Kurumi Nara and Aleksandra Wozniak will meet Monday in the first round of the 2014 US Open.
Kurumi Nara is using this season to really get on the map of women’s tennis, as she reached the finals in both the singles and doubles of the Citi Open, and picking up a reputation for one of the stronger forehands on tour. At the young age of 22 years old, Nara is a name to pay attention to as one of the top up and comers in the sport. But while Kurumi Nara did just have tremendous success in Washington, she continues to struggle with consistency and against some of the bigger names in tennis. Nara lost her first match in New Haven against Samantha Stosur and was absolutely beat down by Agnieszka Radwanska in the Cincinnati Masters. Nara could use a bit of confidence and a little more consistent play, but she did reach the third round of last year’s US Open, which was her first time playing in the event.
Aleksandra Wozniak has had her fair share of success in her career, but she’s fallen like a ton of bricks this season as of late. Wozniak has lost five of her last seven matches, which includes losing to players such as Sílvia Soler-Espinosa, Sachia Vickery and Dominika Cibulkova in embarrassing fashion. Aleksandra Wozniak is a dark horse contender in any event when she’s at the top of her game, but she’s clearly out of her zone this season and you wonder if she’s dealing with injuries that have hampered her progress the last several years. Wozniak has reached the second round in her last two US Open’s, but she’ll have to have her best performance of the year to advance here.
The only previous meeting between these two was back in 2012, and Aleksandra Wozniak won both sets, 6-1. However, that’s also when Wozniak had decent form and when Nara was a little younger and less experienced than she is now.
Usually in this spot I would go ahead and take a chance on the more experienced player and the plus money, but Aleksandra Wozniak has been absolutely brutal and losing to players she shouldn’t be losing to. Kurumi Nara is a player on the rise and will be hungry to advance.