MELBOURNE, February 19
Jennifer Brady spent two weeks in hard quarantine gathering mental strength for her tilt at a maiden Grand Slam title and will hope there is plenty in reserve when she takes on Naomi Osaka in tomorrow’s Australian Open final.
While some of those in hard quarantine complained about not being able to train before the Grand Slam, Brady likened it to a long decompression session that probably helped her bulldoze through the draw against better-prepared players.
I don’t know how I’m going to feel on Saturday. I can say I can enjoy the moment and just try to play tennis and not really think too much about it. —Jennifer Brady
Now the rising 25-year-old faces the ultimate test of her resilience against Osaka, who beat her in the US Open semifinals on the way to her third Grand Slam triumph.
“I don’t know how I’m going to feel on Saturday,” said the American. “I can say I can enjoy the moment and just try to play tennis and not really think too much about it, but there’s going to be moments, there’s going to be games, there’s going to be points where I’m going to be thinking about, ‘Wow, this could be my first Grand Slam title’.” The odds are against it though, with third seed Osaka rated a virtually unbackable favourite by bookmakers to raise a second Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup at Rod Laver Arena, two years after beating Petra Kvitova for the 2019 title. — Reuters