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Australian Open tennis: American Anisimova drops Osaka; Barty advances

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Australian Open tennis: American Anisimova drops Osaka; Barty advances
Amanda Anisimova of the United States (pictured) beat defending champion Naomi Osaka of Japan in the third-round of the 2022 Australian Open on Friday in Melbourne. Photo by Jason O'Brien/EPA-EFE

Jan. 21 (UPI) -- American Amanda Anisimova dropped her fist set, but roared back to upset Naomi Osaka of Japan in the third round of the 2022 Australian Open on Friday in Melbourne. Ash Barty was among the top seeds to advance.

Anisimova, 20, beat the defending champion 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5) in a match that took two hours and 15 minutes. The Freehold, N.J., native, who was raised in Aventura, Fla., fired 11 aces and 46 winners in the victory. Osaka totaled five aces, 21 winners and won just 1 of 10 break points.

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"Going into this match, I knew I had to play sharp if I wanted to give myself a chance," Anisimova said in her on-court interview.

"She is always going to be playing well. She's an absolute champion. I knew I had to step up my game and be aggressive. I'm so grateful I was able to play so well and get this win."

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Anisimova, who also advanced to the Round of 16 in 2019, will face the top-seeded Barty in the fourth round.

"I thought it was a pretty high-level match," Osaka told reporters. "The pace of her ball surprised me, but other than that, it was fun to play."

Barty beat No. 30 Camila Giorgi in straight sets in her third-round match. The Australian totaled four aces, 11 winners and won 3 of 5 break points.

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Earlier Friday, No. 4 Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic, the 2021 French Open winner, beat No. 26 Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. No. 5 Maria Sakkari of Greece beat No. 28 Veronika Kudermetova of Russia in straight sets.

No. 8 Paula Badosa of Spain and No. 24 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, a two-time winner in Melbourne, were among the other top women's players to advance out of Friday's third-round matches.

No. 21 Jesica Pegula and Madison Keys joined Anisimova as the Americans to advance to the Round of 16.

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No. 3 Alexander Zverev of Germany and No. 7 Matteo Berrettini of Italy were among the top men's players to advance Friday in Melbourne.

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Berrettini beat No. 31 Carlos Alcaraz Garfia of Spain in a five-set thriller, which lasted four hours and 10 minutes. He totaled a 10 aces, won 3 of 8 break points and logged 39 winners in the win.

No. 14 Denis Shapovalov of Canada also clinched a spot in the fourth round with a four-set win over No. 23 Reilly Opelka of the United States. No. 17 Gael Monfils of France also advanced with a straight-sets win over No. 16 Cristian Garin of Chile.

No. 20 Taylor Fritz and Maxime Cressy are the lone American men with a chance to advance to the fourth round. They play their third-round matches Saturday in Melbourne.

Zverev faces Shapovalov in one of the high-profile fourth round matches for a chance to advance to the men's quarterfinals. The fourth round of the women's circuit features matches between Pegula and Sakkari, Krejcikova and Azarenka, and Keys and Badosa, in addition to Bar7 p.m. ty-Anisimova.

Third-round Australia Open live coverage resumes at 7 p.m. EST Friday on ESPN+. Coverage also airs from 9 p.m. Friday to 12:30 a.m. Saturday on ESPN2 and from 11:30 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday on ESPN+.

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