Victoria Azarenka vs. Naomi Osaka
|Date & Time||Thursday May 30, 2019, 5:00 AM (EDT)|
Roland Garros Stadium
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Victoria Azarenka and Naomi Osaka meet in the second round of the 2019 tennis French Open.
Victoria Azarenka is coming off a straight sets win over Jelena Ostapenko that took 23 games to decide. In the victory, Azarenka won 62 percent of her first serve points and 30 percent of her second serve points. Azarenka won 49 percent of her total service points and converted on seven of her 14 break points. Azarenka continues to be hit or miss with her serve, as I mentioned in the first round writeup, but her grit and return ability has allowed her to find a way to win. Azarenka is making progress, but she must be a lot more consistent, especially with her second serve if she’s going to have any chance of winning this match. Azarenka has 67 career wins over top-10 players and three of those wins have com this year. Azarenka hopes to make the third round of a grand slam for the fourth time since 2016. Azarenka has won five of her last seven matches on clay court.
Naomi Osaka is coming off a three sets win over Anna Karolina Schmiedlova that took 26 games to decide. In the victory, Osaka won 69 percent of her first serve points and 29 percent of her second serve points. Osaka won 54 percent of her total service points and converted on six of her 10 break points. Osaka lost the first set in six games and needed to break twice in the second set to avoid a first round loss. While it was far from pretty, the good news is that Osaka absolutely dominated the third set and looked more like the top ranked player in the world, crushing aces and spraying controlled winners down the line. We’ll see which Osaka shows up for this contest. Osaka hopes to make the third round of a grand slam for the eighth straight time. Osaka has won six of her last eight matches on clay court.
These two have split the previous two meetings, as Osaka won 2018 Rome and Azarenka won the 2016 Australian Open. Both matches were decided in straight sets.
I would say this would be a close match if it weren’t for Osaka figuring things out in the third set. Osaka cleaned up the unforced errors and was in control of nearly every point. Assuming she’s able to carry that over to this match, Azarenka has little shot of making this match competitive. While improved and taking proper steps of returning to the player she once was, Azarenka is still iffy with her serve and can still pile on the unforced errors. A player like Osaka will punish her and have her doing a ton of running.
There’s positive signs with the way Osaka finished her last match. She makes the third round.