Naomi Osaka reached the final of the 2020 US Open with a 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-3 win over the United States’ Jennifer Brady on Thursday evening. The 2018 US Open winner needed two hours and eight minutes to get past her opponent.
The tone of the match was set right in the opening game itself as both players went for their shots, without any hesitations. Although the 25-year-old Brady was playing her first semi-final at a Major, she did not show any nerves but used the fine form she had been all through the tournament – she had yet to drop a set – to her advantage.
2020 US Open: Naomi Osaka’s gritty face-off
The American did have a slight opening to break Osaka in the seventh game of the opening set but was staved off by Osaka’s powerful second serve. The rest of the set remained on serve with neither Osaka nor Brady slackening.
The tie-break, however, was quite a one-sided affair with Brady managing to win just the one point before Osaka won the set, and the lead in the match. In the second set, it was once again Osaka whose serve came under trouble.
In the eighth game, Brady converted the break to go up 5-3 before serving out the set in the following game. With the match poised evenly, Osaka came out flying out of the blocks in the deciding set, breaking Brady for the first time in the match to take a 3-1 lead in the set.
And this time around, Brady was unable to catch up with her and Osaka’s elevating of her game helped her serve out the match in the ninth game. Discussing the proceedings post-match, Osaka noted, “Honestly I don’t know, I just felt like I was sticking it out, it felt like we were trading serves”.
Then, talking about her win itself, Osaka said, “It means a lot for me. I kind of consider New York my second home. I really love the atmosphere, even though sadly there’s no people here, I really feel this court really suits me well”.
This is Naomi Osaka’s third final at a Major – after the 2018 US Open and the 2019 Australian Open. As such, this is the third straight year that she has reached a Grand Slam final. In the final of the 2020 US Open, she awaits the winner of the second semi-final between Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka. Photo Credit: Simon Bruty/USTA