The first Grand Slam singles title of the year will be won on Saturday when Naomi Osaka takes on Jennifer Brady in the final of the Australian Open inside the Rod Laver Arena. This has been a wonderful tournament thus far and we are set for a strong conclusion.
Osaka will be going after her fourth Grand Slam in as many finals having twice won the US Open and this tournament back in 2019. Brady will be competing in her first Grand Slam final and will be looking to make full use of the occasion.
This has been a breakthrough fortnight for Jennifer Brady who came to prominence at the US Open last year and has now gone one better at least. She goes into this final as the outsider to win the title but you would have to consider her a live outsider even though you would have to say she has had a kind draw this year. This is without a shadow of doubt her toughest test of her run so far but the American is here on merit and takes her chance accordingly.
Conditions have been perfect for Brady so far in this tournament with the faster courts enhancing her service motion and although she is yet to face anyone in the top 20 in the world to make it to this final, if she serves well here she could give herself every chance. She will need to serve well though because if Osaka is seeing a lot of second serves this will be a quick evening and not one the American ace will be looking for.
From the minute Naomi Osaka recovered from behind to beat Garbine Muguruza in possibly the best match of the women’s draw so far, the three-time Grand Slam looked the winner of this tournament in waiting and nothing has changed in that regard. She has oozed class in the second week of this tournament and looks set to keep up her record of winning every major she has gone past the fourth round in during her career.
Experience is massively on the side of Osaka here. She has been the favourite in Grand Slam finals in the past and she has taken on powerful players so she knows exactly what to expect here, and like true champions she knows how to peak on the biggest of stages. Osaka will also need to serve well here but her power on both wings and her temperament in the big moments are likely to stand her in good stead as she bids for a second Melbourne title.
Opt in and place 5 accumulators either in a Boylesports shop or online and get an acca free! Click the image below to bet. ALL CUSTOMERS! 18+ T&Cs apply. Gamble Aware.
Head to Head
These two have met on three previous occasions with Osaka leading the head to head 2-1. Brady actually won their first meeting but it was back in 2014 when neither had emerged onto the scene. The most important or relevant battle the two have had came in the semi-final of the US Open last season when Osaka won in a deciding set of what was a cracking encounter. Osaka won that contest 6-3 in the third set after Brady had levelled the score by winning the second. A match even half as good as that one will make for quite some final.
Usually the women’s final in the Australian Open is a tight and lengthy affair. Eight of the last 11 renewals have gone the distance and two of the three which were won in straight sets had a tiebreak in the first set but I sense that isn’t going to be the case here. I expect Naomi Osaka to be too strong here although there is the chance that Jennifer Brady serves like a dream and overpowers the Japanese star, however unlikely that might seem.
The games line for this match is at 20.5 which feels one or two too high to me. The case against Osaka is that Garbine Muguruza should have put her out in the fourth round but Muguruza is an elite major champion and Brady isn’t. Regardless of what the rankings will tell you, Osaka is the best player in the world at the minute, especially on a hard court and I expect her to be too good here. There is no weakness in her game and with the experience she has I think she can get this done in under 20.5 games, with the caveat that if Brady has a day out she can do likewise.
Back Under 20.5 games for a 3/10 stake at 1.85 with William Hill
Back it here: