- Sportsbooks are listing Naomi Osaka as the -200 favorite to defeat Karolina Pliskova in their semifinal match at the WTA Brisbane International
- Osaka is riding a 14-match winning streak, which is a career-high
- Pliskova is ranked #2 in the WTA and is the defending Brisbane International champion
A year ago, Naomi Osaka was the #1-ranked female tennis player in the world. That’s not the case this time around.
Karolina Pliskova is Osaka’s opponent on Saturday in the WTA Brisbane International semifinals. She’s currently #2 in the world. Osaka is rated #4.
Yet it’s Osaka who is listed as the chalk in this match.
Sportsbooks have pegged Osaka as the -200 favorite to defeat Pliskova.
Naomi Osaka vs Karolina Pliskova Brisbane International Odds
|Naomi Osaka||-200||-3.0 (-125)||Over 22.0 (-105)|
|Karolina Pliskova||+155||+3.0 (-105)||Under 22.0 (-125)|
Odds taken Jan. 10
Osaka is currently on a career-best 14-match winning streak.
Osaka Is Battling to Wins
While third-seeded Osaka is winning in Brisbane, she’s working hard to get the job done. All three of her matches have gone the full three sets.
She beat Kiki Bertens 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in Thursday’s quarterfinals. Osaka rallied to defeat Sofia Kenin 6-7(3-7), 6-3, 6-1 in the round of 16. And in her opening-round match, the Japanese player got past Maria Sakkari 6-2, 6-7(4-7), 6-3.
Osaka closed out the 2019 season with wins in the China Open and Toray Pan Pacific Open. Those were her first tour victories she since captured the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam event of the season.
Pliskova’s Coaching Carousel
Pliskova is back in action for the first time since her semifinal loss to world #1 Ashleigh Barty in the WTA Finals. She’s doing so while under the tutelage of yet more new coaches.
Daniel Vallverdu and Olga Savchuk are now coaching Pliskova. She split with Conchita Martinez last season.
The 27-year-old from the Czech Republic goes through coaches like the New York Giants. Jiri Vanek, David Kotyza, Tomas Krupa, and Rennae Stubbs among those who’ve taken a turn coaching Pliskova.
She seems to be working well with her new mentors. Pliskova won her quarterfinal from American Alison Riske in straight sets – 7-6(8-6), 6-3. She toppled Ajla Tomjanovic 6-4, 6-7(5-7), 6-1 in the round of 16.
Pliskova’s most recent tournament win was in the Zhengzhou Open last September.
Head-to Head All Even
Osaka and Pliskova have clashed four times on the court. Each player owns two victories.
Their most memorable showdown came last year in the Australian Open semifinals. Osaka outlasted Pliskova 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. she carried on to capture the second Grand Slam title of her career.
Osaka vs Pliskova
|0||Brisbane International Titles||2|
|2-2||Head to Head||2-2|
|77.5||Service Games Won||78.6|
|34.7||Return Games Won||35.4|
It’s interesting to note that neither player has won consecutive matches against the other. Pliskova defeated Osaka 6-4, 6-4 in the 2018 Tokyo Open. Osaka toppled Pliskova 6-2, 6-3 in the quarterfinals at Indian Wells in 2018.
Their first meeting came at the 2017 Rogers Cup. Second-seeded Pliskova was ahead of the unseeded Osaka 1-0 in the third set. At the point, an abdominal injury forced Osaka to retire from the match.
A Close One to Call
Osaka is already a winner in a sense this week. Her performance in Brisbane guarantees she’ll move past Simona Halep into the #3 spot in the world rankings.
She’s won her last four matches against players ranked in the top seven in the world.
In our first match of the year between two top 10 WTA players, #4 Naomi Osaka beats #9 Kiki Bertens 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the semifinals in Brisbane.
That's Osaka's 14th consecutive win. pic.twitter.com/IRs6vRn5ef
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) January 10, 2020
Pliskova has won the Brisbane International in two of the last three years. She’s tied with Serena Williams (2013-14) and Azarenka (2009, 2016) as two-time winners of the event. In 2018, Pliskova lost in the Brisbane semifinals.
Pliskova has the track record here but Osaka holds the hot hand.
Expect another three-set epic battle.
Pick: Naomi Osaka (-200)
Let's have fun and keep it civil.