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Australian Open: Osaka-Brady, Djokovic-Medvedev to meet in finals

Australian Open: Osaka-Brady, Djokovic-Medvedev to meet in finals

Sports
Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Daniil Medvedev looks to upset Novak Djokovic, while Naomi Osaka tries to stay undefeated in major championships with a win over Jennifer Brady this weekend in respective men's and women's Australian Open finals. The matches wrap up the annual Grand Slam in Melbourne, which was delayed by three weeks and started with a two-week quarantine for its players as a safety measure for COVID-19. Advertisement Brady -- the lone American in the finals -- takes on Osaka at 7:30 p.m. (local time) Saturday night in Melbourne. The match airs at 3:30 a.m. EST Saturday on ESPN due to a 16-hour time difference. Osaka is a heavy favorite to win her fourth career Grand Slam. The No. 3 player in the WTA rankings has never lost a final, semifinal or quarterfinal match at a Grand Slam. Brady h...
Australian Open: Naomi Osaka wins fourth Grand Slam

Australian Open: Naomi Osaka wins fourth Grand Slam

Sports
Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Naomi Osaka used her powerful serve and improved return to beat American Jennifer Brady in 77 minutes and claim her second Australian Open title in three years on Saturday in Melbourne. The No. 3 player in the WTA rankings had six aces, two double faults, won four of five break points and fired 16 winners in the 6-4, 6-3 victory at Rod Laver Arena. She now has four career Grand Slam singles titles. Advertisement "You don't go into a final and want to be the runner-up," Osaka told reporters. Osaka, 23, is on a 21-match winning streak, a run that includes her 2020 U.S. Open title. She also won the 2018 U.S. Open and 2019 Australian Open. She won her final three matches in straight sets at the 2021 Australian Open. Osaka needed an average of just 72 minutes to dispatch of h...
Australian Open: Osaka bests Williams in semifinals

Australian Open: Osaka bests Williams in semifinals

Sports
Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Naomi Osaka defeated Serena Williams in straight sets on Thursday in semifinal play at the Australian Open, earning her a trip to the finals. The Japanese native bested her idol with a 6-3, 6-4 win with fans in the stands for the first time in Melbourne after the city was placed under a five-day snap COVID-19 lockdown earlier in the week. Advertisement The match, however, got off to a bad start for the No. 3 player in the world as she dropped the first two games to the No. 10 player. "I hit a lot of unforced errors in the first few games," Osaka said in an interview after the match. "I was just really nervous and scared I think in the beginning and then I sort of eased my way into it." Osaka would take the next five games straight, and from there on out it was relatively...
Australian Open: ‘Intimidated’ Osaka favored over Serena in must-watch match

Australian Open: ‘Intimidated’ Osaka favored over Serena in must-watch match

Sports
Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Naomi Osaka admitted that she will be intimidated when she faces Serena Williams in the semifinals of the 2021 Australian Open, despite being favored to win the match against the 23-time Grand Slam champion. Osaka, the No. 3 player in the WTA rankings, will face Williams on Thursday in Melbourne, with a trip to the final on the line. Advertisement The blockbuster matchup is expected to air at 7 p.m. EST Wednesday on ESPN2. Osaka, a three-time major champion, has a 2-1 record in official matches against Williams. She also is undefeated in Grand Slam finals and has won titles each time she has advanced to the quarterfinals of a major tournament. Williams hasn't won a Grand Slam since 2017, but appears refreshed and has displayed spectacular defensive form this year in Melb...
Australian Open tennis: Three American women battle for semifinal spots

Australian Open tennis: Three American women battle for semifinal spots

Sports
Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Twenty-three time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams leads a trio of American female tennis players who each are one win away from clinching a spot in the semifinals at the 2021 Australian Open. Williams entered the tournament as one of the favorites to advance in Melbourne. No. 24 Jennifer Brady and No. 61 Jessica Pegula never advanced to the quarterfinals at the Grand Slam and were not expected to be contenders -- but they are. Advertisement "We have all really pushed each other over the past year," Pegula told reporters Monday. "Maybe we haven't said it to each other, but I think we all can feel it. "We are all pushing each other to get to that next level."[embedded content] Pegula battles Brady in a quarterfinal match Wednesday, which ensures that at least one Amer...