Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open, Preview + Prediction
QF: (6) 🇷🇺 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs 🇯🇵 Naomi Osaka
A Fascinating quarter-final at the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open on Friday sees the 6th seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Japan’s Naomi Osaka go head-to-head for the first time. Naomi Osaka will enter this exciting match full of confidence after she eliminated Venus Williams in straight sets on Wednesday evening. Pavlyuchenkova also enters this match in good form and has been one of the most consistent players on tour in 2017, especially on a hard court. It will be interesting to see how this match-up unfolds.
Pavlyuchenkova and Osaka have both entered the quarter-final stage in Hong Kong without dropping a set. Pavlyuchenkova started the event with a solid 6-4 6-4 win over Timea Babos before eventually finding her range to come past Jacqueline Cako 7-6 6-1. Naomi Osaka started her Hong Kong campaign with a 7-5 6-4 win over Alexa Guarachi, before claiming one of the biggest wins of her career as she defeated the 2nd seeded Venus Williams 7-5 6-2. Osaka trailed 3-5 in the opening set before flicking the switch to find some of her best tennis and storm to a massive win for a teenager.
I’m expecting this to be a really tight contest. I have to give the slight edge to Pavlyuchenkova. Both players love to dictate and take charge of rallies from the baseline, whilst both are not so good defensively or when they are moved around the court. The difference here could be that Pavlyuchenkova is more consistent from the baseline and has slightly more variety and an ability to move forward and put pressure on her opponent. After such a big win against Venus, it is hard to know how Osaka respond here, she has faltered in similar scenarios in the past.