Amanda Anisimova ousts Naomi Osaka in Aussie Open thriller
Amanda Anisimova upset Naomi Osaka in a dramatic third-round match at the Australian Open on Friday.
Anisimova, 20, won the final match tiebreak, 10-5, and the American moved into the women’s singles quarterfinals with the 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) win.
“I’m speechless … I can’t stop smiling,” Anisimova said on court after the match. “Going into this match I knew I had to be playing sharp if I wanted to give myself a chance. I knew I had to step up my game and try to be aggressive.”
Osaka, the defending champion in Australia, had 21 winners compared to 46 from Anisimova, who also logged a first-serve percentage of 68 percent.
Another American, No. 21 seed Jessica Pegula, also advanced to the fourth round and a match with fifth-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece, who walked over Veronika Kudermetova with 6-4, 6-1 result.
Two-time Australian Open champ Victoria Azarenka of Belarus blitzed 15th-seeded Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine, 6-0, 6-2 to return to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2016. French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic faces Azarenka in the Round of 16.
Now 8-0 in 2022, Anisimova advances to meet No. 1 Ashleigh Barty of Australia. Barty said she was looking forward to the test of facing Osaka in the quarters following her own win on Day 5.
“But Amanda deserves to be in the last 16,” Barty said.
Barty eased past Italian Camila Giorgi, 6-2, 6-3, to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals for the fourth straight year.
“I thought that tonight was really clean, and I looked after my service games,” Barty said.
Barty and Anisimova met in 2019 at Roland Garros and Barty lost the first set, 7-6. She rallied to take consecutive sets 6-3 and win her first major.
“It was the turning point of my career,” she said Friday.
Anisimova has a chance to mark her own turning point in Melbourne, where the fan favorite runs up against the home-grown hero.
“Stepping onto the court, I’m just thinking about having fun,” Anisimova said.
Anisimova bounced No. 22 seed Belinda Bencic (Switzerland) in the second round, eliminating the 2020 Olympics gold medal winner 6-2, 7-5.
–Field Level Media