US Open 2020: Brady reaches first grand slam semi-final, crushing Putintseva

By Sports Desk September 08, 2020

Jennifer Brady said she was "thrilled" to reach the first grand slam semi-final of her career as the American saw off Yulia Putintseva at the US Open.

After emerging from lockdown to take her first WTA title at the Top Seed Open last month, Brady continued her bright run by scoring a 6-3 6-2 win on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Remarkably, the world number 41 has yet to drop a set in five singles matches this year at Flushing Meadows, with Putintseva joining a list of victims that includes former champion Angelique Kerber and dangerous French player Caroline Garcia.

Emerging from a top quarter of the draw that initially contained top seed Karolina Pliskova, Brady's power, coupled to more than a little finesse, has taken her through to a clash with Japan's Naomi Osaka or fellow US star Shelby Rogers next.

She sped into a 4-0 lead against Putintseva, whose guile was being outmatched by the strength and accuracy of Brady, unlike in their two previous meetings, both in 2018, when the Russian-born Kazakh player came out on top each time.

Recovering a break and getting back to 5-3 asked questions of Brady, but she had all the answers. Despite dropping serve when a break ahead early in the second set, Brady was unperturbed, her opponent being swiftly swatted out of the tournament.

A lob to set up three break points at 4-2 showed there was plenty of craft in Brady's game, as well as the zip in her shots, and she sealed the double break by winning a battle at the net.

Barely a couple of minutes later, Putintseva sent a service return long on match point, with Brady correctly challenging after the line judge failed to pick it out.

Brady had wins this year over world number one Ash Barty and Australian Open runner-up Garbine Muguruza before the tours went into lockdown in March, signalling perhaps there was a grand slam run in her.

Speaking of her win over Putintseva, Brady said on Amazon Prime: "The last couple of times I played her I got caught into playing her game and I don't think I'm better than her at just running and making balls, so I was definitely a lot more aggressive today.

"I came out with nerves obviously and I think she did too. I was happy with the way I started and then I think I was able to keep the momentum and build off that.

"I'm thrilled to be in the semi-finals here at the US Open. I'm just taking one match at a time. I'm very happy."

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN  

Brady [28] beat Putintseva [23] 6-3 6-2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS   

Brady – 22/24
Putintseva – 7/9

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS   

Brady – 6/0
Putintseva – 1/1

BREAK POINTS WON    

Brady – 5/7
Putintseva – 2/2

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE   

Brady – 63
Putintseva – 64

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE   

Brady – 58/72
Putintseva – 52/44

TOTAL POINTS   

Brady – 54
Putintseva – 40

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