Naomi Osaka has never beaten Shelby Rogers – but there’s no better time to do so than in the quarterfinals…
Naomi Osaka has never beaten Shelby Rogers – but there’s no better time to do so than in the quarterfinals of the US Open.
Naomi Osaka vs Shelby Rogers | US Open women's QF | 12am BST, 9/9/2020Osaka 2-0 4/6 Bet Now! New Customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org.
Osaka vs Rogers is live from New York on Tuesday 8 September, 7pm local/12am BST
Naomi Osaka is back into the quarterfinals for the first time since claiming the US Open title in 2018 and not looking too eager to depart this tournament, judging by her performance against Anett Kontaveit in the fourth round.
The world no. 9 is up against powerful American Shelby Rogers, who has justified her red-hot pre-tournament form with a run to the quarterfinals, saving four match points against Petra Kvitova. Rogers has won all three previous meetings with Osaka.
Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.
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Osaka vs Rogers: Head-to-head
Shelby Rogers leads the head-to-head with Naomi Osaka 3-0, although they have only played once at WTA Tour level – on the green clay of Charleston in 2017. Their two previous meetings were in 2013 and 2015, before Osaka broke into the top 200.
Osaka vs Rogers: Preview
As well as she played to reach the final of the Western & Southern Open the week before the US Open began, the left hamstring injury which Osaka incurred in the closing stages of her semifinal match against Elise Mertens and which caused her to pull out of the final she was due to play against Victoria Azarenka looked as if it might doom her campaign.
Four matches later, however, and those expectations must be revised. Osaka weathered tough three-set clashes with Misaki Doi and Marta Kostyuk to reach the last 16, before improving to 5-0 vs Anett Kontaveit, the in-form Estonian who had pushed Osaka all the way to 5-7 in the third in ‘Cincinnati’.
Osaka delivered a brilliant serving performance against Kontaveit – no slouch herself in that department – as she lost just nine points behind first and second serve combined throughout the match. She didn’t face a single break point herself, while creating ten opportunities on Kontaveit’s serve, converting three.
Osaka also, ominously, said that her leg was feeling better, which is not good news for quarterfinal opponent Rogers.
‘Resurgence’ has been the keynote for some of the most notable players in the women’s draw so far this fortnight – Victoria Azarenka, Tsvetana Pironkova – and it’s what it’s all about for Rogers, too. The American was a quarterfinalist at the French Open in 2016, but lost almost an entire season in 2018 to a knee injury and didn’t return until April 2019, when she was unranked.
Rogers’ charge back up the rankings has been accomplished at breakneck speed, but although she was having good results at the start of the year – qualifying for the Australian Open and winning the $100k in Midland – they didn’t really catch the eye. But beating Serena Williams in Lexington did, and at the US Open she beat 11th seed Elena Rybakina among others and didn’t drop a set until she came up against Petra Kvitova.
Kvitova had lost to Rogers in their only previous meeting at the French Open in 2016, but that one was relatively tame compared to the thrills and swings of this US Open clash, which a lot of people missed because Novak Djokovic was being defaulted on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Rogers played some extraordinary tennis to weather four match points and beat Kvitova 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(6).
Rogers is not an easy opponent here. But I do think she’s one that Osaka can beat, despite that head-to-head. Unlike Kvitova’s flat strokes, Osaka hits a heavy ball, like Rogers herself, and it puts a different complexion on things. The fourth seed shouldn’t miss as much as Kvitova did, and her ability to use short angles to open the court should be effective. Rogers and Kontaveit play somewhat similarly, and that will help to make it a comfortable match-up for Osaka.