With rain hitting down at Arthur Ashe Stadium, US Open 2020 continues with its elating quality and intensity. Naomi Osaka clashed Jennifer Brady in three sets, gleaming with a 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-3 victory against the Pennsylvanian on Thursday at the semis.
At a crucial point, with Osaka leading at 2-1, the break came by. At 15-40, Brady hit a long backhand. Despite her coach directing her to challenge, she got too late. The ill-timing helped Osaka take advantage. She held to 4-1 and revived putting her opponent under constant stress in the sixth game. Post this, Brady smashed three break points to hold with a forehand crosscourt winner.
With both the players bashing it out from the baseline, securing their serves like jewels, it was one of the best matches of the tournament. Brady had nearly aced the game. However, the 2-time major winner presented an astounding performance and took it all over.
Osaka beats Brady in three sets
The 25 year old who had not dropped a set in her Grand Slam run upto the semis, battled neck-to-neck with Osaka until the tie-break in the first set. Post trading six held service games each, the World No. 9 took control, she aced five points in a row at 2-1 with two unforced error by Brady. In set two, following the first seven games, Brady broke Osaka’s serve and took a 5-3 lead, successfully taking the match to a decisive third set. The duo battled off the third set with powerful forehand groundstrokes and exchanged big serves.
The set witnessed a turning point as Osaka broke Brady’s serve in a fourth game along with a lucky net chord point. With another net chord, Osaka took over to 4-1 in front. Brady spurned to go quietly though. she forced Osaka to hold twice to ensure her win for the finals.
“I kind of consider New York my second home,” Osaka said during her on-court TV interview after the match.
“I really love the atmosphere, even though sadly there are no people here. I really feel like this court really suits me well. It felt like we were trading serves. I tried to adjust a little bit on her serve in the third set, so maybe that helped,” Osaka confessed.
“I had flashbacks of playing [Petra] Kvitová in Australia [2019 Final], so maybe that experience helped me out today,” she added.
With last ten wins in a row post the lockdown, Osaka stated, “I just felt like I wanted to come out of the quarantine being positive and not really caring if I win or lose.”
She advances to the finals and is all set to battle Azarenka.