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US Open 2020: Naomi Osaka vs Misaki Doi preview, head-to-head and prediction

Naomi Osaka is nursing a hamstring injury heading into the match.
Naomi Osaka is nursing a hamstring injury heading into the match.
ANALYST
Modified 31 Aug 2020, 01:55 IST
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Match details

Fixture: Naomi Osaka vs Misaki Doi

Date: 31 August 2020

Tournament: US Open 2020

Round: First round (Round of 128)

Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA

Category: Grand Slam

Surface: Outdoor hardcourt

Prize money: $39,024,000

Match timing: 10 pm EDT, 7.30 am IST

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Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Star Sports / Hotstar

Naomi Osaka vs Misaki Doi preview

Naomi Osaka enters the 2020 US Open coming off an eventful week in New York. And while her run at the Western & Southern Open might have ended with a hamstring injury, she still has plenty of positives to take away from the tournament.

For starters, Osaka is unbeaten in the lead-up to the year's second Slam. The Japanese star managed to eke out wins even when she wasn't playing her best tennis, and that's always a good sign.

She will be a serious contender for the title in New York, provided that her injury concerns are addressed in time. In the first round Osaka is slated to take on Fed Cup teammate Misaki Doi, who has her own demons to overcome at the tournament.

Misaki Doi enters the tournament with a dismal 1-7 win-loss record.
Misaki Doi enters the tournament with a dismal 1-7 win-loss record.

The 29-year-old has a dismal 1-7 win-loss record at the tournament. And while that stat has more to do with unfortunate draws than anything else, it must have begun to feel like a huge mental obstacle at this point.

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Doi did put up a spirited show against Madison Keys last year and against Victoria Azarenka a few years ago, showing that she can hang with the best of the best. And that's precisely why she would be sensing a slight opportunity against Osaka, who will not know much about her match fitness until she is out on the court.

Naomi Osaka vs Misaki Doi head-to-head

Naomi Osaka enters the match as a heavy favorite, but will be under pressure from the start.
Naomi Osaka enters the match as a heavy favorite, but will be under pressure from the start.

Naomi Osaka leads the duo's head-to-head by a 1-0 margin, with their only match coming on the hardcourts of Tokyo four years ago. Things will only be more difficult for Misaki Doi now, considering the youngster's mercurial rise the last few years.

Nonetheless, Osaka will have to be wary at the beginning of the match as Doi is known to produce her best tennis right at the outset. The fourth seed does not want fall behind early as that would give her opponent the kind of self-belief that can do wonders for her otherwise understated game.

Doi, on the other hand, will need to work extra hard to sustain her level over longer patches; even the slightest let-up can cost her dearly against the quality of Osaka.

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Naomi Osaka vs Misaki Doi prediction

Naomi Osaka is the heavy favorite heading into the contest, but a lot will depend on her fitness. She will also need to be aggressive throughout, and cannot expect Doi to give away any free points.

It will be a mental battle for Osaka, but the youngster tends to bring out her best tennis when faced with adversity. You can expect a tough fight from Doi, but the former champion should be able to pull this one off in the end.

Prediction: Naomi Osaka to win in three sets.

Published 31 Aug 2020, 01:55 IST
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