Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open, Preview + Prediction
R1: (2) 🇺🇸 Venus Williams vs 🇯🇵 Risa Ozaki
Venus Williams was the only active top player to skip both Wuhan and Beijing. Williams will instead begin her Asian campaign in Hong Kong this week, a tournament that Venus will use as a warm up for the WTA Finals which get under way in two weeks’ time. Venus will begin her Hong Kong campaign with an opening round clash against Japanese qualifer Risa Ozaki.
Venus Williams will be competing in Hong Kong for the third year in a row and will be aiming to go a couple of steps better than her 2015 semi-final appearance at the event. Venus will be competing at the WTA Finals for the first time since 2009 having had one of the greatest seasons of her career. It will be important for Venus to maintain momentum in Hong Kong before heading to Singapore, especially given she has had about a month off from competitive action.
Venus claimed a comfortable straight set win over Risa Ozaki in their only previous meeting, 6-4 6-1 at the opening round stage in Hong Kong last year. 12 months later, I think this will be a more competitive match. Venus has not played a match in over a month and is bound to be somewhat rusty. Ozaki is solid and can make life difficult for opponents with her awkward game. Expect this to be a struggle for Venus but ultimately she will find a way to get over the line.