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Brady: What I Learned

By Richard Pagliaro

Playing dynamic tennis in her maiden major semifinal, Jennifer Brady gives us the impression this won't be her last.

In a hard-hitting, high-quality US Open semifinal, Naomi Osaka beat Brady 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-3 charging into a Grand Slam final for the third straight year.

More: Osaka Battles By Brady

The pair combined to produce 70 winners in a match that featured just two service breaks.

The 41st-ranked Brady, who saved three of four break points she faced, solidified her status as a future Top 10 player.

More importantly, Brady competed with the self-belief of a player who knows she belongs with the best.

"I think I handled the situation pretty well," Brady said. "I mean, I was obviously pretty nervous, playing here on Arthur Ashe, night match, semifinals, a match to play for the finals of the US Open.

"I felt like I went out there and I believed that I could win the match. Obviously I didn't, but I'm pretty happy with myself, with my effort, and my mentality these past couple weeks."

The former UCLA all-American is the first former college player to reach the US Open women’s semifinals since Lori McNeil in 1987. Brady said she will take some time to train on red clay before traveling to Paris for this month's Roland Garros.

The Lexington champion departed the game's biggest Grand Slam stage hoping her run will inspire other small-town players with big dreams.

"I sure hope so," Brady said. "I came from small town Mecanicsburg, Pennsylvania. I hope in maybe 10 years I'll be watching the US Open and seeing somebody from another small town, Harrisburg, Mecanicsburg, Hanover, wherever, in central PA. I hope so, yeah."

Photo credit: Mike Lawrence/USTA