Start time: 0845, 20/02/2021
Stadium: Rod Laver Arena
Naomi Osaka and Jennifer Brady produced a thrilling semi-final at the US Open last year and neutrals will hope for more of the same when they meet in the Australian Open women’s singles final.
Osaka triumphed 7-6 3-6 6-3 in New York so Brady may feel she has more of a chance than odds of 18/5 suggest.
We can’t overlook the fact the Japanese star has not lost a match for more than a year and given she also has more experience on the big stage, victory in straight sets at 11/20 is our opening Brady vs Osaka prediction.
A Look At Jennifer Brady’s Betting Odds
Brady is appearing in her first grand slam final after withstanding late drama to defeat Karolina Muchova in the deciding set in the semi-finals.
Brady made her slam breakthrough with her run to the last four at the US Open last summer and has now taken full advantage of a draw that opened up at Melbourne Park.
The open nature of the women’s game is highlighted by the fact Brady is the seventh woman to make her maiden slam final in the past nine tournaments.
Five of the other six went on to win the title, including Sofia Kenin in Melbourne last year and Iga Swiatek at the French Open in October.
“I’m obviously pretty excited to be in the finals,” said the 25-year-old. “It’s an incredible achievement but I think it will be a really tough match, obviously she’s won a few grand slams, we had a tough match at the US Open in the semi-finals.
“She even said it was one of her top-two matches, which was a little unfortunate for me.”
Brady struggled with her nerves at time during her match against Muchova and the pressure will be even greater in the final.
Looking at the Brady vs Osaka odds, we fancy Osaka to win the first set 6-3 at 15/4.
A Look At Naomi Osaka’s Betting Odds
Osaka’s semi-final against Serena Williams would have perhaps been a more popular final but it proved to be a routine victory for the most dominant player in women’s tennis right now.
From 2-0 down, the third seed won eight out of the next nine games before ultimately wrapping up victory in an hour and 15 minutes.
She is now looking to maintain her record of never having lost a grand slam final and said: “I have this mentality that people don’t remember the runners-up.
“I think I fight the hardest in the finals. I think that’s where you sort of set yourself apart.
“When I was younger, I guess two years ago or something, I felt like my goal was to make history, to somehow at least have one thing that I was able to do.
“I would say I wanted to be the first Japanese person to win a slam. I think that was my goal. Then there were more things to do.
“So for me right now, of course it’s nice to see your name on a trophy or your name on a wall. But I think bigger than that, I feel like I’m playing with a different purpose for this trip.”
It is a brave punter that opposes Osaka on current form so we’ll go with 6/5 for her to win at least six games more than Brady as our final Brady vs Osaka prediction.
OSAKA beat S Williams 6-3 6-4
BRADY beat Muchova 6-4 3-6 6-4
Head to head: Brady 1-2 Osaka
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