Gauff is at the top of the field; Osaka and Zheng are ready for a first-round rematch

Gauff is at the top of the field;  Osaka and Zheng are ready for a first-round rematch

World No. 8 Zheng Qinwen and four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka will play each other in the first round of the ecotrans Ladies Open in Berlin, the first WTA 500 event of the grass court season.

The full draw for the tournament took place on Saturday, and the first round match between the two will be the second time in five weeks that Zheng and Osaka will have played, and the third match between the two in total. The Australian Open finalist was a 6-2, 6-4 winner in the fourth round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia last month and told the media afterwards that she had the utmost respect for the former world No. 1 and her return to the Hologic WTA Tour as a mother.

Berlin: Pulls | Schedule | Scores

Zheng makes her season debut on the grass court as Osaka suffers a quarter-final loss to Bianca Andreescu at this week’s Libema Open, the first match between the two Grand Slam champions in five years.

The winner could be a potential quarter-final opponent for No. 4 seed Jessica Pegula in the top half of the draw, which is led by new world No. 2 Coco Gauff. Following the withdrawal of Iga Swiatek prior to the tournament, top seed Gauff will play her first match against Beatriz Haddad Maia or Ekaterina Alexandrova.

In the bottom half of the draw, No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka will open against Marta Kostyuk or Daria Kasatkina, with reigning Wimbledon champion and No. 5 seed Marketa Vondrousova as her potential quarterfinal opponent. Elena Rybakina is seeded No. 3 and, after a bye, could face former champion Liudmila Samsonova – against whom she is 1-4 all-time. Samsonova is in her first match for a qualifying match.

Other notable first-round matches include No. 7 seed Maria Sakkari against Victoria Azarenka, and Czech teenager Linda Noskova against former world No. 1 Angelique Kerber, who received a wildcard into the tournament and will play her first match on grass to play. since 2022.