Naomi Osaka vs. Jennifer Brady, US Open SF Preview

2020 US OPEN – SF #1 preview + prediction: ??
?? (4) Naomi Osaka vs. ?? (28) Jennifer Brady

A blockbuster match-up between 2018 champion Naomi Osaka and a red-hot Jennifer Brady will decide the first entrant into the 2020 US Open final. Jennifer Brady has been the most dominant player in the field, not even coming close to dropping a set, the American will face her biggest test of the event thus far against Osaka.

Jennifer Brady is through to her first Grand Slam semi-final thanks to an emphatic stretch of victories. Brady hasn’t dropped more than 4 games in a single set, the 25-year-old has averaged just 2.4 games against per set this tournament. Brady cruised through the first week with wins over Anna Blinkova, Cici Bellis and Caroline Garcia. Brady eliminated former champion Angelique Kerber in the fourth round with a 6-1 6-4 victory before securing her spot in the final 4 with a 6-3 6-2 win over Yulia Putintseva.

Naomi Osaka has built her way into ominous form heading into the business end of the event. Osaka wasn’t always convincing through the first week where she needed 3 sets to get past Misaki Doi and Marta Kostyuk, a straight set win over Camila Giorgi was sandwiched between those struggles. Osaka’s last few performances have been far more convincing, a 6-3 6-4 win over Anett Kontaveit and a 6-3 6-4 win over Shelby Rogers.

It was Osaka who won the only previous match between the pair, a 6-4 6-4 victory with on the green clay of Charleston in 2018.

This promises to be a close match between a pair of powerful and confident players. Both have the weapons to control their service games more often than not, small margins should decide this one. I’ll give the slight edge to Brady, it is Brady who has been the more consistent of the two of the whole tournament and it is Brady who has more variety in her game, which could be key in such a close match-up.

Prediction: Jennifer Brady to defeat Naomi Osaka in 3 sets
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Angelique Kerber vs. Jennifer Brady, US Open R4 Preview

2020 US OPEN – R4 preview + prediction: ??
?? (17) Angelique Kerber vs. ?? (28) Jennifer Brady

Angelique Kerber and Jennifer Brady will do battle for the first time with a spot in the US Open quarter-finals up for grabs. Kerber and Brady both stormed through the first week at Flushing Meadows without dropping a set and this encounter full of confidence. Who will prevail?

Angelique Kerber is through to the fourth round at the US Open for the first time since she won the event in 2016. The former world number 1 started her 202 US Open campaign with a 6/4 6/4 win over Ajla Tomljanovic, followed by a 6/3 7/6 victory over Anna-Lena Friedsam. Kerber sealed her spot in the final 16 thanks to a 6/3 6/4 triumph over Ann Li. It has been a surprisingly strong start to the event for Kerber who arrived in New York having not played a match since January.

Jennifer Brady is through to the fourth round at the US Open for the second time in her career. The American will be aiming to reach the quarter-finals at a major for the first time in her career. Brady entered this year’s US Open in career best form having won her first WTA Title in Lexington last month. Brady has been cruising through the draw in New York. The 25-year-old started the week with a 6/3 6/2 win over Anna Blinkova before smashing Cici Bellis 6/1 6/2. Brady booked her spot in the fourth round with a composed 6/3 6/3 win over Caroline Garcia, Brady didn’t drop serve in her win over the Frenchwoman.

I’m going to give the slight edge to Kerber in this match-up. It’s rare to have a first time match-up at this stage of a major tournament so it will be interesting to see how this one unfolds. Kerber is the proven champion and that counts for a lot heading into a big match on the biggest stage. Kerber’s counter-punching strengths should see her come through this match-up. Brady has a powerful game but it’s probably not powerful enough to consistently hit through Kerber, Kerber thrives on pace and will make life tough for Brady. Brady is also unlikely to outlast Kerber in a baseline scrap, Kerber has better movement and is more consistent. Experience and match-up seemingly favour Kerber.

Prediction: Angelique Kerber to defeat Jennifer Brady in 3 sets
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Simona Halep vs. Jennifer Brady, Dubai SF Preview

?? Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, SF Preview
?? (1) Simon Halep vs. ?? (Q) Jennifer Brady

Simona Halep continues her quest for a second Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title when she comes up against Jennifer Brady in Friday’s second semi-final. Halep and Brady have both come through some extremely tight matches to get through to the final 4 in Dubai, both have been forced to fight from a set down in their two previous matches. Halep defeated Brady earlier this year in Melbourne, can the Romanian repeat that result in Dubai?

Simona Halep is building into some top form in Dubai. Halep came through a big scare in her opening round match where she saved a match point in a dramatic final set tiebreak to defeat Ons Jabeur 1-6 6-2 7-6. Halep was again overpowered in the early exchanges of her quarter-final clash with Aryna Sabalenka but raised her level to claim an important 3-6 6-2 6-2 victory. Halep was striking the ball fantastically in the final set against Sabalenka, if she can continue that form she will win the title this week.

Jennifer Brady is into her first semi-final at a premier level event. Brady has done it the hard way having come through qualifying. Brady eased through the qualifying draw without dropping a set with wins over Kristyna Pliskova, Gabriela Dabrowski and Su-Wei Hsieh, before starting her main draw campaign with a 6-2 6-1 thrashing of the third seeded Elina Svitolina. Brady made a great escape in her second round match, coming from a set and 1-4 down to defeat Marketa Vondrousova. The American continued to ride her luck in the quarter-finals, where she against fought from behind to defeat Garbine Muguruza 6-7 6-3 6-4.

Halep has won both of her previous matches against Brady. Halep needed 3 tight sets to get past the American when they first squared off last year at the Rogers Cup, a 4-6 7-5 7-6 win for Halep on that occasion. More recently Halep claimed a 7-6 6-1 victory over Brady at the opening round stage of the Australian Open last month.

I’m going to confidently side with Halep here. Halep was able to beat Brady in straight sets at the Australian Open despite most factors favouring Brady heading into that match. On that occasion it was Brady who was in better form and had a better rhythm coming into the match. Halep still overcame a slow start in Melbourne to win that match. On this occasion, Halep has her rhythm having coming through some tough battles over the last few days. Conversely, Brady is surely going to be fatigued having already played 6 matches this week. Halep loves playing in Dubai where the courts suit her and the crowd loves her. Halep will make this a physical battle where she will be too strong.

Prediction: Simona Halep to defeat Jennifer Brady in 2 sets
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Simona Halep vs. Jennifer Brady, Australian Open R1 Preview

AO R1: (4) Simona Halep vs. Jennifer Brady

Simona Halep begins her 2020 Australian Open campaign on day 2 against in-form American Jennifer Brady. It is Brady who brings the greater momentum into this opening round clash, Halep is certainly on upset alert. However, the Romanian is still one of the major contenders heading into this event and will be keen to make a statement in this first round encounter.

Simona Halep of Romania in action during the second round at the 2020 Adelaide International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Halep arrives at Melbourne Park with a big question mark surrounding her current form. Halep holds a mediocre 8-8 win/loss record ever since winning her second Grand Slam title at Wimbledon last year. The world number 4 is short on match practise having competed in just 1 event prior to the first major of the year. Halep was in Adelaide last week where she defeated Ajla Tomljanovic in straight sets before being smashed by Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets at the quarter-final stage. Halep has had mixed fortunes in Melbourne in the past, in recent times she has played her way into the tournament nicely with a runner-up finish in 2018 and a fourth round appearance last year where she lost to Serena Williams in an epic.

Jennifer Brady tends to play her best tennis in Australia. Brady stormed through qualifying draw to reach the fourth round at Melbourne Park in 2017 and arrives in Melbourne on the back of a similar run to start her 2020 season. Brady came through 3 qualifying matches before upsetting Maria Sharapova and Ash Barty to reach the quarter-finals at the Brisbane International where she was ultimately defeated by Petra Kvitova in straight sets. That run in Brisbane a few weeks ago will surely give Brady confidence coming up against one of the best players in the world, especially her win over the world number 1, as will her previous match with Halep where she almost got the win.  

Halep was pushed to her limits in the only previous clash between the pair, a 4-6 7-5 7-6 victory for the Romanian at the Rogers Cup last year.

I’m going to give Halep the benefit of the doubt here. Halep has by her own admission had a fantastic off-season and is heading into the first major of the year fresh and without too much pressure on her shoulders. Despite the close meeting between the pair in their previous match I think this is generally a good match-up for Halep. Halep was playing in her first match since the Wimbledon final when she laboured past Brady last year, if she can do it in those circumstances, she can do it here. Halep has the clear edge when the pair get into a neutral baseline exchange, Halep has stronger, more consistent groundstrokes off both sides. The courts in Melbourne are fairly gritty which will further aid Halep as she will be able to get into more rallies. If Halep can serve well, get a decent read on the Brady serve then she will win this match and win it well.

Prediction: Simona Halep to defeat Jennifer Brady in 2 sets

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Yulia Putintseva vs. Jennifer Brady, Roland Garros R2 Preview

Roland Garros, R2 Preview
?? Yulia Putintseva vs. ?? Jennifer Brady

The Draw has opened up nicely for Yulia Putintseva and Jennifer Brady, the pair will do battle for the first time when they meet at the second round stage at Roland Garros on Wednesday. The winner of the this match will face an unseeded opponent in the form of Petra Martic or Qiang Wang in the next round which means there is a great opportunity to reach the second week in Paris for these two.

Yulia Putintseva of Kazakstan in action during her first-round match at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Yulia Putintseva caused one of the big upsets on day one as she eliminated the 22nd seeded Johanna Konta in straight sets, a 6-4 6-3 victory. Putintseva played a smart match, doing what she needed to do against an opponent that struggled to find her range. Putintseva has a great record in Paris, the best result of her career was a quarter-final appearance at Roland Garros in 2016, clearly she plays with a lot of confidence here at the biggest tournament on her favourite surface.

Jennifer Brady advanced past the opening round of a Grand Slam for just the third time in her career courtesy of a comfortable 6-1 6-1 victory over Amandine Hesse on Sunday. The American was never troubled and did not face a break point at any stage in her win over the Frenchwoman, a good start to the tournament for Brady.

Brady is the slightly higher ranked player but Putintseva is far more accomplished on this surface, who will make the most of this opportunity?

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Karolina Pliskova vs Jennifer Brady, U.S Open R4 Preview

US Open, ????? R4 Preview + Prediction:
(1) ?? Karolina Pliskova vs ?? Jennifer Brady

Karolina Pliskova has made it through to the second week in New York after surviving back-to-back scares. Pliskova was surprisingly pushed to a third set by Nicole Gibbs and Shuai Zhang and will be hoping for a much improved performance when she comes up against Jennifer Brady in the fourth round on Monday at Flushing Meadows. Brady will have other ideas heading into the biggest match of career, the American is into the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the second time in 2017 having never won a Grand Slam main draw match prior to 2017. Brady will enter this fourth round clash with nothing to lose and the New York crowd by her side, will that be enough to push the world number 1?

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Maria Sharapova vs Jennifer Brady, Stanford R1 Preview

#BOTWClassic, ??? Stanford R1 Preview + Prediction
(wc) ?? Maria Sharapova vs ?? Jennifer Brady

Maria Sharapova will make her much anticipated return to competitive action on Monday evening at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford. Sharapova will come up against Jennifer Brady in the opening round in the Californian desert. Sharapova created a heap of controversy in her return from suspension during the clay court swing, unfortunately for Sharapova her return was cut short as a thigh injury derailed her Roland Garros and grass swing campaigns. When Sharapova did manage to compete, she was still playing at a high enough level to suggest she will soon be competing for the biggest titles once again and looms as one of the main contenders this week in Stanford.

Maria Sharapova of Russia practices at the 2017 Bank of the West Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

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Dominika Cibulkova vs Jennifer Brady, Wimbledon R2 Preview

Wimbledon ???? Day 3, R2 Match Preview:
(8) ?? Dominika Cibulkova vs ?? Jennifer Brady

Dominika Cibulkova survived an epic first round encounter against Andrea Petkovic on Monday, just edging past the German 9-7 in the third to break a string of four consecutive losses. Monday’s win may be exactly what Cibulkova needs to reignite her season, the Slovakian will look to build momentum and win back-to-back matches for the first time since Miami when she comes up against Jennifer Brady in the second round at SW19.

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Kristina Mladenovic vs Jennifer Brady, Roland Garros R1 Preview

Roland Garros, ??? R1 Preview + Prediction
(13) ?? Kristina Mladenovic vs ?? Jennifer Brady

Kristina Mladenovic enters Roland Garros on high and with the weight of a nation on her shoulders. Expectations have never been higher for Mladenovic heading into her home Grand Slam. Mladenovic recently reached a career high ranking of 14 in the world after a stunning run of form that saw her reach back-to-back finals in Stuttgart and Madrid. The Frenchwoman will begin her Roland Garros campaign on Monday where she will come up against American Jennifer Brady.

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