Naomi Osaka Australian Open

WTA Tokyo Day 2 predictions including Osaka vs Saville

The WTA Tour returns to Japan with a very solid field for a 250 level event in Tokyo. Naomi Osaka leads the names of Day 2’s rivals as the Japanese native takes on Daria Saville on her home soil. As always, at LWOT we have the predictions for this game as well as the other four games on the Tokyo ground. But who is going ahead?

WTA Tokyo day 2 predictions

Karolina Pliskova vs Isabella Shinikova

Head to Head: first meeting

30-year-old Karolina Pliskova is looking for reinforcements for her run to the US Open Quarter-finals with a strong finish to the 2022 season. The former world No. 1 is up 10-4 on hard courts this summer and appears to be playing with renewed confidence. Her opponent, Isabella Shinikova, worked her way through two qualifying rounds to set up this first round fight. I think Shinikova’s groundstroke inconsistencies will show up against the rock solid Pliskova. I see she’s having a very strong week in Tokyo.
Prediction: Pliskova in 2

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Sofia Kenin vs Fernanda Contreras Gomez

Head to Head: first meeting

Former world No. 4 Sofia Kenin has dropped to her current ranking of #315. The 23-year-old American is holding a 4-11 record this season and has not claimed a win in nine of the 11 tournaments she has competed in. Her opponent, Fernanda Contreras Gomez, has done most of her work for 2022 at the ITF level. She won two three-set qualifiers to enter this main draw. I mentioned Kenin’s struggles, but she hasn’t lost to a player as low-ranked as Contreras Gomez since the fall of 2018. Kenin may not be anywhere near her best, but she should take this opportunity to grab her fifth win of the season.
Prediction: Kenin in 2

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Shuai Zhang vs. Mai Hontama

Head to Head: first meeting

Veteran Shuai Zhang meets up-and-coming Mai Hontama in Round 1 in Tokyo. Zhang had a terrific run to the round of 16 at the US Open and is ranked 28th in the world. She is 8-3 in her last 11 hardcourt games. 23-year-old Hontama received a wildcard entry in that field and is looking to make the most of her fourth Tour-level tournament of the season. She’s had a lot of success at the ITF level and wants to carry that over to the Tour. Unfortunately for Hontama, I believe Zhang’s current form will be too difficult for the young Japanese to handle.
Prediction: Zhang in 3

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Beatriz Haddad Maia vs Yuki Naito

Head to Head: first meeting

Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia was one of the surprises of the season. The left-hander holds a 32-18 record while earning a career-high ranking of world No. 15 less than a month ago. She meets Japanese wildcard Yuki Naito in the first round in Tokyo. Naito is a 21-year-old with very limited tour-level experience. She holds a career tour record of 2-5. Despite having the best season of her career, the aforementioned Haddad Maia was still prone to inconsistencies on the pitch. That being said, I don’t see Naito owning a weapon to harm the Brazilian.
Prognosis: Haddad Maia in Q2

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Naomi Osaka vs Daria Saville

Head-to-head: Saville 1-0 Osaka

Naomi Osaka is trying to break a four-game losing streak and regain some form on home soil at the start of her season in Tokyo. Her opponent in Round 1 is Australia’s Daria Saville. Saville holds the 1-0 head-to-head record against Osaka, defeating them in the second round of qualifying in Cincinnati in 2016. Both players have mighty different games compared to this clash and should show that in this game. Saville has been a strong hardcourt player this season but she won’t be able to match Osaka when the 24-year-old is at her best. I think the boost of playing in their home country will do wonders for the former World No. 1.
Prognosis: Osaka in the 3rd

Main photo by Getty.

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