Victoria Azarenka vs Naomi Osaka Tennis Prediction
Azarenka defeated Osaka in 56 minutes when they met in 2016 at the Australian Open (6-1 6-1), the tournament in which the Belarusian is a two-times champion. The former #1 has a 16-8 record in Rome main draw, while Osaka has not lost to an outside top 50 player in 2018.
Victoria Azarenka News
Victoria Azarenka will make her 10th appearance at Internazionali BNL d’Italia, with a runner-up finish in 2013 being her best showing. During that 2013 run as the world #3, she defeated #10 Stosur and #6 Errani, before succumbing to Serena Williams.
Last week, Azarenka played her first clay tournament since 2016 French Open at Madrid, defeating Aleksandra Krunic in the first round, but losing to Stuttgart champion Pliskova in the next (l. 6-2 1-6 7-5 in two hours and six minutes).
The Belarusian had the best week of her maternity comeback at Miami Open in March. After negotiating wins over Sevastova, Radwanska, and Pliskova, she fell to the eventual champion Sloane Stephens in the semifinal, suffering from cramps.
Naomi Osaka News
Naomi Osaka made her debut at Rome last year (ranked #49), losing the first round match to #32 Laura Siegemund, 6-2 6-4, in 90 minutes. A year later, she returns to the tournament seeking her first win here, positioned at her career-high rank of #21.
Osaka won her first WTA title by claiming the season’s first Premier Mandatory at the Indian Wells, defeating Halep, Sharapova, Pliskova, and Kasatkina. She went on to defeat Serena Williams at Miami, becoming the eighth player to do so at Key Biscayne.
However, kick-starting her European swing at Madrid, Osaka fell meekly to Shuai Zhang in the first round (6-1 7-5). The Chinese created more than a dozen break points opportunities on Osaka’s serve, converting six of them.
Tennis Prediction: Victoria Azarenka