Saturday, February 20, 2021

Australian Open live coverage: Naomi Osaka takes on Jennifer Brady in women’s singles final

Australian Open live coverage: Naomi Osaka takes on Jennifer Brady in women's singles final

Is Osaka ready to reign again?

On paper this final might look a little bit one-sided — but the Australian Open is played on hardcourt, not paper, so anything can happen.

It’s fair to say that Brady has benefited from the way the tournament has played out so far.

She has come through from a half of the draw that had the number one, four, five and six seeds (among others) knocked out early — Australia’s own Ash Barty, defending champion Sofia Kenin, Elina Svitolina and Karolína Plisková respectively.

Her game has been based on hitting more winners than her opponents, piling the pressure on so the unforced errors mount up, and .

This has worked thus far — but now she has to come up against Osaka, who is looking to win the title for the second time in three years.

No matter who won the first semi-final — Osaka or Serena Williams —they would be going into this match as hot favourites.

But the lethal groundstrokes and cool composure shown by the number three seed against the 23-time singles grand slam winner has simply added to this view.

She has the experience, she has the shots and she has the confidence. But now the pressure is all on her.

Osaka is expected to win —can she produce her best when it counts tonight, and take a fourth career grand slam title?

We shall see.

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