Naomi Osaka has never lost a Grand Slam semifinal – will she keep that streak alive as she faces Jennifer…
Naomi Osaka has never lost a Grand Slam semifinal – will she keep that streak alive as she faces Jennifer Brady at the US Open?
Naomi Osaka vs Jennifer Brady | US Open women's SF | 9pm BST, 10/9/2020Osaka 2-0 59/50 Bet Now! New Customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org.
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?
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.
How to watch Osaka vs Brady live
US Open matches including Naomi Osaka vs Jennifer Brady are streamed live alongside odds and in-play betting at bet365.
*Geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify
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.
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.