Maria Sakkari vs Naomi Osaka
WTA Miami 2021 - Mar, 31st 2021.
Closing odds - money line
M. Sakkari vs N. Osaka Predictions (from BetzCenter's Experts)
There were no picks on this match by our experts
Osaka to Continue Unbeaten Run
It's over a year since Naomi Osaka began a match and lost it. Two Grand Slams have been won since then and this week could see her become world number one. To have any hope of that happening, Osaka has to beat Maria Sakkari in the Miami Open quarter final.
Osaka did withdraw from a couple of matches but the Japanese star just keeps on winning when getting on court. Here's a strange fact though, if winning this match, Osaka could face Spain's Sara Sorriba Tormo and that's the last woman to beat her. That was in the Federation Cup last February in a match played on a clay surface.
If Osaka can win this tournament, only world number one Ashleigh Barty making the final can stop her topping the rankings. Her year began with a run to the semi-finals of the Gippsland Trophy before withdrawing. Then came the Australian Open and Osaka won that Grand Slam title for the second time in three years. Only one top ten player was beaten (Serena Williams in the semi-final) but just one set was lost in that tournament.
The world number two missed tournaments in the Far East but made her comeback here. Only two matches have been played by her, both won in straight sets. Her third round opponent withdrew giving Osaka a walkover. Her good form was shown in the last round when only dropping six games against 16th seed Elise Mertens. Surprisingly, this is her first time past the third round of the Miami Open.
Sakkari Out to Cause an Upset
Maria Sakkari is the 23rd seed for this tournament and ranked 25th in the world. The Greek player is also enjoying her best run in this event. Before this week she hadn't got past the third round of the Miami Open.
Sakkari enjoyed a good end to 2020 making it to the semi-finals of the tournament held in Ostrava. That included a win over Elina Svitolina. Her good form continued into 2021 as Sakkari made it to the last four in Abu Dhabi beating Cori Gauff, Garbine Muguruza and Sofia Kenin.
A third straight semi-final appearance came in the Gippsland Trophy. You can imagine her disappointment when losing to Kristina Mladenovic in the first round of the Australian Open. March has been better for her with a win over Madison Keys before losing to Garbine Muguruza in Qatar. Another first round exit took place in Dubai but it was against eventual runner-up Barbora Krejcikova.
Sakkari is a dangerous player when in form. Only six games were lost in her first two matches in this tournament. It was tougher in the last 16 though when up against in-form Jessica Pegula. It took a third set tie-break to get her into this quarter final.
Osaka has won three of her previous four matches against Sakkari. All but one have gone to three sets. Osaka looks in good form though and can be backed to win this in straight sets.