Osaka’s title defence ended by Anisimova

Defending champion Naomi Osaka has been knocked out of the Australian Open at the third-round stage by Amanda Anisimova, but home favourite Ashleigh Barty is safely through in Melbourne.

Notable Men’s Matches on Saturday:

Botic van de Zandschulp vs Daniil Medvedev (R3 – 03:00)
Benoit Paire vs Stefanos Tsitsipas (R3 – 03:00)
Dan Evans vs Felix Auger-Aliassime (R3 – 06:00)

Notable Women’s Matches on Saturday:

Simona Halep vs Danka Kovinic (R3 – 01:30)
Marketa Vondrousova vs Aryna Sabalenka (R3 – 01:30)
Iga Swiatek vs Daria Kasatkina (R3 – 08:00)

Osaka had eased through her opening two rounds, but she faced a much sterner test against former French Open semi-finalist Anisimova, who saved two match points during the deciding set before prevailing 4-6 6-3 7-6 (10-5).

The unseeded American will now face world number one Barty in the fourth round after the home favourite eased past Italy’s Camila Giorgi 6-2 6-3 (Barty 1/5, Anisimova 10/3 – Match Result).

Barty is still yet to drop a set at this year’s tournament and is looking to become the first home Australian Open champion since Chris O’Neil in 1978.

Other notable results in the women’s draw included two-time former champion Victoria Azarenka, who booked her place in the fourth round for the first time since 2016 after seeing off 15th seed Elina Svitolina in style 6-0 6-2.

In the men’s draw, Rafael Nadal’s pursuit of a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title remains on track, although he did drop his first set at this year’s tournament before seeing off 28th seed Karen Khachanov 6-2 6-3 3-6 6-1.

Matteo Berrettini is also through, but the Italian seventh seed had to withstand a spirited comeback from highly-rated Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz before coming through in five sets 6-2 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 2-6 7-6 (10-5) on the Rod Laver Arena.

Another Spanish opponent awaits Berrettini in round four in the shape of 19th seed Pablo Carreno Busta, who needed four sets to get beyond American Sebastian Korda (Carreno Busta 7/4, Berrettini 4/9 – Match Result).

Alexander Zverev, the highest-seeded player in the top half of the draw, came through in straight sets against qualifier Radu Albot. He will face Denis Shapovalov in a potential blockbuster fourth-round encounter (Zverev 1/5, Shapovalov 10/3 – Match Result).

The third-round action will continue on Saturday, with the last remaining Brit in either singles draw, Dan Evans (10/11), taking on ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime (10/11).

Second seed Daniil Medvedev (1/40) will also be in action against Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp (12/1), while Stefanos Tsitsipas (1/12) will take on France’s Benoit Paire (6/1).

The pick of the matches from the women’s draw will see Simona Halep (1/25) face Emma Raducanu’s conqueror Danka Kovinic (9/1), while second seed Aryna Sabalenka (8/13) will take on former French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova (5/4).

Author: Micheal Ramirez