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THE DEFENDING CHAMP IS OUT! 20-year old Amanda Anisimova fights past Naomi Osaka in the third round of the 2022 Australian Open

2-time Oz Open champion Naomi Osaka goes down fighting in the third round of the 2022 Australian Open to Amanda Anisimova.

Naomi Osaka and Amanda Anisimova

American 20-year old Amanda Anisimova knocks 4-time grand slam champion Naomi Osaka out of the 2022 Australian Open. She pulled the upset of the tournament so far and defeated the Japanese in three tight sets 4-6,6-3,7-6(5) in the third round on Margaret Court Arena.

Naomi looked good in the start. She was hitting the ball well from the baseline and was taking charge of most of the rallies. Anisimova too was matching Naomi from the baseline but the unforced errors cost her. The defending champion got the decisive break early and took the opening set 6-4.

The second set too looked similar to the first until a lapse in concentration from Naomi on serve allowed Anisimova to get the break. She then held her serve to perfection to level things up by winning the second set 6-3. Naomi’s intensity too looked down towards the end.

The third set started with high intensity on serve from both the players. Naomi struggled in the beginning at times but managed to hold serve. The set was pretty much on serve with both players engaging in long rallies. 5-4 up on Anisimova’s serve, Osaka had a couple of match points but couldn’t convert. The set was then tied at 6-6 and went into a deciding 10 point tie-breaker.

Ever since saving those two match points, Anisimova looked completely in control of proceedings from the baseline and did the same in the tie breaker. She got an early mini break and held the advantage until the change of ends. At the end, Naomi couldn’t keep her shots in the court and hit a lot of unforced errors. With an ace at 9-5, she won the match and her emotions portrayed what this win means to her.

‘I’m speechless. Naomi is an absolute champion’: Anisimova

Amanda Anisimova

In the on court interview, Anisimova expressed her delight and addressed the supportive Melbourne crowd.

“I’m speechless. I absolutely love playing in front of you guys in Melbourne. It’s so much fun- I just can’t stop smiling even when I’m playing, even when I should be serious but I’m just laughing at things you guys say sometimes,” she said.

She then revealed her mindset and lauded Naomi foe always giving a fight. “Going into the match, I knew I had to be playing sharp to give myself more of a chance,” she said.

“Naomi is always going to be playing well. She’s an absolute champion- I knew that so I had to step up my game and try to be aggressive. And that’s what I started doing in the second set. Honestly I’m so grateful that I was able to play so well today and gets this win. It means a lot!”

Anisimova will now face top seed and tournament favorite Ashleigh Barty in the fourth round on Sunday.

Also read: ‘Unstoppable!’ Ashleigh Barty marches into the second week of Australian Open 2022 with a straight sets win in round two