Konta vs. Osaka
|Date & Time||Wednesday January 18, 2017, 9:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Naomi Osaka and Johanna Konta meet in the second round of the 2017 Australian Open.
Naomi Osaka is coming off a three set win over Luksika Kumkhum that took 35 games to decide. In the victory, Osaka won 71 percent of her first serve points and 60 percent of her second serve points. Osaka battled back strong after dropping the first set in a tiebreak, but the match wouldn’t been as long if she didn’t produce 55 unforced errors. Osaka has all of the talent in the world to become an elite player, but she must improve her inconsistent play and that will come with experience, as she’s still only 19 years old. Osaka should play cleaner tennis now with a match under her belt. Osaka hopes to make the third round of a grand slam for the fourth time. Osaka has won five of her last seven matches on hard court.
Johanna Konta is coming off a straight sets win over Kirsten Flipkens that took 20 games to decide. In the victory, Konta won 76 percent of her first serve points and 54 percent of her second serve points. Konta played really solid tennis overall and gave herself 10 break chances in the quick match while hitting 23 winners. Konta has wasted no time building on a breakout 2016 season and has actually won her last 12 sets. With the way Konta is playing and the confidence that’s growing, she’ll have a say in who wins this tournament, especially if she continues to limit her mistakes. Konta hopes to make the third round of a grand slam for the fourth time. Konta has won six straight matches on hard court.
These two have played once, which was in the 2015 US Open, a match Konta won in straight sets. The match took 20 games to decide.
If you’ve been reading me for a while now, you know I’m a huge fan of Osaka and actually have a bold prediction she’ll win a grand slam within the next two years. The talent and ceiling for her is limitless given her talent level at such a young age. And while I want to pick her and will be rooting for her in this match, from a betting standpoint, the smarter bet would be Konta. She’s in better form, the more polished player right now and did make the semifinals last Australian Open.
I’ll take Konta in a competitive match.