• Jennifer Brady [22] v Karolina Muchova [25]
  • H2H: Muchova leads 1-0
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Karolina Muchova pulled off a comeback against World No. 1 and top seed Ashleigh Barty and will face Jennifer Brady in the Australian Open semi-final.

 

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Jennifer Brady [22] v Karolina Muchova [25] H2H & Match Fundamentals

Jennifer Brady [22] v Karolina Muchova [25] H2H: Muchova leads 21-0
Australian Open Melbourne, Australia
Hard (O) Prize Money: A$850,000
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Preview: Jennifer Brady [22] v Karolina Muchova [25]

The decimation of the top half of the draw sees Karolina Muchova make her first Slam semi-final, while Jennifer Brady backs up her run to the US Open semi-final last year. Muchova pulled off a stunning comeback after starting woefully against the top seed and World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty before getting a medical timeout where she was given ice after complaining that her head was spinning.

Brady also had a fight on her hands, having to come from a set down against Jessica Pegula.

 

Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2021)

Embed from Getty Images
H2H: Jennifer Brady [22] (WR: 24) Karolina Muchova [25] (WR: 27)
Tournament Previous Best Fourth Round (2017) Second Round (2020)
1st Serve Return Points Won % 41.1 37.8
Return Points Won % 48.5 47
Break Point Conversion % 48.2 48.9
Break Points Saved % 66.8 63
Total Points Won % 56.1 53.8

 

A couple of walkovers for Muchova since the start of the season perhaps bring her stats down a little, but it is also worth noting that Brady was the only player in the semi-finals that was put into hard lockdown after a positive test on her flight. So for her to come out of that with the inevitable loss of conditioning, and to reach the final of the Grampians Trophy (not played) and now a semi-final of a Slam is testament to Brady on the upswing.

Muchova’s trick of having to come back from behind against Karolina Pliskova, Elise Mertens and Ashleigh Barty shows a fair bit of tenacity too, but nerves might be more of a factor for her.

 

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Playing Styles

Brady’s serve can earn her plenty of free points, and her game slots in nicely behind it with an aggressive topspin forehand and she did a lot of running around her back-hand in the quarter-final to pack a bit more of a punch. She is not averse to a serve-forehand one-two punch combo, following into the net to polish off the point.

Muchova has a similar attacking game, and is solid off both wings but has a lot of variety in her arsenal as well – lobs, sliced backhands and drop-shots which can break p her opponents rhythm and she has shown that she has a decent big-picture temperament. She has had to be patient and work her way back into her recent matches, so even if Brady gets a quick start, that is no guarantee of a set going her way.

 

Prediction

Of the pair, just Brady has been this far in a Slam, and so that experience should stand her in good stead, but Muchova showed no signs of panic in matches were on paper she looked dead and buried.

Muchova got the better of Brady in Prague on clay, but the quick courts in Australia should help both of their serving. Brady is probably the slight favourite, both for her experience and also that the speed of the court should favour her more powerful serving and this ought to be a solid three setter.

Prediction: Brady in three sets.

 

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