American tennis star Jennifer Brady slayed the giant-killing Karolina Muchova in the second women’s semifinal of the Australian Open on Thursday, setting up a mouthwatering title clash with World Number 3 Naomi Osaka on Saturday.
It has the makings of a fascinating showdown between someone who has yet to taste Grand Slam glory and one who already has three titles to her name and is gunning for a fourth.
Osaka has 2-1 head-to-head lead over Jennifer Brady
Many would say that Osaka’s win over Slam Queen Serena Williams, twice in two Majors now after the championship victory at 2018 US Open, should tip the scales slightly in her favor going into Saturday’s final.
However, Brady’s win was no less impressive as it came against the high-flying Czech who was coming off a stunning upset victory over top women’s seed and World Number 1 Ash Barty.
While the 25-year-old dropped a set on her way to reaching the final, the win itself would have given a world of belief and confidence going into the Osaka clash.
What’s more, the 24-ranked Brady isn’t too badly placed when it comes to her head-to-head record against the reigning US Open champion.
The American currently trails Osaka 1-2 in three head-to-head clashes.
Their last meeting came in the semifinal of the US Open last year and it was a close affair as the match went to three sets before the Japanese managed to close out a win.
Naomi Osaka and Jennifer Brady are tied 1-1 in hard court battles
Another interesting piece of trivia, considering that the Australian Open is played on hard courts, is that the two are tied 1-1 in terms of matches played on concrete surfaces.
Brady had stunned Osaka in straight sets in a WTA hard court event in the US in 2014.
Also her defeat in the US Open last-four would, if anything, make the 25-year-old more determined to even the score at Melbourne Park.
However, the head-to-head count hints at an even contest, Osaka’s scintillating performance against a fiercely-motivated Serena does as also her superior ranking does make her a clear favorite in the final.