Victoria Azarenka vs. Naomi Osaka
This match pits two players against one another who have each won two majors and held the #1 ranking. It should be an outstanding match to watch because both players move exceptionally well. Points will not be easily won.
Coming into the match Victoria Azarenka has all of her wins at CincNY and the US Open plus a cathartic come from behind win against Serena Williams. Vika won her quarterfinal match easily and had a day off after the Serena Williams tilt. Vika is fit, confident, and rested. She has a big baseline game and moves exceptionally well (as alreayd noted). To win, Vika will need to be agressive and keep her error count down so controlled agression is a key. Also, while it is a bad idea to let Osaka dictate play, she should not avoid long neutral rallies. As good as Osaka is she has been extended to three sets three times. Osaka is not as sharp as she could be. Such rallies may ellicit errors and some confidence dips from Osaka.
Osaka Can Serve Notice
Naomi Osaka has a slightly more dynamic ground attack from Vika’s. Both have a heavy ground game and can turn defense into offense, but I think Osaka uses angles a bit more in her ground attack. Her biggest edge may be the serve. Azarenka’s serve is above average, but Osaka’s serve is excellent. The difference may be slight, but a slightly more nuanced ground game and a serve that is a bit more impactful could be the difference in the match. This is all true if their unforced error count is close to even. If errors pile up for either player, that will be the key factor.
My Non-Exciting Pick
This match will likely be decided by the unforced error count. Vika likely need to win that count by a moderately sized number while Osaka needs to just keep the count close. So, I pick Naomi Osaka to win 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 because she will control her error count while attacking Vika well enough to reach the finish line. Two confident players who move well and can go from defense to offense is a real treat for the fans. Osaka was my pick when the draw was released, and I cannot back off now.