American Prodigy Amanda Anisimova Upsets Australian Open Champion Naomi Osaka In Third Round

australianopen jan21 lt

Defending champion Naomi Osaka is out of the Australian Open after losing to 20-year-old American prodigy Amanda Anisimova in a thrilling third round encounter Friday.

Anisimova rallied for a 4-6 6-3 7-6[10-5] victory after losing the first set in a marathon two hours, 15 minutes-long match at Margaret Court Arena.

She ended Naomi Osaka's hopes of back-to-back Australian Open crowns after saving two match points.

This is the Japanese tennis star's first defeat at the Australian Open.

She was downed by Leylah Fernandez in a similar fashion at last year's US Open.

Anisimova, ranked No. 60, will next face world No.1 Ash Barty in fourth round on Sunday.

"Going into this match I knew I had to be playing sharp if I wanted to give myself a chance," the Freehold, New Jersey, native said after the match on court.

"Naomi is always going to be playing well. She's an absolute champion, so I knew that I really had to step up my game and try to be aggressive," she added.

Osaka took a break from tennis after the US Open but didn't believe a lack of matches cost her, though she said her coach Wim Fissette felt it did.

A back-and-forth battle unfolded in the deciding third set, and Anismova sealed the tiebreaker in her favor with an amazing ace.

Unlike this match, Bartie's win against Camila Giorgi on Friday night was a one-sided affair. The world No.1 was far too steady for the power-hitting Italian, cruising to a 6-2 6-3 win in in hour at Rod Laver Arena.

In men's section, world No.5 Rafael Nadal heads onto his 15th Australian Open pre-quarter final with a victory over Russian Karen Khachanov. Score: 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-1

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