 at the US Open on the line.
Naomi Osaka vs Marta Kostyuk | US Open women's singles R3 | 4/9/2020Kostyuk to win 4/1 Bet Now! New Customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org.
Osaka vs Kostyuk is live from New York on Friday 4 September, time TBC
Still struggling with the left hamstring injury which saw her pull out of the final of the Western & Southern Open, Naomi Osaka tries to avoid her third last-32 defeat in the past five majors as she takes on Marta Kostyuk on Friday.
Kostyuk made headlines as a 15-year-old phenomenon and has already upset a former top-10 player and a former US Open semifinalist to reach the third round – will a former US Open champion be the Ukrainian teenager’s next victim?
Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.
How to watch Osaka vs Kostyuk live
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Osaka vs Kostyuk: Head-to-head
This will be the first match between Naomi Osaka and Marta Kostyuk.
Osaka vs Kostyuk: Preview
Once you reach the top of the game, it doesn’t take very long before the up-and-comers start jostling to take you down, and that’s certainly been Naomi Osaka’s experience. The Japanese-Haitian player transformed herself swiftly from rising threat to world no. 1 and two-time Grand Slam champion, and pretty much immediately had to start fending off rising threats herself.
Osaka escaped having to face one of those rising threats, Coco Gauff – who had beaten her in the third round of the Australian Open in January – in the third round, but instead faces another, and possibly more dangerous because less known, up-and-comer: 18-year-old Marta Kostyuk.
Kostyuk, an Australian Open junior champion in 2017, made her Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open in 2018 when she became the first player born in the 2000s to reach the main draw of a major, and went on to reach the third round, the youngest player to do so at a Grand Slam since Mirjana Lucic-Baroni at the US Open in 1997. Kostyuk narrowly missed out on qualifying for Wimbledon the same year, rising to world no. 116, but her ranking dropped through a quieter 2019 which saw her reach two ITF finals and made a WTA quarterfinal in Strasbourg, compiling a 35-16 win-loss record without really making the headlines.
These years are incredibly difficult to navigate for young players, so a season spent quietly gaining matches, experience and confidence as opposed to meteorically rising through the rankings is no bad thing. Kostyuk won the ITF $60k in Cairo before the shutdown and after it, played qualifying for Palermo and Prague, reaching the main draw at the latter. As a result she came into the US Open with some matches under her belt and has scored two very impressive wins there. Daria Kasatkina, who went down 1-6, 2-6 in the first round, is slumping badly, but Anastasija Sevastova in the second had just knocked out Coco Gauff in a thriller and also has a win over Serena Williams in 2020. Sevastova also plays very well at the US Open, making the semifinals in 2018, and Kostyuk’s 6-3, 7-6(5) victory over her was noteworthy.
Osaka, meanwhile, got dragged to three sets by Misaki Doi in the first round, and although she had a very quick win over Camila Giorgi in the second, that had a lot to do with a very poor performance from Giorgi, who put up little resistance in a 1-6, 2-6 defeat.
Osaka had her thigh heavily strapped for the Giorgi match, and based purely on the look of things, I think she’ll be in trouble as soon as she faces a player who can really make her run. Kostyuk can certainly do that. The 18-year-old has nothing to lose, loves the big stage and I wouldn’t entirely be surprised if she pulled off a huge upset win on Friday.