Naomi Osaka v Victoria Azarenka; Naomi knows it has to be better but Vika isn’t here to make up the numbers

Naomi Osaka has a dream.

Following her battle against Schmeidlova she said she feels like she wants to prove herself once again and if she is going to go far it has to be better.

Standing in her way, it isn’t a woman who is here to make up the numbers believe me. Vika’s level over the season has got better and better and she is getting to a high level following her comeback, the issues she’s had and recent injury problems in Monterrey and Stuttgart.

I liked Vika’s performance against Ostapenko, it did get a little shaky at one point against the former champion but she did the main thing well, she played her game.

There are parts of her game which she would like to improve on but who honestly is overly happy with their performances in the first round? I think that movement to the forehand is something to keep an eye and try and give Osaka less time.

However, I did say she played her game and she did it well. She also let Ostapenko play her game, she remained competitive in her service games creating 14 break point opportunities and converting half of them but she knew Ostapenko let’s be honest is wild and 17 double faults is catastrophic and throw 43 unforced errors on top of that ends one way.

Naomi’s performance against Anna…

The positive from the performance was the forehand of the world number one which got her out of trouble and allowed her to push back Anna and then press forward.

Naomi was dealt a get out of jail free card as Anna failed twice to serve out the match.

The error count was too high from Naomi, she seemed rushed and there were too many times where she was patient in rallies and then let it go at the last minute but wild it was.

Something we saw both Vika and Naomi do was stand in to return second serves but Naomi and Vika themselves will have their second serves under scrutiny with the world number one winning 9/31 points and the former world number one won 10/33 points.

This will be their third meeting on tour and second at a Grand Slam.

Vika won their first meeting 6-1 6-1 at the 2016 Australian Open but it was Naomi who won their last meeting on the clay in Rome last year 6-0 6-3.

Where will this one go? I’m not sure but the pressure is firmly on the world number one.


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