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25 Jan 2019 by Adam Evans

2019 Australian Open – Naomi Osaka vs Petra Kvitova Preview & Prediction

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THE FACTS

Where is Naomi Osaka vs Petra Kvitova taking place? Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne

When is Naomi Osaka vs Petra Kvitova on and what time does it start? Saturday 26th January, 2019 – not before 08:30 (UK)

What channel is Naomi Osaka vs Petra Kvitova on in the UK? This match will be televised on Eurosport (Sky channels 410 & 411)

Where can I stream Naomi Osaka vs Petra Kvitova in the UK? Sky customers can stream this match on the Sky Go app. Alternatively, the match can be streamed to subscribers of Eurosport Player, either on the official website or as an add-on to an Amazon Prime subscription

Where can I get tickets for Naomi Osaka vs Petra Kvitova? https://ausopen.com/tickets?da...

THE LOWDOWN

NAOMI OSAKA

  • World number four Naomi Osaka hit 15 aces and 56 winners in a commanding display over Serena Williams’ conqueror Karolina Pliskova in her semi-final. She now meets another Czech, Petra Kvitova, in her first Australian Open final.
  • The Japanese youngster is the first woman to make consecutive Grand Slam finals after a maiden win since 2001, and should she beat Kvitova she will become the first Asian world number one.
  • Having spent almost a full two hours more on court than her Czech opponent, Osaka’s fitness will be key here, but her recent US Open title and her all-round power displays at this tournament will make her the favourite.

PETRA KVITOVA

  • Petra Kvitova has quietly made her way through to the Australian Open Final without dropping a set, dispatching the tournament’s surprise form-player Danielle Collins in the semi-finals 7-6, 6-0.
  • The world number six is unbeaten now in ten, including winning the title at her warm-up tournament in Sydney, and is unbeaten in her last eight finals.
  • The Czech two-time Wimbledon champion suffered a knife attack in her home two years ago, both mentally and physically scarring, and her determination to fight-back to her first final since should give her the majority of the crowd’s support.

THE PREDICTION

This is the first meeting between Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova, with the match-winner not only claiming the Australian Open title, but the world number one spot. There are many logical factors to consider; Osaka has dropped three sets to Kvitova’s zero in this tournament, and spent almost two hours longer on court, including her much-harder semi-final with Kvitova’s compatriot Karolina Pliskova. In this final, however, these players' mentalities are all the more important. Kvitova is fighting for the first Grand Slam of her “second career” post-assault, and will surely have a healthy majority of the crowd on her side. Osaka, on the other hand, is all raw talent and heavy expectation. After her maiden title was spoiled somewhat by the controversy surrounding the umpire and Serena Williams, she will be desperate to win a Grand Slam her way, but she is not the underdog here and will have to cope with that.

With no form between them, any prediction of a winner will rest on the personality of these two players. The heart says Kvitova, reclaiming her place at the top of the game from adversary, but the head says Osaka has what it takes to win her second Grand Slam, on her terms. OSAKA IN THREE SETS.

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