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Defending Champion Naomi Osaka Loses At Australian Open 2022

Osaka lost to Amanda Anisimova 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the third round

Naomi Osaka of Japan plays a forehand return to Amanda Anisimova of the U.S. during their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. (AP/PTI)

Melbourne: Defending champion Naomi Osaka was knocked out of the Australian Open after losing to Amanda Anisimova 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the third round. The 20-year-old Anisimova saved two match points in the third set at Margaret Court Arena ahead of the tiebreaker and ended the match with an ace. She hit 46 winners to Osaka’s 21.

Anisimova built a 3-0 lead in the 10-point tiebreaker and went up 9-5 with a forehand winner into tight space down the line.

Anisimova double-faulted twice in the first game of the match to hand the 13th-seeded Osaka an early break. But she hit 15 winners in the second set and broke to go up 3-1 on a backhand drop shot with Osaka caught at the baseline.

She will next face top-ranked Ash Barty in the fourth round.

In other results on Day 5, fifth-seeded Maria Sakkari beat No. 28 Veronika Kudermetova 6-4, 6-1 to move into a fourth-round match against 21st seed Jessica Pegula of the U.S., who beat Nuria Parrizas Diaz 7-6 (3), 6-2.

Eighth-seeded Paula Badosa advanced with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 win over Marta Kostyuk.

24th-seeded Victoria Azarenka won 6-0, 6-2 over 15th-seeded Elina Svitolina. She’ll next play French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, who rallied from a set and a break down against No. 26-seeded Jelena Ostapenko to win 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 and advance to the fourth round in singles at Melbourne Park for the first time.

Rafael Nadal was to continue his bid for a record 21st Grand Slam title with a third-round match against No. 28 Karen Khachanov.

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