“Didn’t Fall Asleep”: Jennifer Brady on the Eve of Australian Open 2021 Finals

Published 02/24/2021, 3:02 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 18, 2021 Jennifer Brady of the U.S. celebrates winning her semi final match against Czech Republic’s Karolina Muchova REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


Losing Australian Open finalist Jennifer Brady has opened up on the anxious night she spent before playing her maiden Grand Slam final against Japan’s Naomi Osaka at Melbourne Park.

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Coming into the tournament ranked 24th, Brady followed up her appearance at the US Open semifinal last year with a dream run to the final at Melbourne.

Though she fell at the final hurdle, the 25-year-old reaffirmed her status as a rising star in the women’s circuit, zooming to World Number 13 in the new rankings.

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Jennifer Brady says she was high on adrenaline ahead of her 1st Grand Slam final against Osaka

In an interview, the American shed new light on her headspace before the title clash, revealing that she couldn’t sleep before 6.30 in the morning.

Brady said that she was wound up and high on adrenaline ahead of the biggest game in her career so far, adding that she spent the better part of the night awake, answering messages that her friends and loved ones had left on social media.

Tennis – Australian Open – Women’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 20, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka and Jennifer Brady of the U.S. embrace after their final match REUTERS/Loren Elliott

“The adrenaline was high. I didn’t fall asleep until like 6.30 in the morning and that wasn’t because I was out clubbing,” Brady said. She added that she could barely catch a couple of hours of sleep after replying to all the good wishes that poured in for the big game.

Brady says her run to Aus Open final gave her belief that she belongs “at this level”

Looking back at making her “first Grand Slam final”, the 25-year-old said she was “super thrilled” that all the hard work that went into her training and preparation in the off-season fetched a golden harvest. She said her run to the title clash also gave her the belief that she belongs “at this level”.

For good measure, the American added that her performance at the Melbourne Park only served to showcase that her last-four run at the Flushing Meadows was no flash in the pan. “It just shows the hard work I’ve been putting in and improving day-in and day-out,” Brady said.

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On what it meant to have compatriot Jessica Pegula, whom she beat in the quarters of the Australian Open, in her corner of the player box during the title clash, Brady said that it meant the world having the “support of a friend and also a fellow competitor”.

“It just shows that we aren’t all out for blood,” the World Number 13 said.

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Going into the Australian Open final trailing 1-2 in head-to-head battles with the Japanese, Brady couldn’t match up to Osaka’s superior power game as she went down in straight sets.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

750 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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