The Japanese sensation has just hired a new coach, Jermaine Jenkins, that is replacing Sascha Bajin. It will be crucial to see how Naomi will “react” to this change and the pressure of defending an important title for the first time in her young career.
Naomi Osaka’s draw in Indian Wells
The most important thing for Naomi is that Serena Williams fell on the other half of the draw.
Another good point is that since Petra Kvitova is in Naomi’s half, the Japanese will definitely retain her world no.1 rank if she reaches the final (see analysis and comments)
Back to Osaka’s possible matches, it’s interesting to see that the world no.1 may face immediately Kiki Mladenovic in the 2nd round. That would be a rematch of their latest clash in Dubai when Osaka lost 6-3 6-3. If Naomi can make it, it would be an excellent way to kick start the new partnership with Jenkins with a fresh mindset.
Then Osaka will probably face Danielle Collins that was in hot form in Melbourne, but she needs to confirm to be “worthy” to be at the top also in Indian Wells and that is often difficult.
Later, Naomi may play Carolina Wozniacki in the 4th round with the Dane struggling a lot with her fitness. In the quarters the Japanese should play Karolina Pliskova before probably playing Kvitova or Kerber in the semifinal.
Here Naomi’s projected path
R1 – Bye
R2 – Mladenovic
R3 – Collins/Bouchard
R4 – Bencic/Wozniacki
1/4 – Pliskova
1/2 – Kvitova/Kerber
Fin – Serena Williams/Halep
Here the full draw
|READY TO DEFEND THIS TITLE?
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