How Jennifer Brady Can Defeat Naomi Osaka at Australian Open 2021 Final?

Published 02/18/2021, 12:40 PM EST
NEW YORK, NEW YORK: (L-R) Naomi Osaka of Japan taps rackets at center court with Jennifer Brady of the United States after winning their Women’s Singles semifinal match on Day Eleven of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)


After almost two weeks of jaw-dropping matchups, we have our two finalists on the women’s side with a chance to lift the 2021 Australian Open title. The No.2 seed Naomi Osaka will face Jennifer Brady in a blockbuster final at Melbourne Park.

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It will be an advantage for Osaka since she has the experience of playing in three Grand Slam finals and triumphing each time. Having won the Australian Open title in 2019, it will act as a boost for the Japanese to replicate the feat for the second time in her career.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Japan’s Naomi Osaka in action during her semi-final match against Serena Williams of the U.S. REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

At the other end, the No.22 seed Brady will compete in her first-ever Grand Slam final. Interestingly, Brady’s previous best Grand Slam result was reaching the semifinals of the 2020 US Open, a match that she lost to eventual champion Naomi Osaka.

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With the stakes high as ever, let us analyze the way Brady can defeat the former World No.1 Osaka.

Fire up is the first serve

Over the last two matches, Brady has got just 50% of her first serves inside the box, which casts a shadow of concern. With Osaka being a powerful returner, Brady needs to increase her first serve percentage to shorten the points, win some free points and keep her opponent at the back of the court.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Jennifer Brady of the U.S. in action during her semi final match against Czech Republic’s Karolina Muchova REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Having committed a whopping 38 unforced errors during her semifinal match, Brady will have to keep a check on that since it played a major factor in Serena Williams‘ loss to Osaka. The Japanese will not hesitate to take advantage of her opponent’s mistakes.

Return games

Barring her semifinal match, Osaka has served extremely well and has hit an impressive 44 aces in the tournament so far. For Brady to take control of the final, she will have to return hard and deep into the court to reduce Osaka’s reaction time.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Jennifer Brady of the U.S. in action during her semi final match against Czech Republic’s Karolina Muchova REUTERS/Loren Elliott

One vulnerable side of Osaka has been her second serve points winning percentage, hence Brady should take it into consideration and step up to the baseline to attack Osaka’s second service to create chances of breaking her.

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Rallies

The American possesses powerful groundstrokes to match Osaka from the back of the court and should aim to dictate the points with her forehand. To keep Osaka on the defensive, Brady will have to play closer to the baseline and mix it up by using her net play effectively. She simply cannot afford to give Osaka control o the baseline and rallies if she is to have a chance.

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With nerves bound to kick in, Brady will have to keep herself composed to increase her chances of lifting her maiden Grand Slam trophy.

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Kshitij Tayal

359 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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