Where incumbent World No. 1 Barty might come undone in an otherwise comfortable looking draw is at the quarter-final stage where Barty would be looking to snap a five-match losing streak against Elina Svitolina, indeed to get her first win over the Ukrainian.
Like many players, Barty is making her tour return here so expect perhaps a little rust as she gets going.
Will the hard courts see a reversal in fortune for Osaka? She may have started the year on a high, but it is difficult to find anything that felt positive from the European swing, despite some decent enough placings on the clay.
It proved to be two very difficult Slams in a row from the US Open and Australian Open champion, and who knows what the pressure of defending the first major will do after a difficult summer.
It is not even as though the draw is particular favourable for her. Zheng Saisai comes in with confidence of winning the San José title and has her hard-court feet under her.
Osaka’s Path to the Final (Ranking/Seeding)
R2: Zheng Saisai
R3: Caroline Wozniacki 
QF: Serena Williams 
SF: Simona Halep 
F: Ashleigh Barty 
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No. 3 seed Pliskova actually seems to have picked up a semi-decent draw with close or winning head to heads and while she too is coming back to the hard courts after a long break since Wimbledon, but she has perhaps the least challenging task to make some inroads past her best of a quarter-final I Toronto.
The newest Wimbledon champion on the block makes her comeback and having scooped the Montreal title last year, she will be looking to start her US Open campaign in some style, carrying on where she left off.
Much like Pliskova, she has the best draw of the top seeds, and if she can get into her stride quickly at the start of her autumn hard-court season, she could do the Montreal and Toronto double.
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