Jan 21, 2022 - Sports

Defending champion Naomi Osaka knocked out of Australian Open

Naomi Osaka in action during her third round match against Amanda Anisimova at the Australian Open.
Naomi Osaka during her third-round match against Amanda Anisimova at the Australian Open on Friday. Photo: Robert Prange/Getty Images

Unseeded American Amanda Anisimova upset defending champion Naomi Osaka, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (10-5), in the third round of the Australian Open.

Driving the news: Anisimova, 20, saved two match points and had 46 (!) winners to Osaka's 21. She's now 8-0 in 2022.

  • "You will not see a higher quality of tennis than Anisimova just pulled off ... Just stunning. Naomi shouldn't feel too bad about that one," USA Today's Dan Wolken writes.

The backdrop: Anisimova was a semifinalist at the 2019 French Open at age 17, but her ascent was abruptly grounded when her father and longtime coach, Konstantin, died of a heart attack later that year.

  • The New Jersey native's breakthrough was partly overshadowed by other young talents like Coco Gauff and Bianca Andreescu.
  • But Amanda has been a "champion-in-training" for much of her young life, and her future looks as bright as anyone's right now.

What's next: Anisimova, ranked 60th in the world, faces world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty of Australia in the fourth round.

Zoom out ... There wasn't a single American in the quarterfinals of last year's U.S. Open. That could change in Melbourne, with four women and two men still alive.

  • Women: Anisimova is joined in the fourth round by Madison Keys and Jessica Pegula, whose parents own the Bills. Danielle Collins plays her third-round match tonight (7pm ET).
  • Men: Taylor Fritz (10:15pm) and Maxime Cressy (12am) play third-round matches tonight.
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