Anett Kontaveit is in superb form, but can she overturn an 0-3 head-to-head against world no. 10 Naomi Osaka to…
Anett Kontaveit is in superb form, but can she overturn an 0-3 head-to-head against world no. 10 Naomi Osaka to reach the semifinals at the Western & Southern Open?
Osaka vs Kontaveit | WTA Cincinnati-New York Open | 26/8/2020 6pm BST3 sets in match 11/8 Bet Now! New Customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org.
Osaka vs Kontaveit is live from Cincinnati on Wednesday 26 August at 1pm local/6pm BST
Two-time Grand Slam champion Osaka is looking for the second semifinal of this strange season as she aims to capitalize on a crisp performance against Dayana Yastremska on Tuesday, but Kontaveit is on some serious form.
Runner-up at the Palermo Open two weeks ago, the world no. 20 is 19-6 in 2020 and has yet to drop a set in ‘Cincinnati’ despite some tough opponents – but she has never beaten Osaka.
Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.
How to watch Osaka vs Kontaveit live
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Osaka vs Kontaveit: Head-to-head
All three previous matches between Osaka and Kontaveit have gone Osaka’s way. She beat Kontaveit in three sets on grass in 2015 and won their two hard-court matches, in 2016 and 2018, in straight sets. The two have not played since February 2018.
Osaka vs Kontaveit: Preview
An extremely hard-working player, Estonia’s Kontaveit hit her career-high ranking of world no. 14 back in April 2019 after making the Wuhan and Stuttgart finals and the semifinals of Miami and Rome in the previous 12 months, but took a hit in the rankings as a result of a viral infection which struck her hard after last year’s US Open, bringing her season to a premature end.
The 24-year-old looked like she might be set for the best season of her career in 2020 when she made her first Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance at the Australian Open, and she has returned to action after the shutdown in very much the same promising form. Kontaveit made the final of the Palermo Open, beating Petra Martic on the way, then switched from clay to hard without a blink, winning three straight-sets matches in ‘Cincinnati’ to make the quarterfinals: 6-3, 6-1 over lucky loser and former top-10 player Daria Kasatkina, 6-3, 6-4 over qualifier and Lexington finalist Jil Teichmann and finally 6-3, 6-3 over Marie Bouzkova, who had knocked out Petra Kvitova.
That’s form to impress anybody and Kontaveit looks so fit and focused right now – but there’s that pesky matter of an 0-3 head-to-head vs Osaka. Playing her first match since a miserable 0-6, 3-6 defeat to Sara Sorribes Tormo during a Fed Cup tie on abhorred clay, Osaka struggled with last year’s Wimbledon quarterfinalist Karolina Muchova, but looked much more comfortable on Tuesday against Dayana Yastremska, serving eight aces, saving all the break points she faced and taking 69 minutes to beat Yastremska 6-3, 6-1.
Yastremska didn’t have the firepower today to stand up to Osaka and force the world no. 10 to move. Kontaveit certainly does; she also has the confidence and the fitness. There’s never been a better opportunity for the Estonian to get her first win over Osaka, improve to 12-19 vs top-10 players and prove she’s headed towards the top 10 herself.