United States’ Jennifer Brady hits a backhand return to compatriot Jessica Pegula during their match at the Australian Open Tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Hamish Blair)
- Jennifer Brady is the -182 favorite over Karolina Muchova in their Australian Open women’s singles semi-final, set for 11:15pm EST on Wednesday
- Underdog Muchova (+148) won their only previous meeting
- Muchova knocked off #1 seed Ashleigh Barty in the quarter-finals. Read our preview and best bet for the match below
One of either Jennifer Brady or Karolina Muchova will achieve a career first at the Australian Open on Wednesday by reaching their initial Grand Slam final. Muchova vs Brady takes place at 11:15 pm EST tonight and is being broadcast on ESPN2.
Based on the form charts and their past history, the numbers would suggest that Muchova will be that woman. The oddsmakers, though, are going with Brady.
American Brady is the -182 favorite to topple Muchova of the Czech Republic in their semi-final match of women’s singles competition. This marks the second time in 15 Grand Slam appearances that Brady has advanced to the semi-final stage.
For Muchova, the +148 underdog, she previously reached the quarter-final stage at Wimbledon in 2019.
Muchova vs Brady Australian Open Semi-Final Odds
|Karolina Muchova||+148||+3.5 (-136)||O 18.5 (-305)|
|Jennifer Brady||-182||-3.5 (+108)||U 18.5 (+230)|
Odds taken Feb. 17th at DraftKings
Everything Clicking for Brady
All components of her game appear to be coming together for Brady, 25, at exactly the precise moment in time. Her return game has been clutch. She’s dropping in 81-percent of her shots. Her winners to unforced errors ratio is 110/108.
At the same time, Brady is proving strong in her defensive game. So far, she’s saved 16 of 22 break points. Her 24 aces in the tournament trail only Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams, who will battle it out in the other women’s singles semi-final.
Nothing but respect for you Jess 💛✨ https://t.co/HCVHYG6xVr
— Jennifer Brady (@jennifurbrady95) February 17, 2021
Osaka defeated Brady in the 2020 US Open semi-finals. That’s the furthest Brady has previously advanced in a Grand Slam event.
Her 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 come-from-behind victory over close friend Jessica Pegula in the Australian Open quarter-finals was the first time in the tournament that Brady was extended beyond straight sets. She’s spent about two hours less time on court than Muchova over the course of the tournament.
2021 Australian Open Odds Tracker
Muchova Playing With Confidence
Muchova also dispatched a close friend en route to the semis. She stopped Czech compatriot and practice partner Karolina Pliskova, the #6 seed, in straight sets in the third round.
The 24-year-old has played the role of giant killer throughout the tourney. Muchova, the 25th seed, ousted #18 Elise Mertens in the fourth round, also in straight sets.
Karolina Muchova is now 8-0 in 2021 and has been the comeback kid in Melbourne.
Down 0-5 in the 2nd vs. Pliskova, won 75 75.
Down 0-4 in the 1st vs. Mertens, won, 76 75.
Down a set and a break to Barty, won 16 63 62.#AusOpen
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) February 17, 2021
Her biggest triumph came in the quarter-finals, downing top seed and world #1 Ashleigh Barty 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 right in her own homeland. Muchova was down a break 2-1 in the second set when she took a medical timeout for an apparent neck injury.
She returned to the court a different player. Muchova won seven of the next eight games to gain control of the match.
Muchova vs Brady Best Bet
The old theory about going with the hot hand goes out the window when both players’ games are hotter than blacktop in July.
Head to head, Muchova won their only previous meeting. However, that was on clay in Prague.
Karolina Muchova vs Jennifer Brady Stats
|67.0||Service Points Won||66.2|
|47.7||Return Points Won||43.0|
|62.5||Break Points Saved||56.3|
Brady is a Floridian and it’s been a lucrative month to bet on Bradys who call the Sunshine State home. However, it’s hard to look past the quality of opponent that Muchova has sent packing from this tournament. Donna Vekic (#28) is the only seeded player that Brady has faced to this point.
Muchova is going to be the highest seed the 22nd-seeded Brady has faced in Melbourne. The Czech is an unbeaten 8-0 this year, compared to Brady’s 8-2 mark.
#AusOpen Semifinals Set:
 Brady vs.  Muchova
 Osaka vs.  Serena
Having made the semifinals in New York, Osaka, Serena, and Brady return to the same stage in the next hardcourt Slam. pic.twitter.com/XIOhFqdNA8
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) February 17, 2021
She’s only dropped one set in the tournament. Muchova saved 10 break points in her ousting of Barty. For the tourney, she’s saved 30 of 45 break points. On the other hand, Muchova broke Barty’s serve four times.
Muchova put 57-percent of her first serves into play, compared to 49-percent for Brady in her win over Pegula.
Muchova’s all-around ability should be enough to overcome the advantage Brady holds in the power game.
Pick: Karolina Muchova (+148), Muchova 2-1 (+440)
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.