Australian Open: Naomi Osaka upset by Amanda Anisimova

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American Amanda Anisimova ended Naomi Osaka‘s title defense at the Australian Open, pulling off a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) upset in the third round on Friday.

Anisimova, a 2019 French Open semifinalist at age 17, is back on the rise after a challenging two years that included the unexpected death of her father one week before the 2019 U.S. Open.

Osaka broke her in the opening game, but Anisimova faced just seven break points the rest of the match and saved all of them, including two match points.

Last season, Anisimova tested positive for the coronavirus shortly before the Australian Open and missed the tournament while isolating in Abu Dhabi.

She then rolled an ankle later that winter and ended up playing just one match in a four-month stretch. She went nearly eight months between winning multiple matches in a tournament and finished 2021 ranked 78th, down 48 spots from 2020.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women

Anisimova started working with respected Australian coach Darren Cahill going into this season. She won an Australian Open lead-in tournament in Melbourne, her second WTA title and first since April 2019.

Now she’s into the fourth round of a major for the first time since that 2019 French Open breakthrough. She gets top-ranked Ash Barty, who dropped just eight games in her first three matches.

Barty, looking to be the first Aussie singles player to win the Australian Open since Chris O’Neil in 1978, rolled No. 30 Camila Giorgi of Italy 6-2, 6-3 on Friday.

Other high seeds had a much tougher time advancing into the round of 16 on Friday.

No. 4 Barbora Krejčíková, No. 8 Paula Badosa and No. 7 men’s seed Matteo Berrettini were also pushed to deciding sets. Berrettini, the 2021 Wimbledon runner-up, needed 4 hours, 10 minutes to dispatch 18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz 6-2, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 2-6, 7-6 (5).

Australian Open Day 6 Schedule

No. 2 Daniil Medvedev and No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas benefited from an upset in their sections and face unseeded players in the third round — Medvedev gets Botic van de Zandschulp and Tsitsipas faces Benoit Paire.

Taylor Fritz, the highest-seeded U.S. man at No. 20, should produce a more competitive match with No. 15 Roberto Bautista Agut.

No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka needed three sets to win her first two matches with some horrible serving. She might not have that margin for error against her third-round opponent, No. 31 Marketa Vondrousova.

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Australian Open: Naomi Osaka upset by Amanda Anisimova originally appeared on NBCSports.com