2021 Australian Open WTA Final Preview: Osaka vs Brady | Tennisuptodate.com

2021 Australian Open WTA Final Preview: Osaka vs Brady

The 2021 Australian Open shows the best women's tennis from February 8th - 21st and there is a lot to watch every day.

After many days of superb tennis, the Australian Open has come to its final match in the WTA side of the event where Naomi Osaka will take on Jennifer Brady. Two of the best performing players so far at the event will battle it out for the trophy in front of the native Melbourne fans.

This will be a very interesting match because of the many storylines that we have going into this one. On one side, we have Jennifer Brady, a player playing in her first Grand Slam final who has been improving steadily to get to this point. For her, this will be the highlight of her career and the motivation will be high. Nerves will certainly be present as well and against a player who has already been there and done that, in Osaka, it might prove crucial.

On the other side, we have Naomi Osaka a player who has already won Grand Slams including one here. It will be her 4th Grand Slam final overall and she has never lost one. She has played superbly since the start and her performance against Serena was especially striking. The maturity exhibited off the court is also present in her tennis game and she is ready to start dominating the tour. The overwhelming favourite is Naomi in this one for obvious reasons but Brady has already beaten Osaka before.

In the three matches, they played Brady won the first one in 2018 but since then Osaka won all the other matches they played. The last one came at the US Open where Osaka prevailed in three sets after a two-hour battle proving that Brady can be a tough opponent. A similar battle will probably happen again but can Brady climb to the highest of mountains remains to be seen.

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2021 Australian Open WTA Schedule of Play:
Saturday, February 20th:

09:30 Brady J. (Usa) - Osaka N. (Jpn)

Thursday, February 18th: 

After many WTA stars stepped onto the courts of the Australian Open we are only down to 4 players who will battle it out for a place in the finals and a chance at the trophy. The first match will be played at 04:00 CET with the next semifinal scheduled to go right after.

The first semifinal is truly a spectacle with Naomi Osaka set to take on Serena Williams. Osaka has always idolized Serena and many considered her as a mini-Serena of sorts. Now she will be put to the test by Serena Williams who is playing her best tennis in a very long time. They played four times before with Osaka winning the first two and Serena winning the last two. It will be a spectacular match with Osaka as the slight favourite but if Serena can replicate her level against Halep expect this to be a very close one.

The 2nd semifinal is another interesting one with Muchova set to take on Brady. Both of them have put forward strong performances so far and it will be a very tough match to call. Muchova has been the breakout star of the event so far with her aggressive play that is very hard to counter. Brady is playing a similar style and her career has the hallmarks of a late bloomer. They played once before with Muchova winning the match in three sets. Expect a close affair here as well with Brady having the slight edge.

04:00 Osaka N. (Jpn) - Williams S. (Usa)
05:30 Muchova K. (Cze) - Brady J. (Usa)

Wednesday, February 17th:

World number 1, Ashleigh Barty will be one of the players that will try to join Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka in the semifinals of the 2021 Australian Open. She will be joined by Karolina Muchova and the American duo Jennifer Brady and Jessica Pegula.

It will be the home-crowd favourite to kick-off the action on Wednesday. The Aussie faced Muchova at the 2018 US Open where she defeated her without losing a set. This year, Barty is yet to be defeated as she has won the title in Melbourne prior to the Australian Open where she didn't lose a single set yet.

Although Jennifer Brady and Jessica Pegula were not the highest-seeded players in their part of the draw, they both showed great form to reach the quarterfinals in Australia. It will be their second meeting with Pegula winning last year in Cincinnati.

01:00 Barty A. (Aus) - Muchova K. (Cze)

03:00 Brady J. (Usa) - Pegula J. (Usa)

Tuesday, February 16th: 

Tuesday morning brings us two fascinating WTA matchups that will determine the first semifinalists of the Australian Open 2021. Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams, Simona Halep and Su-Wei Hsieh will battle it out for the two spots in the semifinals of the first Grand Slam of 2021.

The first match will start at 02:30 CET and it will be Hsieh taking on Osaka. The veteran has been sensational at this Grand Slam reaching the quarterfinal after scoring some impressive victories including the last one against Vondrousova. Osaka has been extremely impressive as well cruising in all matches except in the last one against Muguruza but considering the Spaniard's form in Australia that victory has been sensation as well. They played 5 times so far with Osaka leading 4-1 but 3 of those 4 victories came in three sets so expect this to be a close one despite Osaka being the overwhelming favourite.

The 2nd quarterfinal will be an absolute delight for all tennis fans as Serena Williams will take on Simona Halep. It's a shame this match will be played in front of empty stands but that's the reality of the pandemic. Both players entered this Australian Open with question marks regarding their fitness and some injury concerns but did well to reach the quarterfinals. Serena is the slight favourite in this one as her play has been more consistent and she has a 9-3 lead in H2H matches. Their last match played at Wimbledon in 2019 was won by Halep with ease.

02:30 Hsieh S-W. (Tpe) - Osaka N. (Jpn)
09:00 Williams S. (Usa) - Halep S. (Rou)

Monday, February 15th:

Monday morning gives us 4 amazing matches for the WTA event with the programme kicking off at the usual 01:00 mark. Plenty of great players on display as Svitolina, Vekic, Mertens and Brady step onto the court.

It will start with Jessica Pegula versus Elina Svitolina. Both did well to find themselves this far in the event but the clear favourite in this one will be Svitolina who demonstrated a new level of composure this year. Their only match is a few weeks removed in Abu Dhabi where Svitolina won comfortably. After them, we will see Donna Vekic take on Jennifer Brady. The rise of Brady has been impressive to follow last year and this year she continued it with even better play. She will be the overwhelming favourite against Vekic who played well so far but should be outmatched on these fast courts. Their only match played was won by Vekic in 2018 on clay but Brady is a far superior player today.

The night shift of the programme will start at 08:00 with Elise Mertens taking on Karolina Muchova. The Czech player did well to knockout Karolina Pliskova but taking on Mertens will be another tough task. The young player is ready for a breakout performance and Mertens is a similar player to Pliskova in playstyle which could prove useful for the Muchova. The final match of the day would have been the one fans wanted to see the most as it's Ashleigh Barty versus Shelby Rogers.

Unfortunately, due to lockdown rules, no fans will be attending a match that could prove spectacular. Barty is the clear favourite but it will not be easy for her as the American never gives up and always plays close matches. Barty leads the H2H 2-0 with the lat match being only 10 days removed but even then it went the full distance a similar thing might happen here as well.

01:00 Pegula J. (Usa) - Svitolina E. (Ukr)
02:30 Vekic D. (Cro) - Brady J. (Usa)
08:00 Mertens E. (Bel) - Muchova K. (Cze)
09:00 Barty A. (Aus) - Rogers S. (Usa)

Sunday, February 14th:

On Sunday, we'll see the first four 4th round matches and it will provide us with an incredibly strong line-up. The evening will kick-off with the match between Su-Wei Hsieh and Marketa Vondrousova, but then, we'll see 5 Grand Slam champions in 3 matches as Aryna Sabalenka will be the only player in action without the title.

However, the young Belarusian is in a stunning form as she'll take on Serena Williams for the spot in the quarterfinals. Before the two kick-off their 4th round match, we'll see Garbine Muguruza and Naomi Osaka in the battle of two former world no. 1 and two Grand Slam champions. Both are in a stunning form and it could be a match of the tournament if they both reach the top level during the match.

The last match of the day will be between the most recent Grand Slam champion, Iga Swiatek and Simona Halep. The young Polish player won her first Grand Slam title without losing a set and she defeated Simona Halep en route to the title. Now, she'll try to defeat her again as she didn't lose a set in Melbourne yet.

01:00 Hsieh S-W. (Tpe) - Vondroušová M. (Cze)

01:00 Muguruza G. (Esp) - Osaka N. (Jpn)
03:00 Sabalenka A. (Blr) - Williams S. (Usa)
09:00 Swiatek I. (Pol) - Halep S. (Rou)

Saturday, February 13th:

Another packed day awaits us at the Australian Open with 8 WTA matches on the Saturday schedule. The programme will start at the usual 01:00 CET and continue throughout the night. It will be the first of 5 days played without fans and the empty arenas will see players such as Svitolina, Vekic, Mertens, Bencic and Barty.

It will start with two interesting games set to start at 01:00 CET. In the first one, Pliskova will take on Muchova while in the second we will see Svitolina against Putintseva. The excitement will continue with several more great matches such as Kanepi vs Vekic with the Estonian looking to extend her great form. Americans Brady and Pegula will also fight for a spot in the next round but it won't be easy as Mladenovic and Juvan will fancy their chances.

The afternoon part of the schedule will feature a banger between Mertens and Bencic while the night shift will be reserved for native fan favourite Barty who will take on Alexandrova. Both players displayed strong tennis this past week so it could be a very exciting match. The final match of the day will be played between Kontaveit and Rogers.

01:00 Muchova K. (Cze) - Pliskova Ka. (Cze)
01:00 Putintseva Y. (Kaz) - Svitolina E. (Ukr)
02:00 Pegula J. (Usa) - Mladenovic K. (Fra)
02:30 Kanepi K. (Est) - Vekic D. (Cro)
03:30 Brady J. (Usa) - Juvan K. (Slo)
04:30 Bencic B. (Sui) - Mertens E. (Bel)
07:00 Barty A. (Aus) - Alexandrova E. (Rus)
07:00 Kontaveit A. (Est) - Rogers S. (Usa)

Friday, February 12th:

A packed day awaits us on Friday at the Australian Open with 8 strong WTA matches with the first one scheduled to begin at 01:00 CET. Players such as Sabalenka, Li, Muguruza, Williams, Osaka, Halep and Swiatek.

Sabalenka will step out first to take on Li who has been on a tear recently beating better-ranked players regularly. Sabalenka is the toughest opponent she will face yet but Li has been playing so well that anything is possible. Not long after that match, we will see Garbine Muguruza take on Zarina Diyas. The Spaniard has been the best performing player in Australia so far and she will look to extend that run against Diyas. Serena Williams will also play that day taking on Anastasia Potapova. Williams has been stellar so far and she should have no issues against the Russian.

Naomi Osaka will take on Ons Jabeur in a match which the American highlighted as tricky. She is not familiar with her and that in her own words gives her a lot of trouble. Simona Halep barely squeezed through to this stage of the competition but in doing so she earned the right to take on Veronika Kudermetova who played well so far. Halep doesn't expect an easy match and Kudermetova will most likely oblige. The final match of the day will be between Swiatek and Ferro with both players having equal chances. Swiatek might be the favourite but Ferro performed well since arriving in Australia.

01:00 Sabalenka A. (Blr) - Li A. (Usa)
01:00 Vondrousova M. (Cze) - Cirstea S. (Rou)
02:00 Hsieh S-W. (Tpe) - Errani S. (Ita)
02:30 Muguruza G. (Esp) - Diyas Z. (Kaz)
03:00 Potapova A. (Rus) - Williams S. (Usa)
03:30 Jabeur O. (Tun) - Osaka N. (Jpn)
09:00 Kudermetova V. (Rus) - Halep S. (Rou)
11:00 Swiatek I. (Pol) - Ferro F. (Fra)

Thursday, February 11th:

Day 4 at the Australian Open in Melbourne once again brings us 16 great matches with the programme set to start at 01:00 CET and last till the early morning hours of the same day. Some big names will be on display such as Barty, Svitolina, Bencic, Mertens and title defender Kenin. Daily coverage will continue with match reports so don't go far.

It will all begin, as every day does, one hour after midnight CET with Belinda Bencic taking on Svetlana Kuznetsova. It's good to see Bencic back on the tour and she has played well but Kuznetsova is a savvy veteran who will make it hard. After that, we will Ashleigh Barty take on Daria Gavrilova in an all-Australian clash which will be a delight for home fans. Barty displayed absurd tennis in her first match and it will be interesting to see whether she can do it again. Plenty of good matches will take place simultaneously as that on such as a clash between Vekic and Podoroska, two heavy hitters.

Sofia Kenin will also play and it will be against the red-hot Kaia Kanepi who will be fancying her chances of spoiling a title defence for Sofia. Nerves were shown in the first round by Kenin so she will need to be more composed against Kanepi. The night shift will feature two interesting matches. A banger between Coco Gauff and Elina Svitolina is up first with Sam Stosur taking on Jessica Pegula in the later one. Both should be interesting matches to the fans will see great tennis in the night session as well.

01:00 Bencic B. (Sui) -Kuznetsova S. (Rus)
01:00 Collins D. R. (Usa) - Pliskova Ka. (Cze)
01:00 Muchova K. (Cze) - Barthel M. (Ger)
01:00 Rogers S. (Usa) - Danilovic O. (Srb)01:00 Zhu L. (Chn) - Mertens E. (Bel)
02:30 Barty A. (Aus) - Gavrilova D. (Aus)
02:30 Krejcikova B. (Cze) - Alexandrova E. (Rus)
02:30 Podoroska N. (Arg) - Vekic D. (Cro)
02:30 Putintseva Y. (Kaz) - Van Uytvanck A. (Bel)
03:00 Kenin S. (Usa) - Kanepi K. (Est)
04:00 Kontaveit A. (Est) - Watson H. (Gbr)
04:30 Brady J. (Usa) - Brengle M. (Usa)
06:00 Sherif M. (Egy) - Juvan K. (Slo)
06:30 Hibino N. (Jpn) - Mladenovic K. (Fra)
09:00 Gauff C. (Usa) - Svitolina E. (Ukr)
11:00 Pegula J. (Usa) - Stosur S. (Aus)

Wednesday, February 10th:

A packed day 3 at the Australian Open has a strong schedule of play which will feature 16 great matches for the Melbourne crowd to enjoy. The programme will start at 01:00 CET with Bianca Andreescu who will take on Su-Wei Hsieh. Many more interesting matches will follow with the likes of Petra Kvitova, Aryna Sabalenka, Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep.

Besides Andreescu early on in the day, we will also see Aryna Sabalenka who will take on Daria Kasatkina. The Belarussian played a strong match in the opening round but this time around it will much tougher against a better player. Serena and Venus Williams will also play in the first part of the day with Venus taking on Sara Errani and Serena taking on Nina Stojanovic from Serbia.

The latter part of the day will feature more prominent player such as French Open champion Iga Swiatek who will play Camilla Giorgi. The evening session will also feature two great champions in Naomi Osaka who will play against the ever tricky Caroline Garcia. The programme will be closed out with a special treat for all Australian tennis fans as native Ajla Tomljanovic will take on Simona Halep.

01:00 Andreescu B. V. (Can) - Hsieh S-W. (Tpe)

01:00 Cornet A. (Fra) - Li A. (Usa)
01:00 Potapova A. (Rus) - Babos T. (Hun)
01:00 Sabalenka A. (Blr) - Kasatkina D. (Rus)
01:00 Vondrousova M. (Cze) - Marino R. (Can)
02:30 Cirstea S. (Rou) - Kvitova P. (Cze)
02:30 Diyas Z. (Kaz) - Pera B. (Usa)
03:00 Stojanovic N. (Srb) - Williams S. (Usa)
04:00 Williams V. (Usa) - Errani S. (Ita)
04:30 Ferro F. (Fra) - Rybakina E. (Kaz)
04:30 Jabeur O. (Tun) - Schmiedlova A. K. (Svk)
04:30 Kudermetova V. (Rus) - Gracheva V. (Rus)
04:30 Muguruza G. (Esp) - Samsonova L. (Rus)
05:30 Swiatek I. (Pol) - Giorgi C. (Ita)
09:00 Garcia C. (Fra) - Osaka N. (Jpn)
09:00 Tomljanovic A. (Aus)Halep S. (Rou)

Tuesday, February 9th:

The second day of the Australian Open will give the Melbourne crowd their hero as Ashleigh Barty is scheduled to play. She won't be alone as she will be joined by the likes of Gauff, Pliskova, Svitolina, Mertens and defending champion Kenin. Play starts at 01:00 CET as most days and it will continue to the early hours of the morning so there is plenty to watch.

The defending champion will get us underway at 01:00 CET as she begins her title defence versus native Maddison Inglis. It will be a good test for Kenin who will be looking to get into a good rhythm quickly. There will be several good matches going on at the same time as Muguruza plays Gasparyan and Mertens takes on Davis.

Another interesting matchup later on in the night will be between Coco Gauff and Jill Belen Teichmann. Their only match came a week ago in Melbourne where Gauff barely won so it will be interesting to see whether the Swiss player can cause troubles for Gauff who has high hopes in Australia. The night session will feature the native Ashleigh Barty who is making her return to the Grand Slams with her first match in over a year in a Slam.

Danka Kovinic is a respectable player but the Australian will be looking to extend her winning streak to 6 after winning all her matches at the Yarra Valley Classic en route to the title. The programme will be closed out by another Aussie Gavrilova who will take on Sorribes Tormo.

01:00 Bencic B. (Sui) - Davis L. (Usa)

01:00 Fernandez L. A. (Can) - Mertens E. (Bel)
01:00 Hibino N. (Jpn) - Sharma A. (Aus)
01:00 Kenin S. (Usa) - Inglis M. (Aus)
01:00 Li A. (Usa) - Zhang S. (Chn)
01:00 Muguruza G. (Esp) - Gasparyan M. (Rus)
01:00 Podoroska N. (Arg) - McHale C. (Usa)
01:00 Samsonova L. (Rus) - Badosa G. P. (Esp)
02:30 Azarenka V. (Blr) - Pegula J. (Usa)
02:30 Bouzková M. (Cze) - Svitolina E. (Ukr)
02:30 Kuznetsova S. (Rus) - Strycova B. (Cze)
02:30 Sevastova A. (Lat) - Kanepi K. (Est)
02:30 Zhu L. (Chn) - Osuigwe W. (Usa)
03:00 Brady J. (Usa) - Bolsova Zadoinov A. (Esp)
03:00 Brengle M. (Usa) - Rodionova Ar. (Aus)
03:00 Mladenovic K. (Fra) - Sakkari M. (Gre)
03:00 Pliskova Kr. (Cze) - Watson H. (Gbr)
03:00 Trevisan M. (Ita) - Alexandrova E. (Rus)
03:00 Wang Y. (Chn) - Vekic D. (Cro)
04:00 Gauff C. (Usa) - Teichmann J. B. (Sui)
04:30 Kontaveit A. (Est) - Sasnovich A. (Blr)
04:30 Paolini J. (Ita) - Pliskova Ka. (Cze)
04:30 Zheng S. (Chn) - Krejčíková B. (Cze)
05:00 Paquet C. (Fra) - Sherif M. (Egy)
06:00 Jones F. (Gbr) - Rogers S. (Usa)
06:30 Collins D. R. (Usa) - Bogdan A. (Rou)
06:30 Juvan K. (Slo) - Konta J. (Gbr)
06:30 Muchová K. (Cze) - Ostapenko J. (Lat)
06:30 Putintseva Y. (Kaz) - Stephens S. (Usa)
06:30 Van Uytvanck A. (Bel) - Burel C. (Fra)
07:00 Barthel M. (Ger) - Cocciaretto E. (Ita)
08:00 Aiava D. (Aus) - Stosur S. (Aus)
08:00 Danilovic O. (Srb) - Martic P. (Cro)
09:00 Barty A. (Aus) - Kovinic D. (Mne)
11:00 Sorribes Tormo S. (Esp) - Gavrilova D. (Aus)

Monday, February 8th:

Although we won't see the world number 1 of the WTA Rankings on Monday, we'll see plenty of Grand Slam champions including Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Sofia Kenin or Naomi Osaka. Moreover, we'll see a comeback of Bianca Andreescu and much more.

Already in the first matches of the day, we'll see Venus Williams taking on Kirsten Flipkens, and Naomi Osaka against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Later in the day, Angelique Kerber will take on Bernarda Pera and Serena Williams will meet Laura Siegemund.

The most recent Grand Slam champion, Iga Swiatek will play against Arantxa Rus and Bianca Andreescu will play her first match since 2019 against Mihaela Buzarnescu. The two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova will begin her Australian Open campaign against Greetje Minnen and world number 2, Simona Halep will play against Lizette Cabrera.

01:00 Diyas Z. (Kaz) - Zidansek T. (Slo)

01:00 Flipkens K. (Bel) - Williams V. (Usa)
01:00 Hercog P. (Slo) - Garcia C. (Fra)
01:00 Marino R. (Can) - Birrell K. (Aus)
01:00 Pavlyuchenkova A. (Rus) - Osaka N. (Jpn)
01:00 Shvedova Y. (Kaz) - Giorgi C. (Ita)
01:00 Stojanovic N. (Srb) - Begu I. (Rou)
02:30 Babos T. (Hun) - Bonaventure Y. (Bel)
02:30 Boulter K. (Gbr) - Kasatkina D. (Rus)
02:30 Errani S. (Ita) - Wang Q. (Chn)
02:30 Hibi M. (Jpn) - Schmiedlova A. K. (Svk)
02:30 Hsieh S-W. (Tpe) - Pironkova T. (Bul)
02:30 Pera B. (Usa) - Kerber A. (Ger)
02:30 Siegemund L. (Ger) - Williams S. (Usa)
02:30 Swiatek I. (Pol) - Rus A. (Ned)
02:30 Vondroušová M. (Cze) - Peterson R. (Swe)
03:30 Doi M. (Jpn) - Tomljanovic A. (Aus)
04:30 Jabeur O. (Tun) - Petkovic A. (Ger)
04:30 Kudermetova V. (Rus) - Kostyuk M. (Ukr)
05:00 Ferro F. (Fra) - Siniaková K. (Cze)
05:00 Gracheva V. (Rus) - Blinkova A. (Rus)
05:30 Cornet A. (Fra) - Savinykh V. (Rus)
05:30 Riske A. (Usa) - Potapova A. (Rus)
05:30 Sabalenka A. (Blr) - Kužmová V. (Svk)
06:00 Andreescu B. V. (Can) - Buzarnescu M. (Rou)
06:00 Tig P. M. (Rou) - Cirstea S. (Rou)
06:00 Zvonareva V. (Rus) - Rybakina E. (Kaz)
09:00 Cabrera L. (Aus) - Halep S. (Rou)
09:00 Minnen G. (Bel) - Kvitová P. (Cze)

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