Defending champion Osaka knocked out of Australian Open | Tennis News
The four-time Japanese Grand Slam champion, seeded 13, won the first set at Margaret Court Arena, but the flustered Anisimova saved two match points in the third to pull off a whopping 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (10/5) upset.
His reward is a shot for a quarter-final berth against Barty, who crushed Italy’s 30th seed Camila Giorgi in straight sets.
Giant slayer ⚔️🇺🇸 @AnisimovaAmanda knocks out defending champion Naomi Osaka 4-6 6-3 7-6 to advance to the crazy… https://t.co/BuE7eNuFbH
— #AusOpen (@AusOpen) 1642761441000
“I’m speechless, I can’t help but smile,” said the 20-year-old, unbeaten this year after winning a preseason tournament in Melbourne.
“I knew I had to play hard if I wanted to give myself a chance. Naomi will always play well, she’s an absolute champion.
“So I really had to step up my game and try to be aggressive. That’s what I started doing in the second set and I’m so grateful that I was able to do well today and get the win. . It means a lot.”
Osaka wasted no time in dominating world number 60 Anisimova, breaking her down immediately, then working two break points on the American’s second serve, but failed to convert.
But Anisimova’s nerves cooled and she began to find her reach, threatening with a few sizzling groundstrokes, only for Osaka’s power and precision to come to the fore.
Despite only getting 59% of her first serves, Osaka was in the lead and sealed the set with a half-volley.
She faced three break points in a decisive second game in the second set but kept it cool to fend them off before being broken in the fourth game as her serve let her down again.
A bloated Anisimova took the set, hitting twice as many winners as Osaka.
Both players had chances in a tense third set with neither giving an inch until Osaka worked two match points at 5-4.
But Anisimova saved them both, then slammed an ace to level it at 5-5 and it went to a tie-break where she kept her composure to snap a nine-game losing streak against the top 20 players.
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