'Positive' Naomi Osaka beats Brady to reach US Open final | Inquirer Sports

‘Positive’ Naomi Osaka beats Brady to reach US Open final

/ 02:37 PM September 11, 2020

US Open Tennis Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka, of Japan, reacts after defeating Jennifer Brady, of the United States, during a semifinal match of the US Open tennis championships, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Fourth seed Naomi Osaka defeated 28th seed Jennifer Brady in a high quality three-setter to reach the US Open final on Thursday, crediting her run to a carefree attitude post-lockdown.

The Japanese 2018 US Open champion overcame the 25-year-old American 7-6 (7/1), 3-6, 6-3 in 2hr 8min under the roof of Arthur Ashe Stadium.


Osaka, 22, will play Victoria Azarenka, who ousted Serena Williams, in Saturday’s final.


“I just felt like I was sticking it out, it felt like we were trading serves,” Osaka said of the semi-final tussle.

“I think I tried to adjust a little bit on her serve in the third set so maybe that helped,” she added.

Brady, 25, had not dropped a set during her run to her first Grand Slam semi-final.

And the world number 41 went toe-to-toe with Osaka until the first set tie-break.

The players traded six held service games each before Osaka the world number nine took control of the tie-break.

At 2-1, Osaka won five points in a row, which included two unforced errors by Brady.


In set two the first seven games were held before Brady broke Osaka’s serve to take a 5-3 lead.

She then successfully held to take the match to a deciding third set as the duo traded big serves with powerful forehand groundstrokes.

The breakthrough in the deciding set came game when Osaka broke Brady’s serve in a fourth game that included a lucky net cord point for the Japanese.

Osaka then held her own to go 4-1 in front with the help of another net cord point.

Brady refused to go quietly though, forcing Osaka to hold twice to ensure the win and a second US Open final in three years.

“I kind of consider New York my second home. I really love the atmosphere,” Osaka said.

“Even though sadly there’s no people here, I really feel like this court really suits me well,” she added.

Osaka has now won her last ten matches.

“I just felt like I wanted to come out of quarantine being positive and not really caring if I win or lose,” she said.

Osaka, of Haitian and Japanese heritage, walked onto the court wearing a facemask emblazoned with the name of Philando Castile, a black man who was shot dead by a police officer during a traffic stop in Minnesota in 2016.

The 2019 Australian Open champion is wearing different masks honoring victims of racial injustice and police brutality throughout the tournament.

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She has already donned face coverings bearing the names of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin and George Floyd.

TAGS: Grand Slam, Jennifer Brady, Naomi Osaka, Sports, Tennis

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