21st January, 2022
Australian Open defending champion Naomi Osaka has been knocked out of the tournament, thus denying fans a mouth watering clash with Ash Barty.
The Japanese Superstar was stunned Friday by unseeded American Amanda Anisimova in the third round, losing in three sets 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (10/5).
Osaka won the first set on Margaret Court Arena but failed to close out the match with Anisimova taking the second and the decider tie break .
Anisimova has thus set up a fourth-round clash with world number one Ashleigh Barty.
Ash Barty cantered past Camila Giorgi in just over an hour in her own third round match.
The world number one, who is aiming to end Australia’s 44-year wait for a homegrown champion, was in dominant form in her 6-2 6-3 victory over the Italian on Rod Laver Arena.
After an early break, the 25-year-old Wimbledon champion fended off three break points to go 5-2 up in the opening stanza and then broke Giorgi to seal the set.
A break for 4-2 put Barty in charge of the second set and three games later she was bathing in an ovation from the centre court crowd having secured her place in the last 16 at Melbourne Park for the fourth straight year.
“I thought tonight was really clean, I looked after my service games really well,” said Barty.
“I was able to keep the momentum going, make returns when it mattered most at the important moments, pretty good performance I think.”