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Australian Open defending champ Naomi Osaka upset by Amanda Anisimova, 20-year-old American ranked sixtieth on the earth


Defending champion Naomi Osaka did not make it to a much-anticipated fourth-round contest towards top-ranked Ash Barty on the Australian Open. Amanda Anisimova, a 20-year-old American ranked sixtieth on the earth, ensured that so-called final-before-the-final will not occur when she beat the four-time main champion 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) Friday.

“I knew I needed to be enjoying sharp if I wished to offer myself an opportunity,” mentioned Anisimova, who took out Olympic champion Belinda Bencic within the second spherical after which accounted for the 2021 Australian Open champion.

Australian Open
 Amanda Anisimova of the U.S. shakes arms with Japan’s Naomi Osaka after profitable their third spherical match on the Australian Open on January 21, 2022

LOREN ELLIOTT / REUTERS


After shedding the primary set, Anisimova knew she wanted to get extra aggressive or she could be out of the event.

It labored.

Anisimova saved two match factors within the third set, serving to remain within the match, and ended it with an ace. She hit 46 winners to Osaka’s 21.

It is the fourth time Osaka has been unable to defend a serious title, and the eleventh time in a Grand Slam she has been knocked out within the third spherical, together with final yr’s U.S. Open.

After profitable the title final yr – her second at Melbourne Park in three years – Osaka withdrew from the French Open within the second spherical and skipped Wimbledon as she took a break for her psychological well being. After an early loss on the U.S. Open, she took an prolonged layoff to reset and arrived on the yr’s first main with a seeding of No. 13.

Barty superior with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Thirtieth-seeded Camila Giorgi on Rod Laver Enviornment, the match beginning later and ending sooner than the Osaka-Anisimova contest on the adjoining Margaret Courtroom Enviornment.

Barty has solely conceded eight video games and spent lower than three hours on court docket within the first three rounds at Melbourne Park. The Wimbledon champion and 2019 French Open winner is aiming to be the primary Australian lady to win her dwelling championship since 1978.

Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka’s overpowered Fifteenth-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-0, 6-2 to succeed in the fourth spherical at Melbourne Park for the primary time since 2016.

Earlier than she had an opportunity to investigate each gamers she may meet subsequent, a query was posed to her son concerning the two-time Australian Open champion’s third-round efficiency.

5-year-old Leo, sporting his sun shades within the information convention room and sitting on his mom’s knee, responded succinctly: “Superior!”

Azarenka thanked her son, then listed the constructive factors from her perspective. These included: “The quantity of aggressivity I may carry level after level, making use of loads of strain, the consistency. Taking management of my finish of the court docket.”

She’s going to subsequent play French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, who rallied from a set and a break down towards Twenty sixth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko to win 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Since a quarterfinal run in Australia in 2016, Azarenka misplaced first-round matches final yr and in 2019, and missed the hard-court event in 2017, 2018 and 2020.

The 32-year-old former No. 1 from Belarus is feeling snug proper now, fulfilling the twin roles of participant and mom in Melbourne.

“I all the time really feel privileged that I can have him right here,” Azarenka mentioned. “These form of moments are actually priceless for me. To have the ability for me to share that with my son is fairly unimaginable.”

Fourth-round pairings that have been arrange Friday embrace fifth-seeded Maria Sakkari towards Twenty first-seeded Jessica Pegula and No. 8 Paula Badosa towards Madison Keys, who held off Wang Qiang 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2) on Friday.

On the lads’s facet, Olympic gold medalist Alexander Zverev had a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Radu Albot, a 124th-ranked qualifier from Moldova, to arrange a fourth-round match towards Denis Shapovalov.

The 14th-seeded Shapovalov beat No. 23 Reilly Opelka 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini fended off 18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz 6-2, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 2-6, 7-6 (5).

Miomir Kecmanovic continued to profit from the absence of fellow Serbian Novak Djokovic, reaching the fourth spherical at a serious for the primary time with a 6-4, 6-7 (8), 6-2, 7-5 win over Twenty fifth-seeded Lorenzo Sonego.

He’ll subsequent play Seventeenth-seeded Gael Monfils, who beat No. 16 Cristian Garin 7-6 (4), 6-1, 6-3.

Kecmanovic had been drawn to play the top-ranked Djokovic, a nine-time Australian Open champion, within the first spherical. However Djokovic was deported on the eve of the event for failing to fulfill Australia’s strict COVID-19 laws.

Rafael Nadal was enjoying a late match towards No. 28 Karen Khachanov., aiming to proceed his bid for a document Twenty first Grand Slam title.



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