Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button Follow Me on Pinterest
NewsVideosLive ScoresTV ListingsTournamentsRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastMagazine

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesdsay February 17, 2021

Jennifer Brady knocked on the door at her last hardcourt Slam and nearly reached the final, falling to Naomi Osaka in a US Open semi-final that was considered by many to be the best WTA match of 2020.

Tennis Express

On Thursday in Melbourne the 25-year-old former UCLA Bruin took it a step further with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Karolina Muchova to set a final clash with—guess who?—Osaka at the Australian Open.

Brady, who becomes the seventh maiden women’s singles Grand Slam finalist since the 2018 US Open, battled through a nervy contest with the Czech that came down to a tightrope walk in the final game. The American needed five match points and saved three break points before finally clinching the win and dropping to the court on her back to savor the moment.

“I can’t feel my legs,” an exhilarated Brady said on court after the match. “My legs are shaking, my heart is racing.”

The 22nd-seeded American finished with 20 winners against 38 unforced errors, but she was perfect on break points, converting all three she saw.

Muchova finished with 21 winners and 29 unforced errors, but hit 20 of those errors in the critical third set.

“She just let me play,” Muchova said. “I did mistakes. Maybe that's what I'm a bit upset about now.”

Brady will hope to reverse fortunes against Osaka after falling to the Japanese star in the aforementioned exciting three-set thriller at the US Open last year. Osaka won on the strength of a single break in the third set and went on to take her third Grand Slam final.

Osaka holds the 2-0 edge over Brady at the WTA level and she will carry a 20-match winning streak into the final. Even more remarkable, the American has not lost a single match beyond the round of 16 at the majors. She is 4-0 in major quarterfinals, 4-0 in majors semifinals and 3-0 in finals.

“It's easily one of my most memorable matches,” Osaka said of her win over Brady in New York last year. “I think it was just super high quality throughout. For me, it's not really surprising at all to see her in another semis or another finals.”


Latest News