Tennis Australian Open: American Anisimova drops Osaka; Barty claims

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Amanda Anisimova of the United States (pictured) defeated defending champion Naomi Osaka of Japan in the third round of the 2022 Australian Open on Friday in Melbourne. Photo by Jason O’Brien/EPA-EFE

Jan. 21 (UPI) – American Amanda Anisimova dropped her fist set but roared back to upset Japan’s Naomi Osaka in the third round of the 2022 Australian Open on Friday in Melbourne. Ash Barty was one of the best seeds to go on.

Anisimova, 20, defeated the defending champions 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in a match that lasted two hours and 15 minutes. Growing up in Aventura, Florida, native Freehold, NJ, fired 11 aces and 46 winners in the win. Osaka had a total of five aces, 21 winners and only won 1 out of 10 breakpoints.

“Going into this game I knew I had to play sharp if I wanted to give myself a chance,” Anisimova said in her on-court interview.

“She will always play well. She is an absolute champion. I knew I had to step up my game and be aggressive. I’m so grateful that I was able to play so well and get this win.”

Anisimova, who also advanced to the Round of 16 in 2019, will face the best-seeded Barty in the fourth round.

“I thought it was a high-level competition,” Osaka told reporters. “The pace of her ball surprised me, but otherwise it was fun to play.”

Barty defeated No. 30 Camila Giorgi in straight sets in her third round match. The Australian had a total of four aces, 11 winners and won 3 out of 5 breakpoints.

Earlier Friday, No. 4 Czech Republic winner Barbora Krejcikova, 2021 French Open winner, defeated No. 26 Latvian Jelena Ostapenko 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. No. 5 Maria Sakkari of Greece defeated No. 28 Veronika Kudermetova of Russia in straight sets.

No. 8 Paula Badosa of Spain and No. 24 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, a two-time winner in Melbourne, were among the other top women to emerge from Friday’s third round matches.

No. 21 Jesica Pegula and Madison Keys joined Anisimova as the Americans advance to the Round of 16.

Number 3 Alexander Zverev of Germany and number 7 Matteo Berrettini of Italy were among the top men’s players to go on Friday in Melbourne.

Berrettini defeated number 31 Carlos Alcaraz Garfia of Spain in a five-set thriller that lasted four hours and 10 minutes. He scored a total of 10 aces, won 3 of 8 breakpoints and recorded 39 winners.

Canada’s No. 14 Denis Shapovalov also secured a fourth-round spot with a four-set win over No. 23 Reilly Opelka of the United States. No. 17 Gael Monfils of France also advanced with a straight-sets win over No. 16 Cristian Garin of Chile.

No. 20 Taylor Fritz and Maxime Cressy are the only American men with a chance to advance to the fourth round. They play their third round matches in Melbourne on Saturday.

Zverev will face Shapovalov in one of the high-profile fourth-round matches for a chance to advance to the men’s quarter-finals. In addition to Bar 19:00 ty-Anisimova, the fourth round of the women’s circuit also includes matches between Pegula and Sakkari, Krejcikova and Azarenka, and Keys and Badosa.

Round three Australia Open live coverage resumes at 7pm EST Friday on ESPN+. Coverage will also air from 9:00 PM Friday to 12:30 PM Saturday on ESPN2 and 11:30 PM Friday to 7:00 AM Saturday on ESPN+.

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