Tennis will crown its first Grand Slam singles champion of 2021 when the Australian Open holds the women's final Saturday in Melbourne.
Naomi Osaka is seeking her fourth career Grand Slam singles title and second in Melbourne, while rising star Jennifer Brady seeks to win her first and become the second consecutive American woman to win the Australian Open, following Sofia Kenin's victory last year.
Osaka, 23, has been the dominant player on hardcourt for the past few years and is riding a 20-match winning streak after beating seven-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams in the semifinals. The No. 3 seed from Japan won the Australian Open in 2019 and the U.S. Open in 2018 and 2020 and was the highest paid female athlete in the world last year, according to Forbes.
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Brady, ranked 24th in the world but seeded No. 22 in Australia, broke through on the Grand Slam stage last year when she reached the U.S. Open semifinals, pushing Osaka to three sets in a highly entertaining and competitive match. The 25-year-old from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, whose best result in Australia before this year was the Round of 16 in 2017, had to undergo a two-week hard quarantine after arriving in Melbourne because of Australia’s strict COVID-19 pandemic regulations.
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Naomi Osaka, left, will face Jennifer Brady, right, in the 2021 Australian Open women's singles final. (Photo: AFP and Getty Images)
What time does the Australian Open women's final begin?
The match is scheduled for 3:30 a.m. ET Saturday (7:30 p.m. in Melbourne) at Rod Laver Arena.
How can I watch on TV?
ESPN and ESPN Deportes (Spanish-language) will have the live broadcast at 3:30 a.m. ET. ESPN 2 will show a replay at 8 a.m. ET, and ESPN News will show another replay at 1 p.m. ET Saturday.
How can I watch on Live stream?
The Australian Open women's final can be live-streamed on fuboTV, Sling, Hulu + Live TV, ESPN+ and ESPN 3 apps.
Path to final
First round: Beat Aliona Bolsova, 6-1, 6-3
Second round: Beat Madison Brengle, 6-1, 6-2
Third round: Beat Kaja Juvan, 6-1, 6-3
Fourth round: Beat No. 28 Donna Vekic, 6-1, 7-5
Quarterfinals: Beat Jessica Pegula, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1
Semifinals: Beat No. 25 Karolina Muchova, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
First round: Beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-1, 6-2
Second round: Beat Caroline Garcia, 6-2, 6-3
Third round: Beat No. 27 Ons Jabeur, 6-3, 6-2
Fourth round: Beat No. 14 Garbine Muguruza, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5
Quarterfinal: Beat Hsieh Su-wei, 6-2, 6-2
Semifinal: Beat No. 10 Serena Williams, 6-3, 6-4
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