The Pick: Naomi Osaka vs. Jennifer Brady, Australian Open final

The Pick: Naomi Osaka vs. Jennifer Brady, Australian Open final

Jennifer Brady stands in the way of Naomi Osaka's quest to win her fourth major title in her last eight attempts come Saturday night at Melbourne Park.

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook and are subject to change

If last year’s US Open semifinal was any indication of what to expect come Saturday night at Melbourne Park, tennis fans are in for a treat. In Flushing Meadows, Naomi Osaka and Jennifer Brady delivered arguably the match of the year, with both players striking the ball at their highest level. 

The rallies from their last encounter were simply sensational. 

But after watching Osaka dismantle an in-form Serena Williams on Thursday, it appears the odds are heavily stacked against the American. Anything Serena did, Osaka did better. She nearly doubled the GOAT’s winner count while hitting three fewer unforced errors—not to mention six aces to Serena’s three. 

After a slow start, Osaka found her range and never looked back. 

Brady is one of the few players with the power and mobility to defeat Osaka on a hard court, but due to the quick, hot conditions and lively Dunlop balls, Brady’s forehand has been more erratic than usual. 

Brady was not missing these forehands at the US Open. 

Brady has slightly dialed down her power and is employing more spin to keep it in the court, but unless something changes overnight, she will have a hard time controlling her forehand against Osaka’s incredible depth and pace. 

She’s not going to hurt Osaka by hitting through the court, so she must use her footwork in order to create angles and stretch the ball off the court, like she does below. 

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Osaka is a solid -480 favorite and projected to win by a 6-4, 6-3, scoreline. Brady has injected new life—and serious power—into the women’s game, but it appears Osaka is about to take a stranglehold on the WTA.

Expect Osaka to win in routine fashion, and cover her -4.5 game spread as well. 

The Pick: Naomi Osaka

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