Miami Open 2021 Quarterfinals: Naomi Osaka vs Maria Sakkari Preview, Head-to-Head & Prediction

Published 03/31/2021, 2:21 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Japan’s Naomi Osaka in action during her semi final match against Serena Williams of the U.S. REUTERS/Kelly Defina


Japanese star Naomi Osaka and Greek player Maria Sakkari have deservedly reached the Miami Open 2021 quarterfinals. But now, they will need to go through one another to make it to the last four.

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Notably, the 25-year-old Greek professional is in her sixth tournament of 2021, whereas the 23-year-old Japanese is playing her third. However, they have both earned enough wins to remain confident about their game.

To reach the quarterfinal, Sakkari had to battle past Arantxa Rus, Ludmilla Samsonova, and the resilient Jessica Pegula. Now, her next opponent will be the current Australian Open champion.

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Osaka defeated Ajla Tomljanovic, received a walkover from Nina Stojanovic, and outclassed Elise Mertens to reach the last 16. Undoubtedly, she will be ready for the upcoming Greek force.

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Naomi Osaka vs Maria Sakkari: Head-to-Head

The pair have met four times on the tour before, with Naomi Osaka leading the head-to-head 3-1. Interestingly, Sakkari’s one win at the Cincinnati Masters R64 is their only encounter that ended in straight sets.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 06: Maria Sakkari of Greece plays a forehand in her Quarter Final match against Angelique Kerber of Germany during day four of the WTA 500 Grampians Trophy at Melbourne Park on February 06, 2021, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Every Osaka victory against the Greek has come in three sets; in Indian Wells Masters, Birmingham, and Brisbane. Will the World No. 2 increase the lead or let her opponent come closer to the Miami Open 2021 title?

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Osaka vs Sakkari: Prediction

Osaka and Sakkari are both known for their explosive power from behind the baseline. Additionally, they are always keen on making subtle changes during the match to crack open their opponents.

For instance, the Japanese returned close to the lines consistently in the second round, causing Ajla Tomljanović to make numerous unforced errors.

Mar 29, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan hits a backhand against Elise Mertens of Belgium (not pictured) in the fourth round in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Similarly, Sakkari initiated long rallies to beat the in-form American, Jessica Pegula, at her game, although the match could have gone either way until the last two points.

Considering match-time fatigue, the second seed Naomi will be much fresher than the 23rd seed, Maria. Moreover, the young gun plays with an impenetrable concentration, making it impossible for the competition to take any control.

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Indisputably, this matchup is the biggest challenge for both of them; however, Osaka would be an obvious favorite to win. The winner here will play the semifinal against the winner from Bianca Andreescu – Sara Sorribes Tormo.

Prediction: Osaka defeats Sakkari in straight sets.

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Purav Joshi

933 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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