Naomi Osaka vs Ons Jabeur - 2021 Australian Open Women's Singles Third Round
Thursday February 11th, 2021 / 10:30pm EST
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Third seeded Naomi Osaka of Japan faces 27th seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia in the Third Round of the 2021 Australian Open in Melbourne. The match is scheduled to be played on Thursday February 11th, 2021 at 10:30pm EST. Somewhat surprisingly, they have never faced each other before. Can Jabeur cause the stunning upset and advance to the Round of 16?
Former champion Naomi Osaka is in fantastic form so far here in Melbourne and is considered the favorite for the title. She has breezed through two quality opponents (Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Caroline Garcia) in straight sets and has looked unstoppable. Osaka has an ultra-attacking baseline game, taking the ball early and dominating her opponents with her power. When she is striking the ball like this she is very hard to beat and will be extremely confident heading into this match. She is the clear favorite but will know the quality of her opponent and is unlikely to underestimate her. If she can keep her unforced error count down she will have a very strong chance here.
Ons Jabeur is a very talented player and reached the Quarter-Final here in Melbourne in 2020. She had a very tough three set win over Andrea Petkovic in the First Round before breezing past Schmeidlova in the Second. She has a very strong serve and forehand, but her main strength is her variety, slicing and approaching the net, using drop shots and mixing her game up often to unsettle her opponents. This is a tactic that could possible unnerve Osaka, forcing her to change up her game plan. Osaka can be a very streaky and erratic player at times, so this has the potential to be an interesting match.
I think that Naomi Osaka will win this match. Jabeur is a very good player and I do think that her game is going to have Osaka very uncomfortable, but the Japanese superstar is too good of a player to not figure it out. She may start slowly and have quite a few unforced errors, but expect her to pull through. Naomi Osaka to win and advance to the Round of 16, in two tight sets.