Naomi Osaka remains the heavy favourite to make the US Open final from the top half of the women’s draw and should be expected to ease past Shelby Rogers in the quarter-final matchup. The 2018 champion looks in confident form ahead of this one with the winner facing either Jennifer Brady or Yulia Putintseva.
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Rogers would not have been top of anyone’s list to make the quarter finals from her section of the draw but it has been well deserved for the American. She ousted Petra Kvitova in a final set tiebreak, saving four match points in her 7-6 3-6 7-6 win. Whether it is a hot streak or something has clicked for Rogers is yet to be seen but you can’t argue with her form that saw her defeat two grand slam champions (S. Williams, Lexington) in final set tiebreaks since the tour resumed. “A little luck was on my side today I think. I just kept trying to hang in there and defend her balls, take care of my serve there in the third after I got broken. Thankfully somehow got it done.” she said.
Osaka still looks the one to beat, securing another straight sets victory in round four against Anett Kontaveit. It was another clean hitting performance from the Japanese star who didn’t face a single break point in the match while earning 10 of her own in the 6-3 6-4 win. Having been taken to three last week by the same opponent, it shows the level of improvement made by Osaka this week. The once shy character of Osaka looks much more outwardly confident player now and it is showing in her tennis. “I thought it was pretty good. If I’m reflecting on attitude, I’m pretty sure it was up there with my top matches of this short year.”
Rogers does actually lead the head to head 3-0, picking up two ITF wins and a WTA Charleston victory. The Charleston win was back in 2017, with Osaka not yet blossomed into the offensive powerhouse she is today. The No.4 seed is flying right now and just doesn’t look like she is going to give much away against an opponent she should be able to hit off the court.
Prediction – Naomi Osaka in straight sets