Naomi Osaka Ash Barty Usa France Australia county Park city Melbourne, Australia covid-19 Health Parke Naomi Osaka Ash Barty Usa France Australia county Park city Melbourne, Australia

Naomi Osaka, defending Australian Open champ, eliminated in 3rd round

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Defending champion Naomi Osaka didn’t make it to a much-anticipated fourth-round contest against top-ranked Ash Barty at the Australian Open.Amanda Anisimova, a 20-year-old American ranked 60th in the world, ensured that so-called final-before-the-final won't happen when she beat the four-time major champion 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) Friday."I knew I had to be playing sharp if I wanted to give myself a chance," said Anisimova, who took out Olympic champion Belinda Bencic in the second round and then accounted for the 2021 Australian Open champion.After losing the first set, Anisimova knew she needed to get more aggressive or she would be out of the tournament.It worked.Anisimova saved two match points in the third set, serving to stay in the match, and ended it with an ace.

She hit 46 winners to Osaka’s 21.It's the fourth time Osaka has been unable to defend a major title, and the 11th time in a Grand Slam she has been knocked out in the third round, including last year's U.S.

Open.After winning the title last year — her second at Melbourne Park in three years — Osaka withdrew from the French Open in the second round and skipped Wimbledon as she took a break for her mental health.

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