Date: 1 May 2022.
Tournament: Madrid Open 2022.
Round: Second round (Round of 32).
Venue: Madrid, Spain.
Category: WTA 1000.
Prize money: €6,744,165
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video.
Naomi Osaka vs Sara Sorribes Tormo preview
Former World No. 1 Naomi Osaka will look to clinch a spot in the third round of the Madrid Open when she takes on home hope Sara Sorribes Tormo on Sunday.
Osaka returned to the tour this season after spending a few months on the sidelines due to struggles with mental health. The four-time Grand Slam champion has been careful not to tax herself with too much competition this year.
The Japanese played just four tournaments prior to the clay season, with her best performance being a runner-up finish in Miami.
She has admittedly had good preparation for the clay swing, taking cues from none other than Rafael Nadal and Iga Swiatek. In her first match in Madrid, Osaka's confidence was evident as she swept aside Istanbul champion Anastasia Potapova 6-3, 6-1.
Former World No. 32 Sara Sorribes Tormo had a strong run in Mexico in February, reaching back-to-back quarterfinals in Guadalajara and Monterrey. She failed to reproduce those efforts when the tour moved to North America, managing just one win in Indian Wells and Miami.
But Sorribes Tormo seems to have found her rhythm in the clay swing. She made the last eight in Istanbul earlier this month, thereby arriving in Madrid with plenty of self belief.
The World No. 47 was subjected to a stern first-round test on Friday by last year's Roland Garros runner-up Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova but she was able to pull off a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 win in the end.
Naomi Osaka vs Sara Sorribes Tormo head-to-head
Osaka leads 2-1 in the head-to-head against Sorribes Tormo. The Japanese won their first two meetings, one of which was a 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-0 victory at Madrid in 2019.
However, the Spaniard exacted revenge in their most recent showdown with a 6-0, 6-3 win in the Fed Cup Qualifiers in 2020.
Naomi Osaka vs Sara Sorribes Tormo odds
Naomi Osaka vs Sara Sorribes Tormo prediction
Naomi Osaka played excellent first-strike tennis in the first round, producing six aces and winning 86% of her first-serve points. The World No. 36 was also pretty decent on return, converting five out of nine break points.
It is imperative that the Japanese serves in a similar vein against a feisty opponent like Sorribes Tormo. The Spaniard doesn't possess a strong serve but makes up for it with a heavy forehand and fantastic defensive skills. With her game suited to clay, she will look to move Osaka around the court and engage her in long, physical rallies in order to eke out errors.
But if Osaka can stay consistent with her aggressive brand of tennis, she should be able to come through this match.
Prediction: Osaka to win in three sets.