Brady reached the finals and won $ 4,053.

But as No. 3 Osaka, already a megawatt star, and No. 24 Brady, a woman who has steadily and admirably found it out, meet on Saturday in Melbourne (3:30 a.m.) at the age of 23 and 25 for the title the Australian Open women EST), their paths already diverged significantly in New Braunfels. Then Brady played college tennis for the second of her two years at UCLA. Now Brady will be the first female Grand Slam finalist to visit a campus since Kathy Jordan at the 1983 Australian Open.

She also became one of the best descriptions of the tremors that can come with reaching this point. About her 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 survival of Karolina Muchova in the semi-finals on Thursday, she said: “Yeah, I was just so nervous. I couldn’t feel my legs. My arms were trembling. I was just hoping she would miss and she didn’t and she played more aggressively. Then I’d say I started grazing, mumbling on and on and on. It was point by point and finally I was able to close it. “

Compare that with Osaka, which was already known for dominating the Grand Slam final – 3-0 so far – and had to remind: “I only played in three of them.”

That memory came after she secured fourth place in the first semi-final by beating Serena Williams, and so she continued with reporters in Melbourne: “For me, my mentality is that people don’t remember the runner-up. You could, but the winner’s name is the one that is engraved. I think I fight the hardest in the final. I think this is where you are grappling with. It’s the other person who has won as many games as you. I don’t know, it’s like the greatest fight. “

These two already had another Grand Slam fight, Osaka’s 7-6 (7-1), 3-6, 6-3 victory in the corona silence of the 2020 US Open semi-finals, a match of undiluted quality. “I felt while I was playing that their level hadn’t dropped at all,” Osaka said afterwards.

Now Brady has upheld her sincerity as a contender, and her path is deeply impressive in a way that relates to those who value combat. She didn’t mind remembering her breakthrough in 2020 in New York. In a quote that should mark her career and give hope to many, she said: “I’ve played challenger events, played fewer challenger events and lost. In the first qualifying round, I thought, ‘Okay, I have a chance to make it ? How can I really do this? Should i play this sport? ‘There was a lot of doubts, a lot of questions, you know, definitely no positive thoughts, you know, during that time. “

Check out the Australian Open in January 2016. The then 18-year-old Osaka, who made his debut on the Grand Slam main moves, beat some terribly good players, Donna Vekic and Elina Svitolina, to make it to the third round and said, “But I don’t really like it, I think too much about it after because it freaks me out. “

She knows how to think about it in every way in her 18th Grand Slam, 11-0 in the quarter-finals, semi-finals and Grand Slam finals. So if she tops round four, you’re all pretty bumped.

That same month, Brady, forever two years older (an eternity in tennis years), finished 216 and played one of those $ 50,000 second-tier events. That event was in Maui so compassion can stop there. She played a round and won $ 444. She went on to the $ 100,000 event in Midland, Michigan, where she played a match and won $ 887.

By November of that year, she’d win another $ 444 at another challenger event in Texas – this time Waco! – and would rank 111. Two months later she also made a slam debut in Australia, a year after Osaka, and she also rose – up to the fourth round with three qualifying games and three wins in the main draw. When a reporter who worked briefly as an accountant told her that she had doubled her prize money for life in those fortnight alone, she said, “Cool, thanks. Thank you for sharing. I did not know that. “

She just found out and strengthened her stomach. Then she found out and increased her considerable courage. And now see where it will stand against some really sizeable guts.

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