Osaka vs Brady US Open tennis live streaming, preview and predictions

Naomi Osaka has never lost a Grand Slam semifinal – will she keep that streak alive as she faces Jennifer Brady at the US Open?

Osaka vs Brady is live from New York on Wednesday 9 September, 7pm local/12am BST

Every time in her young career that Naomi Osaka has reached the semifinals of a major, the Japanese-Haitian player has gone on to win the title. Is the 2018 US Open champion headed back to the final in New York?

US Open 2020: Tournament information, schedules, latest news and live streaming information for the resilient Grand Slam in New York

Osaka is up against a player in Jennifer Brady, however, who has been a revelation in 2020, transformed by a revamped off-season training regimen and new team set-up. Brady has yet to lose a set at the US Open – can Osaka halt her headlong run?

Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.

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Osaka vs Brady: Head-to-head

The head-to-head between Naomi Osaka and Jennifer Brady is 1-1. Brady beat Osaka 6-4, 6-4 at an ITF tournament in 2014. Osaka won their only WTA Tour-level match in 2018 on green clay in Charleston, 6-4, 6-4.

Osaka vs Brady: Preview

Not that there’s a huge sample size, but historically, Naomi Osaka has been unstoppable by this point in a Grand Slam. The world no. 9 has only twice been past the round of 16 at a major, and both times she’s won that tournament, at the 2018 US Open and the 2019 Australian Open.

I was sceptical that Osaka would still be in the tournament at this stage when she pulled out of the Western & Southern Open final just two days before her first US Open match due to a left hamstring injury, and became even more so when she was taken to three sets twice in her first three matches, by Misaki Doi and Marta Kostyuk.

But although she is still playing with her left thigh heavily strapped, Osaka has said that the injury is bothering her less and less, and she has played her two finest matches of the tournament in the last two rounds, beating Anett Kontaveit and Shelby Rogers by identical scorelines: 6-3, 6-4.

The fact that Osaka beat two very in-form big-serving power players in straight sets is very relevant, because Jennifer Brady is another player very much in that mould.

Jennifer Brady hasn’t dropped a set at the US Open (PA Images)

The American’s last two opponents, Yulia Putintseva and Angelique Kerber, were counterpunchers above all else, and Brady was able to blast through them with the devastating, accurate power that’s the trademark of her game, particularly on the forehand wing. She needed an MTO against Kerber and wasn’t moving quite as freely as she has been against Putintseva, although she had such a power advantage and was so confident that it didn’t really matter.

Playing in her first Grand Slam semifinal, however, the nerves have to be immense, and any physical question marks are likely to come back to haunt her; in Osaka, moreover, Brady has an opponent who can dictate points as effortlessly as she herself does. Osaka seems entirely in the groove of this tournament now, and she’s very difficult to beat when that’s the case. She beat Brady 6-4, 6-4 in their only previous WTA Tour-level meeting, and a similar scoreline seems likely in Thursday’s US Open semifinal.

Osaka vs Brady: Prediction

Serena Williams could face Coco Gauff at the Western & Southern Open while top US Open contenders warm up in New York.

We break down the women’s singles draw, analyse the contenders and predict the semifinalists and champion as Serena Williams, Karolina Pliskova and Sofia Kenin lead the field at the Western & Southern Open.

WTA Western & Southern Open Preview

Relocated from Cincinnati to New York, the Western & Southern Open marks the first big tennis event to be played since the sport shut down in early March – and the only opportunity for many of the top players to compete and tune up their games ahead of the forthcoming US Open.

A prestigious Premier-5 event, the Western & Southern Open is taking place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre, home of the US Open, and using its Grandstand Court as centre court.

A significant number of WTA top-10 players based outside the USA bowed out, but the field remains immensely strong. Top four seeds Serena Williams, Karolina Pliskova, Sofia Kenin and Naomi Osaka are joined by Petra Kvitova, Coco Gauff, Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters and defending champion Madison Keys among others. With the WTA’s usual depth exacerbated by the fact that most players have competed little if at all in the past six months, we should expect upsets from the beginning.

WTA Lexington Draw Analysis

Top Quarter

Projected quarterfinal by seeding: Karolina Pliskova (1) vs Aryna Sabalenka (5)
World no. 3 Pliskova is the only WTA top-10 player based outside of the USA to be playing Cincinnati-New York, and for good reason – some of the best results of her career have come on American hard courts, including her maiden Grand Slam final appearance at the US Open in 2016 and the Western & Southern Open title the same year.

Karolina Pliskova won the Western & Southern Open in 2016 (PA Images)

Playing for the first time since Doha, the Brisbane champion starts against hard-hitting Ajla Tomljanovic, whom she has won five straight matches against, or Veronika Kudermetova, a more dangerous opponent who has had a quietly superb past 18 months before the shutdown. She could meet Elise Mertens, runner-up on clay in Prague last week, in the third round; former US Open semifinalist Anastasija Sevastova, who leads their head-to-head 2-1, is also in this section, but Sevastova is 1-7 in 2020 (before and after the hiatus).

Doha champion Sabalenka lost a tight second-round match with Coco Gauff in Lexington, and is a player to watch this week and next. She’ll open against a qualifier, but must face the winner of a packed mini-section in the third round: 11th seed Alison Riske taking on 2019 French Open semifinalist Amanda Anisimova, with the winner likely to face very in-form Lexington champion Jennifer Brady (Brady was supposed to face wildcard Kim Clijsters, who withdrew).

Predicted semifinalist: Brady (20/1 to win the tournament with Unibet)

Second Quarter

Projected quarterfinal by seeding: Naomi Osaka (4) vs Petra Kvitova (6)
With neither Osaka nor Kvitova exactly a model for consistency and both women playing their first tournament since before shutdown, this seems like a recipe for a ‘surprise’ semifinalist.

Osaka could start off against last year’s Wimbledon quarterfinalist Karolina Muchova, who is not a model of consistency herself and who might not find these courts the best fit for her attacking game, although she’s beaten Garbine Muguruza at the US Open before.

Venus Williams debuted a remodelled service action in Lexington (PA Images)

Venus Williams meets Dayana Yastremska in an intriguing first-round clash – Williams looked in great form in Lexington where she narrowly lost to Serena, while Yastremska was a quarterfinalist in Palermo on her return from shutdown. The winner will likely face American lefty Bernarda Pera, who showed the benefits of playing World Team Tennis during the hiatus when she pushed Serena Williams hard in Lexington; nevertheless, the winner of Venus-Yastremska should make the quarterfinals.

Kvitova could be in for an all-Czech clash with Marie Bouzkova, who has not long broken into the top 50 after an excellent year or so of results and was a quarterfinalist in Lexington. Match sharpness could see Bouzkova upset Kvitova; the unpredictable Danielle Collins is also in this quarter, but Anett Kontaveit – a quarterfinalist at the Australian Open in January, and runner-up in Palermo two weeks ago – is the player to watch in this section.

Predicted semifinalist: Kontaveit (33/1 @ 888Sport to win the tournament)

Third quarter

Projected quarterfinal by seeding: Johanna Konta (8) vs Serena Williams (3)
Serena Williams looked brilliant in a victory over her elder sister in Lexington – then fell in the next round to Shelby Rogers, showing it’s still very difficult to know what to expect from Serena from one day to the next.

Coco Gauff could face Serena Williams in the third round (PA Images)

The six-time US Open champion isn’t going to push herself too hard the week before the US Open, but after opening against a qualifier or Alison van Uytvanck, she could face an intriguing third-round encounter with Coco Gauff. The 16-year-old looked great when she made the semifinals in Lexington, and is capable of beating Maria Sakkari and Yulia Putintseva to make a clash with Serena.

Johanna Konta and Marketa Vondrousova both lost their only matches since shutdown in Lexington and Palermo respectively; Konta didn’t look good at the Battle of the Brits, either. Poland’s Magda Linette could possibly take advantage, but this would be a good section for a qualifier to make a run.

Predicted semifinalist: Gauff (33/1 @ Unibet to win the tournament)

Fourth quarter

Projected quarterfinal by seeding: Madison Keys (7) vs Sofia Kenin (2)
Defending champion Keys will be tested from the beginning as she plays her first match since the Australian Open (!) against either a qualifier or, more likely, the unorthodox Ons Jabeur, who warmed up with a quarterfinal run in Lexington.

Polish teenager Iga Swiatek is in this section, but the first-round match to watch is the clash between Elena Rybakina – who made four finals already in 2020 but hasn’t played since February – and Ekaterina Alexandrova, who beat Rybakina in the Shenzhen final and was also having a great 2020 season before the shutdown (1-2 since). Rybakina is the more promising player but will greater match practice in recent weeks benefit Alexandrova?

Sofia Kenin’s last tournament saw her win the title in Lyon (PA Images)

Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin will be taking the court for the first time since winning Lyon on indoor hard courts in February, but the American’s counterpunching game should help her ease back into competition and she doesn’t have the worst draw: A first-round bye followed by either tenacious veteran Alize Cornet or wildcard Caty McNally. In the third round, she would face either Donna Vekic, last seen losing to the world no. 156 in Palermo; the slumping Victoria Azarenka; Sloane Stephens, who’s lost her last two matches to the same Canadian teenager; or Caroline Garcia, playing for the first time since February.

Semifinalist: Kenin (6/1 @ 888Sport to win the tournament)

WTA Cincinnati-New York Prediction

Semifinals: Anett Kontaveit d. Jennifer Brady
Coco Gauff d. Sofia Kenin

Final: Gauff d. Kontaveit