Zhang Shuai and Naomi Osaka will meet cin a first-round match at the upcoming Western & Southern Open.

Zhang Shuai

The Chinese tennis pro won the Lyon Open earlier in the year. She also made it to the final of the Nottingham Open where she lost to Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Zhang Shuai
Western & Southern Open 2022: Zhang Shuai vs Naomi Osaka - Preview, Head-to-Head, and Prediction 3

However, her performances overall have been inconsistent. She participated in the Canada Open before the Cincinnati Masters and lost in the second round against Simona Halep in straight sets. Zhang won the doubles event last year at Cincinnati but exited in the first round of the singles event after progressing from the qualifiers.

Naomi Osaka

World No. 39 has failed to impress this year. Osaka would be the first one to raise her hand and accept it. She had a promising start to 2022 at the Melbourne Summer Set 1, where she made it to the semifinals. However, her returns in the Australian Open and the subsequent Indian Wells Masters were far from what fans expected of her. The Japanese star’s best campaign thus far came at the Miami Open where she made it to the final before losing to Iga Swiatek.

Naomi Osaka at Miami Open 2022
Naomi Osaka

Since then, Osaka has played in four tournaments but hasn’t managed to go beyond the second round. Last year at Cincinnati, Osaka won her first match against Coco Gauff but lost in the round of 16 against Jil Teichmann.

Head-to-Head and Prediction

Naomi Osaka and Zhang Shuai have faced each other on five occasions. The head-to-head is tantalisingly poised at 3-2 in favor of the four-time Grand Slam champion.

Naomi Osaka is expected to double her lead. The match could be decided in the third set.

Prediction: Naomi Osaka

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