TennisSection previews the 2021 Miami Open as Naomi Osaka (2) meets Maria Sakkari (23) in the Quarter-Finals on Wednesday March 31st, 2021.
The Quarter-Finals are here at the 2021 Miami Open, and second seeded superstar Naomi Osaka will face Maria Sakkari of Greece. This is sure to be a battle between two very solid players, with similar game-styles. They both are very aggressive baseliners who like to go for broke at times. The rankings suggest that Osaka should win but Sakkari is a true fighter with a “never say die” attitude. Can she pull off a stunning upset to reach the Semi-Finals here in Miami?
Naomi Osaka is currently ranked #2 in the WTA world rankings but is widely considered the best player in the world at the moment. She is the betting favorite to win this event and has been in fine form so far here at the 2021 Miami Open. She is yet to lose a set here, with straightforward wins over Ajla Tomljanovic and Elise Mertens sandwiching a Third Round walkover when Nina Stojanovic withdrew. The Japanese superstar was particularly impressive in her win over the solid Mertens in the Round of 16, with a strong display of power hitting that left her opponent powerless. She enters this match as the firm favorite but has had tough matches against Maria Sakkari before, and will have to play at a very high level to advance here at the 2021 Miami Open.
Maria Sakkari has shown tremendous grit to reach this stage here at the 2021 Miami Open, saving an astonishing six match points against Jessica Pegula in the Round of 16. She was in control of the match and then had a brief lapse in concentration, and really can consider herself lucky to still be in the tournament. Sakkari showed immense resilience during the comeback, saving her best tennis for the third set tiebreaker when it mattered most. She is the underdog here but is one of the strongest competitors on tour and will fight to the end. Like Naomi Osaka she has a big baseline game, but will need variation here, as if she allows Osaka to get into a groove it is likely all over. If she has recovered both mentally and psychically from that three set battle I think we are set for a very exciting match.
The two ladies have faced each other four times on the WTA Tour, with Naomi Osaka leading the head to head 3-1. Both players are tremendous competitors and will be fully focused and motivated for the occasion here. While Maria Sakkari displayed amazing tennis in her comeback win over Jessica Pegula, I think her run here at the 2021 Miami Open will come to an end. Naomi Osaka is simply on another level than the rest of the tour at the moment, and it will take a titanic effort to stop her here. The Greek star will give it her all, and will take confidence from the fact that she has beaten her opponent before, but she won’t win here. Naomi Osaka will win here and advance to the Semi-Finals of the 2021 Miami Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Naomi Osaka to win.