Australian Open 2019 Women's Final: TV Schedule, Start Time and Live Stream

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2019

Japan's Naomi Osaka makes a forehand return to Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic during their semifinal at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
Andy Brownbill/Associated Press

There will be a first-time Australian Open champion in the women's singles draw.

No. 4 seed Naomi Osaka and No. 8 seed Petra Kvitova will square off in the final of the 2019 Australian Open after they defeated No. 7 Karolina Pliskova and Danielle Collins, respectively, in Wednesday's semifinals. 

Here is a look at all the critical information for the final of the year's first major.

          

2019 Australian Open Women's Final

Date: Saturday, Jan. 26

Start Time: 7:30 p.m. local time, 3:30 a.m. ET

Location: Rod Laver Arena

TV: ESPN

Live Stream: WatchESPN

         

Path to the Final

Osaka defeated Magda Linette in the first round, Tamara Zidansek in the second round, No. 28 Su-Wei Hsieh in the third round, No. 13 Anastasija Sevastova in the fourth round, No. 6 Elina Svitolina in the quarterfinals and No. 7 Pliskova in the semifinals.

While she cruised past Svitolina in straight sets in what figured to be a daunting test, Osaka needed the full three sets to defeat Hsieh, Sevastova and Pliskova.

Kvitova defeated Magdalena Rybarikova in the first round, Irina-Camelia Begu in the second round, Belinda Bencic in the third round, Amanda Anisimova in the fourth round, No. 15 Ashleigh Barty in the quarterfinals and Collins in the semifinals.

Kin Cheung/Associated Press

She has been a machine at this tournament and is yet to drop a set, although it should be noted Barty was the only seeded opponent she had to face. That stands in stark contrast to Osaka's path seeing how she played a seeded opponent in four of her six matches.

         

Prediction

Neither player has won an Australian Open in their career, although they prevailed at other Grand Slams.

Kvitova is a two-time Wimbledon champion and went through a stretch where she advanced to at least the quarterfinals at the tournament five straight years from 2010 through 2014. Still, this is the first time she made a final at any of the other majors.

Osaka, 21, has less experience than the 28-year-old Kvitova but became a household name with her 2018 U.S. Open title, defeating Serena Williams in the final. This year marks the first time she's advanced past the round of 16 in four Australian Opens.

The final will be the first career matchup between the two.

Osaka has prevailed against a more difficult path leading up to the final, continuing her momentum at majors from her victory at the U.S. Open. She was particularly impressive against Svitolina and Pliskova, while Kvitova was defeating overmatched foes for much of the tournament.

The strides in Osaka's game were evident in the Pliskova match. She lost to the Czech in straight sets in September in Tokyo but drastically turned things around Down Under in the semifinal victory with a clutch showing in the decisive third set.

She will ride those strides all the way to a second career Grand Slam title.

            

Prediction: Osaka wins in three sets.

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