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Early Saturday morning the first Grand Slam final of the year will begin. The three-time major winner Naomi Osaka, looking to become the reigning US and Australian Open champion for the second time, faces off against former UCLA collegiate tennis star Jennifer Brady.
Both players have had a somewhat different path to the final. Brady has had a relatively uncomplicated time Down Under having not faced any player ranked inside the WTAs Top 20, and only really coming under pressure against fellow American Jessica Pegula. Brady lost the first set 6-4, but comfortably dispatched her compatriot 6-2 6-1 in the remaining two sets.
Saturday 08:30 – Naomi Osaka v Jennifer Brady
Osaka, while remaining stand-out favourite for this year tournament, has come through probably the toughest draw of all players. She has encountered no player outside of the world’s Top 50, including two multiple Grand Slam winners.
Her toughest test came in the fourth round against Garbine Muguruza facing two match points at 5-3 in the third before winning the next four games. The most poignant moment for Osaka came in the semi-final against a player she has looked up to since a child, 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams.
The facile victory looked like a real passing of the baton moment, where we can see Osaka dominating Women’s Tennis for years to come.
Brady has had a real uptick in results since the sport returned last August after being stopped because of the Covid-19 outbreak. She won her maiden WTA title in Kentucky before a deep run in the US Open, making the semi-finals before running into eventual champion Osaka, losing 2-1 in sets. This was the third meeting of the pair, the first came on the ITF tour – which Brady won – and twice since on the WTA tour.
Those three games have been tight affairs with both players giving up very little and all but one set finishing 6-3/6-4 to either player. I can easily see a similar story happening in this year’s final as both players are very strong servers.
During the tours Australian swing both Osaka and Brady have been holding their serve almost 90% of the time. The pair are also towards the top of the charts for number of aces at this year’s tournament with Osaka topping it with an unbelievable 44!
I can see this match turning into a real service battle with neither player wanting to be broken and picking up several free points from aces. It wouldn’t be a surprise if we were to see a first set similar to their US Open match where Osaka took it in a tiebreak.
In my opinion I feel the match will come down to experience on the big occasion. This will be Brady’s first-ever Grand Slam final and only second tour final, whereas Osaka has been there, done that before in Melbourne.
You also will have to factor in Brady’s poor 2-11 record against Top 10 players. Osaka will no doubt revel in this kind of atmosphere hoping to continue her imperious 20-match winning streak and take home a second Australian Open and fourth overall Grand Slam Title.
If you happen to be up early on Saturday morning and would like something to help you become engrossed in what is sure to be a fascinating high-quality affair don’t forget to check out our great selection of #WhatOddsPaddys and Power Prices available on site. Here’s one more tasty pick I fancy, check out the widget below.
#WhatOddsPaddy: Osaka to Win 2-0 & win each set 6-3 OR 6-4
Set 1 Correct Score Groups Any Player to be 6-4, 7-5 or 7-6
Osaka to win, Serve over 6.5 aces and Total Match Games under 20.5
Osaka to win 2-0, Serve Most Aces and Set 1 Total Breaks under 2.5
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