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Australian Open: Naomi Osaka knocked out as Ashleigh Barty advances

Last Updated: 21/01/22 10:51am

Defending champion Naomi Osaka is out of the Australian Open after a third-round defeat by American Amanda Anisimova

Naomi Osaka’s Australian Open defence came to an end at the hands of Amanda Anisimova with the American fending off two match points to advance.

Anisimova rallied from a set down and saved two match points in the deciding set to eliminate defending champion Osaka 4-6 6-3 7-6 (10-5) on Margaret Court Arena.

It was the first meeting between the four-time Grand Slam winner Osaka and Anisimova, who will next meet Australian world No 1 Ashleigh Barty for a place in the quarter-finals.

Barty continued her smooth progress through the draw with a third-round victory over Camila Giorgi.

Italian Giorgi is one of the fiercest hitters in the game but Barty used her nous to keep the 30th seed at arm’s length in a 6-2 6-3 victory.

Giorgi managed only eight winners, three fewer than her opponent, and committed 24 unforced errors in the 61-minute match.

Spain’s Paula Badosa fended off a Marta Kostyuk comeback in an engrossing baseline battle to reach the fourth round for the first time with a 6-2 5-7 6-4 victory.

The eighth seed, riding the momentum from a title triumph in Sydney last week, will next face the powerful American Madison Keys for a place in her second Grand Slam quarter-final.

Keys, a former semi-finalist at Melbourne Park, came from a set down to claim a 4-6 6-3 7-6 (10-2) win over China’s Wang Qiang.

Leo, how did mummy play today? Leo Azarenka: Awesome!

Leo, how did mummy play today? Leo Azarenka: Awesome!

Victoria Azarenka dismantled 15th seed Elina Svitolina 6-0 6-2 to storm through, showing glimpses of the form that earned her back-to-back Melbourne Park titles, but the 32-year-old said she will not get carried away.

“When you look in the past, which I don’t like to do, your memory is a bit distorted. Maybe you want to remember something, you want to forget the other,” said the former world No 1, who spoke to the press with her son Leo on her lap.

“I try to take it day by day. That mentality, to stay in the present, continue to do what I can in the moment, that’s been helping me more rather than comparing.

“That’s really what I’m trying to say – that ladder I want to climb step by step. I think the danger is to try to skip a few steps. That’s something I’m actually learning not to do. That’s been helpful.”

A determined Barbora Krejcikova fought back from a set and a break down to overcome Jelena Ostapenko 2-6 6-4 6-4 in a battle between former French Open champions on Rod Laver Arena.

Last year’s quarter-finalist Jessica Pegula shook off a shaky start to defeat Nuria Parrizas Diaz 7-6 (7-3) 6-2, where the American will face fifth seed Maria Sakkari, who beat an ailing Veronika Kudermetova 6-4 6-1.

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