‘I can’t feel my legs. My heart is racing,’ says Jennifer Brady after reaching Australian Open final
American Jennifer Brady withstood late drama to defeat Karolina Muchova and reach her first Grand Slam final at the Australian Open.
Brady made her slam breakthrough with a run to the last four at the US Open last summer before losing to Naomi Osaka and has taken full advantage of a draw that opened up at Melbourne Park.
A 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 victory over first-time slam semi-finalist Muchova sets up a rematch on Saturday with Osaka, who saw off Serena Williams in the earlier clash.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 18, 2021
Brady looked to have things under control when she brought up two match points at 5-4 in the deciding set, and dropped to her knees on the second one thinking she had won only to realise her shot was just out.
Muchova had three break points but made errors on all of them and Brady finally clinched her fifth match point when her opponent drove a forehand long.
Brady fell to the court at the winning moment, and said: “I can’t feel my legs. My legs are shaking, my heart is racing.
“I was feeling a little strange today. I was super excited but at the same time I was pretty flat-footed. I felt like I was stuck in mud. I didn’t really pick up my intensity until the beginning of the third set.
— Heather Watson (@HeatherWatson92) February 18, 2021
“I’m obviously pretty excited to be in the finals. It’s an incredible achievement but I think it will be a really tough match, obviously she’s won a few grand slams, we had a tough match at the US Open in the semi-finals. She even said it was one of her top-two matches, which was a little unfortunate for me.”
The open nature of the women’s game is highlighted by the fact Brady is the seventh woman to make her maiden slam final in the past nine tournaments.
Five of the other six went on to win the title, including Sofia Kenin in Melbourne last year and Iga Swiatek at the French Open in October.
Brady will have to cause a big upset to do that, with Osaka one match away from matching her achievements of 2018 and 2019, when she won the US Open and Australian Open titles back to back.
But their contest in New York last year was one of the best matches of the season and Brady handled the pressure of being the favourite against 27th-ranked Czech Muchova.
The 24-year-old had the momentum going into the deciding set after Brady became error-prone in the second but Muchova played a poor service game to allow her opponent to break for 2-1 and that proved the decisive moment – just.
Emma Raducanu to be given ‘homecoming’ broadcast to toast her US Open win
The Lawn Tennis Association are set to give Emma Raducanu the welcome home she deserves.
Exclusive – Assessing Novak Djokovic’s legacy with one of the game’s leading writers
Novak Djokovic has always been fighting a losing battle in a popularity contest with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Emma Raducanu could secure a place in lucrative end-of-season WTA finals
Raducanu could be on course to secure a remarkable place in the lucrative end-of-season WTA finals in Mexico.
Andy Murray eyeing up leap in the rankings after another win in Metz
Murray is one win away from a return to the top 100 in the ATP rankings.
Emma Raducanu confirms first sponsorship deal and plenty more will follow
The sponsorship opportunities are rolling in for…
‘Winning is what sport is all about’ – Andy Murray reacts to one of his best wins of 2021
The former world number dispatched the home favourite favourite 4-6 6-3 6-2.
Andy Murray accepts wildcard as he prepares to return to scene of one of his great wins
Murray completed a comeback few believed was possible when he won the ATP event in Antwerp in 2019.
Coaching guru insists Emma Raducanu still has much to prove after US Open win
She is the new queen of tennis…
Roger Federer on his latest fitness battle and Novak Djokovic’s US Open final defeat
Roger Federer has not made…
Emma Raducanu makes a leap in the tennis rankings without striking a ball
Raducanu has enjoyed a welcome rankings boost, without even striking a ball in anger.