We arrive in the quarterfinals of the 2019 WTA Toray Pan Pacific Open with two Japanese women remaining in the tournament. Madison Keys will face Angelique Kerber in an exciting matchup between attack and defense.
WTA Toray Pan Pacific Open Quarterfinal Predictions
Misaki Doi vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Head-to-head: Doi 1-0
It’s been an exceptional run for the 28-year old Japanese. She finished runner-up last week in Hiroshima to Nao Hibino and is now in the quarterfinals of the Toray Pan Pacific Open with great wins over Donna Vekic and Kristina Mladenovic. Would it be a surprise at this point if she was to go a step further? Not really. However, it’s hard not to expect her to get vastly overpowered by Pavlyuchenkova. The Russian looked supreme in wins over Yastremska and Bertens and should cruise to the semifinals.
Prediction: Pavlyuchenkova in 2
Camila Giorgi vs Elise Mertens
Head-to-head: First meeting
Both ladies have been very convincing thus far. Mertens has pulled through Whitney Osuigwe and Su-Wei Hsieh, while Giorgi beat Xinyun Han and absolutely demolished Sloane Stephens. Mertens is a very clean ball-striker, but she lacks the offensive arsenal. Giorgi has been playing extremely well lately and if she can repeat her performance against Stephens, she should be able to outhit the Belgian.
Prediction: Giorgi in 3
Naomi Osaka vs Yulia Putintseva
Head-to-head: Putintseva 3-0
Osaka’s second-round performance against Tomova did little to convince that she can turn around her head-to-head with Putinsteva. The Kazakh is a great runner and an excellent counterpuncher. The Japanese couldn’t handle her game twice this season already (Birmingham and Wimbledon) and hasn’t really improved her form since. Although Osaka should have a better chance on a hard court than on grass, Putinsteva has her number.
Prediction: Putintseva in 3
Madison Keys vs Angelique Kerber
Head-to-head: Kerber 8-2
The head-to-head discrepancy is quite natural as the German is a fantastic counterpuncher and Keys relies mostly on first-strike tennis. This should be a great chance for the American to get a win over her nemesis. Kerber hasn’t been in her best form lately and this might make all the difference. Keys won the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati and has been absolutely brilliant since. This isn’t a good matchup for the American, but she’s very high on confidence now and should find a way.
Prediction: Keys in 3
Main Photo from Getty.