By Ros Satar, in Melbourne
- We crunch the numbers between Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova as they bid to win the Australian Open Women’s singles title
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – The World No. 1 is up for grabs as well as a first Australian Open title for Slam champions Petra Kvitova and Naomi Osaka.
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Head to Head
|Naomi Osaka ||Petra Kvitova |
It is hard to believe that this is actually a first meeting between Petra Kvitova and Naomi Osaka. However, both of them come in with winning streaks. Kvitova is currently on an 11-match winning streak this season while Osaka’s Grand Slam winning streak is 13 matches on the bounce. Either way we have two in-form players fronting up for a Slam title.
|Titles (2019)||2 (0)||26 (1)|
Kvitova had the best start of all to the year, adding to her already impressive all with the Sydney title. Osaka has proved though that she is no one-trick pony reaching two Slam finals in a row, while it has been a while since Kvitova was on the big stage, adding a second Wimbledon title to her collection in 2014
Year to Date/Career W/L Record
(Source: Tennis Explorer)
|All surfaces W/L||8-1 / 205-128||12/1 / 300-211|
|Hard-court||8-1 / 131-78||12-1 / 216-109|
Kvitova is riding a wave at the moment, as she comes in as the form player so far. It might not have been the best start for Osaka, and she has a few battles already this tournament.
Match Stats 2019
(Source: Tennis Abstract)
Kvitova has certainly busy this year with tie-breaks while Osaka has managed to fend off any, even her three-setters this tournament
While neither have lost in a three set match this year, Osaka has had to go the distance twice as many times already this year.
There is very little to split their serve stats with Kvitova only slightly head and probably not surprising – both have strong serves, but you would have to maybe give that edge to Kvitova, but Osaka has been just a little more effective in terms of returns in play.
What they had to say
This is Kvitova’s first Slam final since 2014, and of course the first since the knife attack, but it has been business as usual for the Czech since her comeback in 2017 at Roland Garros.
“It’s a Grand Slam. You do have your nerves there and doesn’t matter what happen. You are just a bit more like stressed than normally you are when you are at home and, I don’t know, practicing and whatever. That’s how it is.
“But I don’t think it’s anything like very special. I have been in the final of the Grand Slam, but this is a little bit different. I’m not playing on the grass, but I think it’s probably a little bit more special because it’s after everything I have been through. So I think it’s just different, but I don’t think it’s, like, more nervous.”
It is also strange to think that with two Slam titles in the bag, Kvitova has never been a World No, 1, but that is not playing on her mind as she prepares for the final.
“From my side, doesn’t really affect me at all. I’m here to play in the final of the major, and that’s how I do have my mindset. If that happen[s], it happen[s]. It will just be very nice bonus of it, but I’m really thinking about the title only.”
Osaka marked her card as the future of the WTA at Indian Wells and backed it up with the US Open title. Now she looks to be not only a two-time Slam champion but could hold back-to-back Slams which is also some achievement, not to mention the prospect of being World No. 1.
“I think for me it’s experience. I’ve been in the third round. I was stuck there for two years. As soon as I could break away from that, now I’m here again, I think it’s just experience and a confidence issue for me it’s always felt like.
“I would love to say I’m that good, but literally I’m playing the best players in the world, and I’ve been playing three sets most of the time. It’s more like a battle of will at this point.
“We’ve never played before. I think to have the opportunity to play her for the first time in a final of a Grand Slam is something very amazing.
“I’ve watched her play the Wimbledon finals. I know what a great player she is. It’s definitely going to be very tough for me.”
Who will win the Australian Open 2019 Women’s Singles Title?
The Australian Open 2019 Women’s Singles final will be played on Saturday at 7:30pm (8:30am GMT).
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