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Brady Claims Spot in Australian Open Final

Feb 18, 2021
Jennifer Brady (Photo: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports)

MELBOURNE, Australia – Jennifer Brady achieved another milestone in her young career Thursday, defeating Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, to reach the Australian Open singles championship match. The Grand Slam final is a first for Brady, who already logged the best Grand Slam singles finish in UCLA women's tennis program history when she advanced to the semifinals at the 2020 US Open.

There will be a rematch of Brady's US Open semifinal match in Melbourne, as Naomi Osaka of Japan took down Serena Williams of the United States, 6-3, 6-4, in the day's first semifinal. Brady and Osaka, who went three sets in New York before Osaka prevailed, will square off Saturday in the States, at 12:30 a.m., PT.

Muchova, who eliminated top-seeded Ashleigh Barty of Australia in the quarterfinals, gave Brady all she could handle in the semis. Brady and Muchova alternated breaks of serve early in the first set en route to a 5-4 Brady advantage. A second break by Brady followed to give her the advantage. Muchova started and finished the second set with breaks to answer and send the match to a third set.

Brady earned a break at 2-1 of the third set and used that until the end. A thrilling final game took 18 points to decide. Brady held five match points and fought off three break points before closing it out. A Muchova shot went long and Brady collapsed to the ground in celebration.