Svitolina vs. Osaka
|Date & Time||Friday March 23, 2018, 11:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Naomi Osaka and Elina Svitolina meet in the round of 64 in the 2018 Miami Open.
Naomi Osaka is coming off a straight sets win over Serena Williams that took 17 games to decide. In the victory, Osaka won 78 percent of her first serve points and 43 percent of her second serve points. Osaka continues her hot streak after just winning Indian Wells, as she broke Serena four times and saved off both break chances of her own. Osaka has clearly found something the last few weeks and is playing the most consistent tennis of her life. The shotmaking and power has always been there with Osaka, but the nerves haven’t been an issue recently, and that’s been key for her in winning these big matches. We’ll see just how far it can take her with the tennis season heating up in these next few months. Osaka has won eight straight matches on hard court.
Elina Svitolina is coming off a round of 32 exit in Indian Wells and enters this tournament red hot with a 15-3 record. Svitolina is hitting the ball with confidence, serving at a high level and has won eight of the last 10 sets she’s played. Svitolina did however struggle with her return and second serve in her last match, resulting in a loss to Carla Suarez Navarro. Either way, few players have been as hot as Svitolina, as the 23-year-old is probably off to her best start of her career and has proven she’s worthy of being considered a top-five player in the world. Svitolina has won six of her last eight matches on hard court.
These two have played four times and have split all four meetings. The most recent match was in Dubai of this year, a match Svitolina won in straight sets. Osaka won the other previous two meetings, both back in 2016. Two of the four matches went the distance.
Svitolina just beat Osaka a couple of weeks ago in the last meeting and enters this match extremely fresh with several days off. With that said, Osaka is playing lights out tennis right now and has the power that always gives her the advantage. When you can hit through your opponents, the match is usually always on your racket. Just ask Keys and Serena. Osaka is hitting the ball well and hasn’t shown signs of nerves, which is usually her hiccup. If this continues, I’ll have a hard time betting against her.
Must-watch match that can go either way, but I’m still driving the Osaka bandwagon.