Naomi Osaka vs Elise Mertens - WTA Gippsland Trophy Semi-Final
Saturday February 6th, 2021 / 12:00am EST
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Second seeded Naomi Osaka of Japan faces seventh seed Elise Mertens of Belgium in the Semi-Final of the 2021 Gippsland Trophy in Melbourne Australia. The match will be played on Saturday February 6th, 2021 at approximately 12:00am EST. They have played three times before, with Osaka leading the head to head series by 2 matches to 1. Can Mertens cause the minor upset and even the score? Or will Osaka storm into her first final for 2021.
Naomi Osaka is one of the best players in the world and will be hugely motivated here to continue building momentum to prepare for an assault on her second Australian Open title, and her attempt to regain the world number one ranking. She was in scintillating form towards the end of 2020 and seems to have carried that form into 2021. She was extremely impressive in her straight sets demolition of Irina-Camelia Begu in the Quarter-Finals, seeming blasting winners at will, hitting 22 of them compared to just 11 unforced errors. When she is striking the ball like this she is almost impossible to beat and will be hugely confident here.
Elise Mertens is also in great form heading into this match. She was one of the most consistent players in 2020 and is a dark horse for the Australian Open title. She has also been very impressive here in Melbourne, reaching the Quarter-Finals without losing a set and then beating Elina Svitolina in three sets. She dominated the match early on but lost focus and allowed the Ukrainian back into the contest, narrowly winning 10-6 in the third. She will be confident of causing the upset here, knowing that her ultra consistent game and quick movement are exactly the tools needed to defeat Osaka.
While Mertens is a very solid player and will give nothing away, I am going with Naomi Osaka to win this match. She is in great form and when everything is clicking like this for her it is very difficult to keep up with her. She is confident and striking the ball well and I expect her to be too much for Mertens to handle. Osaka to win in two close sets.