Start time: 2100, 12/09/2020
Venue: Arthur Ashe Stadium
TV: Amazon Prime
The women’s final at the US Open is a battle between former world number ones and a high-class contest is anticipated between Naomi Osaka and Victoria Azarenka.
This is the match we were denied at the Western & Southern Open two weeks ago when Osaka pulled out of the showpiece decider with a hamstring injury.
Both players came through tough semi-finals in three sets here and another close encounter seems plausible in the championship match.
The Japanese star is the clear favourite to win a third grand slam title, but our first Osaka vs Azarenka prediction is for over 22.5 games at 21/20.
A Look At Naomi Osaka’s Betting Odds
Osaka is 11/20 to get past Azarenka following a thrilling last-four victory over fellow big-hitter Jennifer Brady, whom many regarded as a dark horse to win the US Open.
The fourth seed crushed Serena Williams in a controversial US Open final two years ago and four months later won the Australian Open to make it back-to-back grand slams, so she is getting a taste for the big time.
“I would say I feel like my mindset is much different this time around,” Osaka said after her victory over Brady.
“I feel like I’ve learned so much through the ups and downs, not even counting the finals, but just regular tour tournaments. Mentally, I feel stronger. I feel fitter now.”
This year, Osaka dropped sets in rounds one and three, but has been clicking through the gears in the second week, culminating in a bruising battle with Brady which extended her winning streak to 10 matches.
That fitness will come in useful against the resurgent Azarenka, a player she has beaten twice in three meetings, the last of which came in three sets at the French Open last year.
Her other victory was also on clay in Rome the year before, while Azarenka’s sole triumph was a one-sided affair at the Australian Open four years ago when Osaka was a teenager and outside the world’s top 100, so perhaps we should not read too much into those previous meetings.
A Look At Victoria Azarenka’s Betting Odds
A lot has happened to Azarenka since she ruled the world in 2012 and 2013 on the back of her triumphs at the Australian Open, as she bids to win a third grand slam title like Osaka.
We saw very little of Azarenka for a 20-month period between 2016-18 as she fought a custody battle with her ex-partner over their son, but she is back in the world’s top 30 on the back of her success at Flushing Meadows a couple of weeks ago.
Azarenka fought back from a set down to avenge her US Open final defeats by Williams in 2012 and 2013 and secure a first ever win against the six-time champion in a major.
Williams took a three-minute medical time-out at 0-1 and 30-40 when serving in the final set and her injury may have played a part in her defeat, but Azarenka remained focused to get the job done.
She said: “I dug myself in a big hole – she dug me in a big hole in the first set. I had to climb my way out of there, one by one. I’m very happy that I was able to turn it around.”
The Belarusian also turned it around against Karolina Muchova in the third round when she lost the opening set, so we’re adding Saturday’s opponent to be leading 4-2 after six games at 23/10 as the last of our Osaka vs Azarenka betting tips.
Osaka led 4-2 early on in each of her three matches before she faced Brady and another fast start seems on the cards.
AZARENKA beat Williams 1-6 6-3 6-3
OSAKA beat Brady 7-6 3-6 6-3
Head-to-head: Osaka 2-1 Azarenka
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