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Naomi Osaka ousted from Australian Open by unseeded Amanda Anisimova - The Athletic

The unseeded Anisimova, 20, hit 46 winners to Osaka's 21 and saved two match points in the final set.

  • Posted on 21st Jan, 2022 14:45 PM
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Naomi Osaka ousted from Australian Open by unseeded Amanda Anisimova - The Athletic Image

Defending champion Naomi Osaka is out of the Australian Open after losing to American Amanda Anisimova 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the third round on Friday.

The unseeded Anisimova, 20, hit 46 winners to Osaka's 21 and saved two match points in the final set. She will face top-ranked Australian Ashleigh Barty in the next round.

"I’m proud of myself for this," Osaka said after her match. "This for me is the biggest step, even though I lost.”

Japan's Osaka, the No. 13 seed in Melbourne, is coming off a turbulent 2021 season. The 24-year-old announced ahead of the 2021 French Open last May that she would not be participating in the mandatory post-match news conferences at the event because they negatively impacted her mental health. After her first-round win in Paris, she did indeed skip her news conference, was fined and drew threats of further punishment from organizers of all four Grand Slam events.

Osaka then withdrew from the tournament and said she would be taking a break from the sport. The four-time Grand Slam champion sat out of Wimbledon but represented Japan at the Tokyo Olympics, where she lit the Olympic cauldron and lost in the third round.

She returned to Grand Slam action at the U.S. Open, where she was the defending champion and was upset in the third round by teenager Leylah Fernandez. Osaka said after the loss that she didn't know when she would play tennis again.

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