We’ve already seen a Brady take home silverware in February, and The Wolf believes Tom’s namesake can do exactly that in the Women’s Final of the Australian Open.
Jennifer Brady was The Wolf’s pre-tournament pick to take out the Australian Open at $34 and he’s not jumping off now!
Here are The Wolf’s Australian Open Women’s Final tips.
Naomi Osaka is the deserved favourite to win her second Australian Open when she faces Grand Slam Final debutant, Jen Brady – but at $1.19?! Really?!
When you look at Osaka’s 6-3 6-4 win over Serena Williams on paper, your immediate reaction is probably that she played out of her skin. But it wasn’t the case according to The Wolf.
The 2019 champion had a first serve percentage of 45% – that’s way down on her 58.1% average in 2020, and she’s been under 50% in three of her last four matches. To go with this, Osaka served eight double-faults including a double that cost her a game in the second set and squared things up at 4-4.
Serena generated seven break-point opportunities through the match, converting only two – Osaka just had the four, but came up clutch securing all four opportunities. And this may be harsh, but Serena probably would have lost to anyone in the top 20 the way she played in that Semi Final, with just 12 winners to her 24 unforced errors – it was a horror show for the American superstar.
So why Brady? The American has the power to match with Osaka on the baseline, and although her first serve was also off in the Semi Final, if she can improve that percentage it will be tough for Osaka to break.
These two have met three times across their career with the head-to-head record at 2-1 for Osaka. Brady’s win was back in 2014 on the challenger circuit, so we can ignore that – but the two Osaka wins were not as straight forward as the $1.19 head-to-head odds suggest.
In 2018 a 21st ranked Osaka beat the 82nd ranked Brady on the clay at Charleston, 6-4 6-4 – as emphasised a number of times, Brady struggles on the red-dirt so for it to even be that close is impressive. Their second meeting was at the 2020 US Open Semi Final just six months ago – the American paying $3.14 took Osaka to three sets which included going down in a first-set tiebreaker.
Lastly, the women’s game has been incredibly unpredictable post the Serena dominance era, especially at the Australian Open. Four of the last five winners have entered as the Final outsiders, including back in 2016 when Angelique Kerber upset Serena Williams paying $6.40. If you look at all majors, 8 of the past 13 winners have been underdogs.
Expect the American to attack Osaka’s second serve and play her shots with absolutely nothing to lose in her first Grand Slam Final.