Jennifer Brady (5.6) v Naomi Osaka (1.21)
Due to start at 8:30 am
Osaka leads their previous matches 2-1. They last met in the semi final of the US Open in August. Osaka won in 3 sets. Brady won their other hard court match in 2014 in Charleston, USA. She won in 2 sets.
Both players have strong overall results. Osaka’s overall win percentage is better. It is the same pattern on hard courts. Osaka has won 42 of her last 50 hard court matches. Brady won 38 of 50.
Brady didn’t drop a set in the first 4 rounds. Karolina Muchova and Jessica Pegula took her to 3 sets. Brady reached the semi finals of the US Open where she lost to Osaka in 3 sets. Her other good runs in slams both came in 2017 when she made the fourth rounds of the US and Australian Opens.
Osaka has lost just 1 set so far which was to Garbine Muguruza in the fourth round. She beat Serena Williams in straight sets in the semi finals. Osaka won the Australian Open in 2019 and the US Open in 2020 and 2018. Experience of not only being in slam finals but also of winning them will help her today.
Their stats for the tournament are really quite even. Osaka has played arguably stronger opponents. If Brady can handle the nerves she can make a match of this. Brady has only been in 8 finals in her career. Six of those were in ITF’s. Seven of her finals were on hard courts. Her most recent was in Lexington last August where she beat Teichmann in straight sets as favourite. In February 2019 she lost as 1.57 favourite in the Indian Wells Challenger to Golubic. Her second main tour final being a grand slam final is a huge deal. Nerves are likely to be an issue for her.
Osaka isn’t immune to nerves but it is hard to go against her here. I won’t be backing Osaka at 1.21. We can try a small lay on her around 1.15 and remove or reduce liability at 1.35. Back Osaka if she loses the first set.