Jennifer Brady targets first Grand Slam title

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2021 Australian Open

Women’s Singles Final

Jennifer Brady v Naomi Osaka

20 February 2021
Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia

American Jennifer Brady will go in search of her first Grand Slam title when she faces Naomi Osaka in the Women’s Singles Final of the 2021 Australian Open, set for the Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne Park on Saturday 20 February.

Brady earned a spot in her first Grand Slam final when she defeated Karolina Muchova 6-4 3-6 6-4, following on from triumphs over Jessica Pegula, Donna Vekic, Kaja Juvan, Madison Brengle and Aliona Bolsova earlier in the tournament.

Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka
Image copyright: Getty Images

The 25-year-old’s former best appearance at a Grand Slam was reaching the semifinals of last year’s US Open, while her Australian Open best was reaching the fourth round in 2017.

“My legs are shaking, my heart is racing,” said Brady after her thrilling win over Muchova.
“My legs felt fresh but they weren’t moving. They felt stuck in mud. I didn’t really pick up my intensity until the beginning of the third set.”

Osaka, meanwhile, took down 23-time Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams 6-3 6-4 in straight sets in her semi. The Japanese had earlier beaten Hsieh Su-wei, Garbine Muguruza, Ons Jabeur, Caroline Garcia and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

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“For me, I think the biggest thing is just having fun and it’s the first day having the crowd in a while... it’s always an honour to play her [Williams]. I just didn’t want to go out like really bad, so I just wanted to try my best,” said Osaka, who is a three-time Grand Slam champ and winner of the Australian Open in 2019.

In head-to-head terms, Brady and Osaka have met in three previous matches, with the Japanese player taking two victories. That includes a 7-6 3-6 6-3 win in their most recent meeting in the semifinals of the 2020 US Open.

“We had a tough match in the US Open, where she said it was one of her top two matches,” added. Brady. “I’ll be nervous but I’m going to be super-excited.”

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Published: 02/19/2021