Archives for 2019

All of a sudden, Madison Keys rises up, wins Cincy

There are times that Madison Keys can be so out of it. But, this week in Cincinnati, the powerful American was on top of the game. Her first serve was gigantic, her strokes were deep and true, and her returns were tricky. She won it, beating Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5 7-6(5) in the final.

Kuznetsova had a terrific week. The Russian has won two Grand Slams, but she was injured for months, and when she came back, she wasn’t secure, losing early. But finally, she started to run and be very consistent. She has been on the WTA for very long times. Some weeks, she is down; other weeks, she is joyful. Kuznetsova could win another major in the next few years. She is already thinking, “Can I be patient and grab the US Open?” The last time she won it was in 2004, 15 years ago. A super long time. But, you never know.

That might be the same thing with Keys. She has gone deep at the Slams, reaching the 2017 final at the US Open, falling versus Sloane Stephens. She was pretty nervous, but she has matured a little. Now, she has to center herself at the US Open, and bolt.

The Men
Who would have thought that Daniil Medvedev would actually win an ATP 1000? After all, over the past month, the Russian was rising fast, exploiting an odd but tricky game. He has finally accepted his game’s limitation and potential. When he first started, the now 23-year-old was suffering at times. Currently, he is blissful.

Medvedev took down David Goffin 7-6(3). 6-4 in the final. Goffin has improved over the past few months, and he loves to grind. However, Medvedev was more potent in the final. He knew that if was close, so he wanted to dive on him. And Medvedev did. That was the biggest title ever.

When the US Open arrives, the top three will be favored: No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who won the 2018 title at Flushing Meadows; No. 2 Rafa Nadal, who just won Canada and No. 3 Roger Federer, who is itching to play after losing Wimbledon despite have two match points.

Now, Medvedev upset Djokovic in the semis at Cincinnati, but that was two-out-of-three sets, not three-out-of-five. That is the biggest difference by far. You have to hang in there for a long time to win a men’s Slam. You can get tired, for many hours, but you have to keep trucking.

Djokovic has won 16 Grand Slams titles, and Medvedev has won … zero. Let’s see during the next two weeks if the Russian can ascent.

Federer goes down, but Barty rises again

The great Roger Federer went down at Cincinnati on Thursday, losing to the up-and-coming Andrey Rublev, 6-3, 6-4. Rublev is very good, when he is on.

For the most part over the last 16 years, Federer knows how to win. He may not play well, but he still mixes it up and he changes the tactics. But not this time. The powerful Rublev kept coming, he hit it hard, and he really focused. Federer, who just started playing after he lost in the final at Wimbledon, losing 13-12 in the fifth set against Novak Djokovic. So close by Federer, but no cigar.

The Swiss will go to the US Open, and he could go deep once again. But, to win it? That is a tossup, because Federer hasn’t won it since 2008. That is 10 years ago, on the hardcourts, at the US Open, which can be hot and sticky.

However, you have to give him a shot, perhaps his last time, as he is 38 years old, and to win a major again, the 20-time Grand Slam champ has to go for winners pretty early. Because if he doesn’t, during the second week, Federer could be tired and overhit.
 
NOTES
It was pretty clear that Ash Barty thinks she can beat anyone when she is so confident and steady. Plus, a few years ago, she was shaky, but now she is locked in. A few days ago, she beat the former five-time champion Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-1. The American/Russian is back again, but she isn’t steady yet, and she has to find her solution. It will take her months to be 100 percent, physically. If she can continue to play, and she doesn’t gets injured again, then she will be a fantastic player. No doubt about it, but somehow she has to get healthy, period.  

Naomi Osaka is lurking. She has reached to the quarters, and while she has been mentally up and down this season, the two-time Slam champ wants to prove she can beat anyone. Yes, she is No. 1 again, but she hasn’t won an event since January in Australia. It is time for her to leap up and knock everyone down.

Osaka will face against American Sofia Kenin, who down Elina Svitolina for the second time in two weeks. Kenin is getting better all the time. She isn’t quite there yet, but she is smart and intelligent…

Venus Williams woke up this week, after she lost a lot of matches over the past few months. But, when she is confident, she can dominate with her sharp first serve and her razor backhand. She will play Madison Keys, who also is finding her past form. Venus has gone deep over the past few years, but Keys can be negative, on court. It sounds like Venus has been very positive in Ohio.

Serena Williams vs Naomi Osaka – again

Serena Williams hasn’t won an event this year, but over the next five weeks she has an opportunity to raise her game, and perhaps, she can win Toronto this week.

If she does, who knows? Will the 37- year-old will be healthy or not? Will she start hitting her massive serves, her deep and hard forehand and backhand, and nail her returns.

However, it has not been a great year. She has been hurt a lot and she hasn’t won an tournament in 2019. She did reach the 2019 Wimbledon final, but Simona Halep cracked her easily.

But before that, Serena won so many events since she started playing in 1997. That is over 22 years ago. It is a very long time, but not too long for her because she just wants to play tennis. She can get angry, but she can also be peaceful. She absolutely has to.

On Thursday, Serena beats Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova in straight sets. Now she has to face against the two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka on Friday. Of course, almost everyone remembers that the Japanese/American upsetting Serena 6-2, 6-4 in the 2018 US Open final. Serena went out of control, yelling, and Osaka was so lethal in the last game. Minutes later, Osaka wept during the ceremony, but Serena said some very nice words. They became friends. They probably always will.

The former No. 1 Osaka hasn’t played great, either, but she is an amazing player, when she is locked in. But this year, she can scatter. If she can win Toronto, then she walk into the US Open and push herself.

Can Osaka beat the 23-Grand Slam-champ Serena again? As Osaka said: “Every Serena match is once-in-a-lifetime.” Well, close. For both of them, they both have huge weapons and they will go for it, almost immediately. We hope there an extraordinary contest.

NOTES
Caro Wozniacki lost early again, and I am not sure why she isn’t playing well. She has been around for a long time, she did win the 2018 Australian Open, plus she has grabbed a number of big titles. Either she is still hurt, or she isn’t happy…

The Canadian Bianca Andreescu won on Thursday, and finally she feels much better on court. So many people get injured, all the time, and it was been going on for years and years. Hopefully, the young Andreescu will stay healthy.

The strong Elina Svitolina crushed Belinda Bencic, so perhaps she is feeling comfortable again and smarter? She did before … American Sofia Kenin has been a bit up and  down, but she is only 20-year-old, so pretty soon, she will proceed.

In Montreal, there should be a fun match, with Rafa Nadal against Fabio Fognini. Nadal leads 11-4, but Fognini did shock him at the 2015 US Open, and in April at Monte Carlo, the Italian won 6-4, 6-2. However, Nadal has beaten him a lot, on clay and hardcourts. They know each other very well, but Nadal is very wary.

“He’s having a great season, one of the best of his career, if not the best,” Nadal said. “I need to be playing well.” They both do.

Mr. Zverev: Will he come around again?

Remember in November, 2018? He won the ATP Final, beating Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, two of the best players un¹ever. Then, when he started playing in January, 2019, he could actually win a Slam. But he didn’t. He fell back.

At what point will Alexander Zverev rise again? He has not had a good year at all, but I would think that he can come around.

The 22-year-old reached the final at Acapulco in March, but he lost to Nick Kyrgios. And then, the now No. 7 lost fairly early for the next five months.

On Tuesday in Montreal, Zverev  beat Cameron Norrie 7-6, 6-4. That was pretty decent, but now has to play against Nikoloz Basilashvili
who is ranked No. 17. Basilashvili beat him 7-6 in the third at Hamburg, two week ago. Now they will clash, on hardcourts, so it is faster and he has to attack early. He has to jump on the lines. His first serve is huge, if he gets in, that is.
Last year in Canada, Zverev lost in the third round against 
Stefanos Tsitsipas, a guy who is very good. But then he lost early in Cincy and the US Open.

It is just impossible to know how poorly the German is thinking on the court. We will find out ASAP as the North American hardcourt season proceeds.

NOTES

In Montreal, The veteran Milos Raonic beat Lucas Pouille, a good win, but now he will have face Felix Auger-Aliassime, the excellent 18-year-old. Both of them live in Canada. Auger-Aliassime is rising up, quickly, but Raonic wants to frustrate him. It should be a terrific match, forehand versus forehand.

Roberto Bautista Agut destroyed Bernard Tomic. The good thing is that the Aussie qualified, but he needs to work out more, and not travel all the time. Tomic is ranked in the top 100, and I would think he will qualify for the US Open, but it is hard to tell. He is up and down mentally all the time — still.

 The women in Toronto

Was this a surprise? Anettt Kontaveit took down Maria Sharapova 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Kontaveit can play excellent balls, or she can lose her temper. Over the last couple years, Sharapova has been hurt all the time, but she is still trying. Hopefully, over the rest of the year, she won’t get hurt, or here and there, because for many years, her right shoulder is sore all the time. She just has to deal with it, and she knows that.

“I’m still building the confidence and my form, and that’s something that’s just going to come with time and with match play,” Sharapova said. “Unfortunately, I just haven’t had that yet, so will just hopefully try to build on it. There’s never the perfect scenario. … So it will just take time to build that confidence again, because I have struggled with it for a long time.”

Another good Czech, Marie Bouzkova, upset Sloane Stephens. The American cannot get going. It is in her head…

The other Canadian, Bianca Andreescu, has returned after being injured for months. Recall though, she won Indian Wells, which was a shocker. But not anymore. The 19-year-old is a worthy player. If she stays healthy, she will make the top 10 by the end of the year.

On Tuesday, Andreescu beat Genie Bouchard 6-4, 6-1, 6-4. Years ago, Bouchard won so many matches. Now, she is not even in the top 100. Will she come back? I just don’t think so.

Re-think the game: Hardcourts are back

Photo: Mal Taam/MALTphoto

The hardcourts have begun again. Since in early April, the natural-surface people started to play on clay, and then, on the grass. Now at the end of July, the all competitors leap back on the hardcourts.

This week, in the United States, San Jose, and Washington have begun. None of the top players are playing yet. Next week, it is Toronto and Montreal. Most of all of them have to compete. So, they have to pay attention — big time.

In San Jose, the very young and aggressive Aryna Sabalenka is there. Last year, she was very, very good. She was incredible at times, but this season, she has been struggling. Once in a while, over the decades, there have been some fantastic players, when they rarely lost month after months, such as Serena Williams and Steffi Graf. Of course, they have missed some huge matches, but week after week, they think, they remember, and they build upon their success.

In 2018, the now 21-year-old Sabalenka rose quickly and she won Wuhan, a huge event. She was flying. When she started in 2019, she won a small event in January, Shenzhen. But after that, she skidded, and she has lost early during the past six months. Sabalenka is a tremendous talent, but she has to think on court. If she doesn’t, she won’t be able to crack the top 5.

At the Australian Open, believe it to not, she went down against the Amanda Anisimova, a super young player. Anisimova will face Zheng Shuai. That could be a blast, assuming that they both are on fire.

NOTES
The San Diego player CoCo Vandeweghe finally returned, as she was off for months due to a major injury. Now she feels better, but it will take her a while to raise up her game. On Wednesday, she lost to Sabalenka. Elina Svitolina is the top seed, and she is ranked No. 7. Look, she is a darn good player, and she has won some important tournaments, as she is quick and mighty, but she can get nervous and shaky. She has to keep her focus.

In Washington, Jack Sock returned. He’s another person who was hurt for months. Last week, in Atlanta, he lost in the first round. The same thing happened on Tuesday, when he lost against Jordan Thompson in Washington.

Sock is ranked 173, but a few years ago, he made it to the ATP Finals, in singles and doubles. Can he come back into the top 10 again? That is a long road back. In doubles, he is a terrific player, winning Wimbledon, the US Open and the ATP Finals with Mike Bryan in 2018. Yet in singles, he looks rushed. Then, he can collapse. If he wants to show the world how good he is, he has to re-think his game. Or else.

Can the GOATs graze again?

Serena Williams has 23 Grand Slams, while Roger Federer has 20.

Last weekend, Serena lost in the Wimbledon final to Simon Halep, very quickly, 6-2, 6-2.

Federer went down, but it was very close, super close. He lost 13-12 in the fifth set against Novak Djokovic. He had two match points at 8-7 in the fifth, and he couldn’t do it.

Serena wants to tie Margaret Court at 24 Grand Slams, and over the past two-and-a-half years, she has had an opportunity, but she couldn’t convert. And if she does so, then for sure, she will be the best player ever.

The Swiss is one of the best player ever, for now, but in the next few years, Rafa Nadal (who has 18 Slams) and Djokovic (who has 16 majors) could pass or tie him. They both are still playing, and the 37-year-old Federer might retire at the end of 2020. Maybe not, but he is aging,slowly, but still aging.

Serena is also 37-year-old, and next year, she might wave goodbye. Her older sister, Venus Williams, is still playing, and maybe she will continue to play until she is 40 years old. Clearly, they love tennis, which is why they can run forever, but that doesn’t mean that their bodies are wearing down. It happens for everyone. The heart might want to play but hurt legs end careers.

Years and years ago, like it is now, the best competitors wanted to play on the tour almost forever. For some, it didn’t really matter anymore if they were winning a title; they only wanted to hit the ball, anywhere, anytime. That was their mantra.

But two of the fantastic players, Pete Sampras and Steffi Graf, decided to retire fairly early. American Sampras hadn’t won an event for two years, and then, at the 2002 US Open, the huge server won it all. Twelve months later, he called it quits. He owned 14 Grand Slams, and at that time, that was enough.

Graf did much the same thing. In 1999, she won it at Roland Garros, and three months later at San Diego, she retired because her knees were totally wrecked. She was “only” 30 years old. She had won 22 Grand Slams, but she didn’t want to continue anymore. It was time to have a baby, and to have a new life. And she did, and now she has two children, and is married to Andre Agassi, another great player.

But that was a different era.

There have been a number of Grand Slam winners who continued to play after their prime: such as Sergi Bruguera, Thomas Muster, Petr Korda, Helena Sukova, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Nathalie Tauziat, among others. They believed that they could do it again, somehow, someway, but they weren’t even close. Eventually, they had to stop.

With Federer and Serena, they both have a chance to win it a Slam next year. Oh, sure, both of them have won the US Open, but to win it again, which will start in five weeks, I cannot see it. Last year, Federer lost to John Millman in the fourth round. Serena lost in the final against the rising Naomi Osaka. Federer was upset, and Serena was extremely upset, with a now infamous meltdown.

The last time that Federer won it was in 2008, 11 years ago. Serena won it 2014, which it wasn’t so long ago.

But, both of them aren’t quite as fast as they used to be, which is why over the past two years, they still look very good, but not great-great anymore. There was a day they were winning almost everything. However, to think they will shine forever is foolhardy.

In 2020, both Federer and Serena have a real chance to win just one more time. Perhaps at the Australian Open, and Wimbledon again. But after that, at the end of the season, both of them will walk away and retire. It will be time.

2019 Wimbledon final: Djokovic has slight edge over Federer

Novak Djokovic takes on Roger Federer, again, in a Wimbledon final.

This will be another tremendous match. The Serbian won it here last year, being so consistent and finally, secure. His backhand is truly remarkable, his return is deep and true, his forehand is very hefty, and at the net, when he gets in there, he bends down and he hits it right near on the lines. 

The Swiss Federer has learned to improve over the past 16 years. He is brilliant, he is cagie, he crushed his forehand, and he loves coming into the net. He softly drops it close to the net: a jaw-dropping winner. 

Djokovic and Federer have played three times in London. Novak beat him twice, while Roger won it once. This matchup is about grass, not about clay or the hard courts. There will be relatively short points, with huge serves. While they can be patient, here and there, there is no doubt when they have an opportunity, they will strike. 

Djokovic leads Federer 25 to 22 — 47 matches. That is an extraordinary number of head-to-heads.


During 2015-2018, Djokovic won six matches against Federer, and the Swiss won three. 

At Wimbledon in 2015 in the final, Novak beat Roger 7-6 (1), 6-7 (10), 6-4, 6-3. Then, and now, the smooth Serbian is slightly better than he is. It will be close, very, very, close, and it will go to the fifth set.

While many people fans will be screaming for joy for Federer, either on the Centre Court, or on TV, still, Djokovic will beat him again with his wonderful backhand cross-court. Then, the very strong Djokovic will have 15 Grand Slams. 

Halep crushes Serena for title, stalling her march to 24

By Ron Cioffi

Saturday was the day many thought that Serena Williams would tie Margaret Court with 24 Grand Slam titles.

Simona Halep didn’t give the 37-year-old Serena a peak that the milestone.

In one of the most decisive beat downs in recent Grand Slam final history, Halep dominated the aging American and won her first Wimbledon trophy 6-2, 6-2.

There were three notable statistics that showed how one-sided the final was. Halep came out on fire rushed to a 4-0 lead in about 11 minutes. At that point, Williams had to start to wonder if she was going to find her A game.

It wasn’t until mid-second set that Williams served her first of only two aces. Another weapon dismissed.

But, the third stat was three. That’s the number of unforced errors by the Romanian. Three. In two sets. Versus the best woman player of all time.

Williams had 26, many hitting the net because she wasn’t bending for low shots or just not being in position to dent Halep’s accurate shots.

Halep called it the best match she’s ever played. I would hope so because it’s hard to see how she could play better.

Anticipating Serena’s massive serves was one of the keys to give Halep an important edge. She was often on the move as Serena’s toss was still in the air. One on serve up the T, Halep was so quick that she overran the ball.

Finally, it was quickness that slay the queen. Halep’s movement was a weapon that cut down the ferocious Williams backhand. Usually Serena can jump in and crush her cross-court backhand. But, Halep stunned the crowd by not only getting a few rockets back but hitting them for winners. Those shots had to make Williams wonder if she could ever break down Halep’s defenses. And, maybe if she can rise enough to meet Court’s record.

Who is the super young Cori Gauff?

Over the past 51 years, it has been very rare to see the 15-year-old women players have reached the second week at Wimbledon. It has happened here and there, but when you beat three players on grass, and you are an American, who grew up largely on hard courts, then to upset experiences players, well, is quite an accomplishment.

Cori “Coco” Gauff fended off two match points, but somehow, she rose up and knocked off Polona Hercog 3-6, 7-6(7), 7-5.  

“When [the last shot] was going overhead, I was like, ‘Please go out, please,'” Gauff said. “Then after, when I was jumping, I was like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe it. It’s been one long match, it’s finally over!’ “

Yes it was. She is very fast, she really concentrates, and she can smack her forehand and her  backhand. Without a doubt, she has a long way to go, because she is very, very young, and she has to improve a lot of different things. But what I can already say, if she continues to work, and really focus, then soon enough, she will crack the top 20 within a year.      

NOTES
I think we all know that Karolina Pliskova is almost on fire — almost. She just won Eastbourne last week, she was hitting the ball very hard, and of course, her first serve is massive. Still, though, in the past decade, she can look great, and she can be pretty lousy. She has matured a great deal, though. She has never loved grass, but right now, maybe she finally will. She will faces her fellow Czech, Karolina Muchova, in the round of 16… 

Caro Wozniacki went down. We all knew that on grass, she doesn’t know to be patient enough. Or to be more aggressive. She has never gone deep at Wimbledon, but in a few weeks, she will be on the hard courts again. You have to think that she will play pretty well in the U.S. and Canada, but she has to prove it again. …  

Elina Sviolina is still there. Maybe she can reach into the quarters? On grass? Outside at the Grand Slams, she is a top-5 player over the past couple years, but at the majors, it gets into her head. Maybe, she has changed… 

On Friday, Simon Halep played almost perfectly, while Vika Azarenka did not play well at all. Pretty bad, in fact. If Azarenka comes back into the top 10, she will have to concentrate better. 

We expected a terrific match on Saturday between Sloane Stephens versus Jo Konta. It turned out to be exciting, as Konta had to overcome losing the first set. Stephens said that she would be changing up her tactics. But, it didn’t work, especially in the final set. Konta won 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

For another story from me about Stephens and Naomi Osaka, go to: Tennis.com.

Isner talks about Federer, Nadal and Djokovic

John Isner is finally back on court, this time at Wimbledon. Due to injury, the American couldn’t play on clay at all. In fact, at the end of March at Miami, he reached the final, and he lost to Roger Federer. 

Right after Miami, his foot became swollen, and later, he had mono. Until a couple days ago, he hadn’t hit a ball. It was a very long time, the first time, to recover.

In the first round at Wimbledon, Isner beat Casper Ruud in straight sets, and on Thursday, he will face Mikhail Kukushkin. Isner may be a better player, but as he said, when a player returns, they can be rundown. It will take him at least a month to feel healthy again.

Isner reached the semis at Wimbledon last year, but the 33-year-old has not made it to a final at any Grand Slam. But he knows that the best players — the 30-year-old-plus competitors Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic — are way above over the rest. Once in a while you can upset them, but it is rare. When they play against Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, they can try, but that doesn’t mean that you can fool them. Because they can knock back most any shot, make them dizzy, become frustrated.

Goodbye.

Isner said that the top three are still dominating. It is early at Wimbledon, but they are the three favorites, hands down.  

“It’s incredible. I mean, eventually they will slow down, maybe that’s six years from now. Who knows? But it’s absolutely remarkable, the stats that the big three have in Masters Series and Grand Slams over the last ten years, even more than that,” Isner said. “So it’s incredible. At the same time, you can consider yourself very fortunate to play in this era, just to say that you played with these guys week in and week out. But at the same time, it’s a bit unfortunate [for us].

“But, for me, I’ll take it. I have been right in the thick of it. A lot of players have had it worse than me. Look at a guy like Andy Roddick, incredible Hall of Fame player, but he ran up against Roger so many times in big finals. I think without Roger on the scene, Andy [Murray] could have eight Grand Slams.”

Murray has won three Grand Slams, twice at Wimbledon. In 2003, Federer won Wimbledon (grass) for the first time. The same with Nadal, in 2005, when he won Roland Garros (clay). In 2008, Djokovic won Australia (hard court). For 16 years, they have nearly monopolized the Grand Slam trophy case.

“It’s amazing to look at the Grand Slam stats. I mean, what has Roger won, 20?,” Isner said. “And he’s, like, he can’t even say he’s the greatest player of all time at 20 Grand Slams. It’s incredible. These guys are pushing each other. Rafa has 18 and then Djokovic is 15, not slowing down. It’s remarkable. These guys are pushing each other. I think when all’s said and done, it’s going to be arguing who’s better, Michael [Jordan] or LeBron [James]? It will impossible to tell.”

Wimbledon, the women: Can Kerber win it again?



On Monday, the WTA women will walk on the grass and attempt to bash the ball into the corners. Last year, Angie Kerber won the event in London, sliding and bending down, so quick and precise.

She is not No. 1 right now, but when she dances into Wimbledon, her eyes will open wide and she will have a chance to grab another Grand Slam.

However, there are a number of people who have a chance to snag it. Possibly 12. That includes Venus and Serena Williams, who have won it so many times at Wimbledon. Five for Venus, and seven for Serena. But they, are aging. Ten years ago, the Williams’s were a heavy favorites, but now in 2019, they are question marks.

Outside of Kerber, and the Williamses, three others have won the event: Maria Sharapova, Garbine Muguruza and  Petra Kvitova, twice. The Czech, Kvitova, has had a very good year, so she has to be one of the favorites. She is strong, she nails her first serve and she can smack her forehand and backhand crosscourt and down the line. She will be right there in the second week.

Sharapova just came back to play again last week, but over the last year, she been injured constantly, with her sore shoulder. Sharapova  would be shocked if she wins it again, this year, but the former No. 1 could knock down a couple big names, like Kerber, if they meet in the third round. The would be a dramatic match.    

Spaniard Muguruza won the tournament two years ago, she was so confident and she attacked quickly, especially returning the serve. But after that, she fell way down. If Muguruza reached the second week, then maybe she will remember how good she is. But right now, she does not focus well.

Here are some other players who can win Wimbledon, who hasn’t won it before: Ash Barty (the new No.1), Naomi Osaka, Karolina Pliskova, Kiki Bertens, Sloane Stephens, Jo Konta, Simona Halep, Belinda Bencic and Victoria Azarenka.

Amongst the Americans, Stephens could face Brit Jo Konta in the third round. That should be a blockbuster.

THE REST OF THE AMERICANS
No. 16 Madison Keys has not had a great year, but she rises up at the Slams,  so she could go deep. … The very young Amanda Anisimova is ranked No. 26, and surely, she will crack the top 20 very soon. The 17-year-old is very talented. The 20- year-old Sofia Kenin is in the top 30, and she can be very steady and she really knows how to handle things out there. It is possible that she could face against Osaka, who has won two Slams — on the hardcourt. The Japanese, who lives in Florida, Osaka is a little bit frustrated over the past few months,   so if Kenin can upset her, she is going to serve and return like a demon.

ENDS