Naomi Osaka is taking pride from her Australian Open campaign despite suffering a shock third-round exit to unseeded Amanda Anisimova on Friday.

The two-time Melbourne champion fell short in her latest title defence with a 4-6 6-3 7-6 (10-5) loss to Anisimova in a thrilling contest on Margaret Court Arena.

Osaka, who eased past Camila Osorio and Madison Brengle in straight sets in the first two rounds, squandered two match points to overcome 20-year-old opponent Anisimova.

It means the Japanese star has now failed to defend any of her four major crowns, with Victoria Azarenka the last women's player to do so at Melbourne Park in 2012 and 2013.

But competing in her first competitive event since exiting the US Open to Leylah Fernandez in September, Osaka was pleased with her efforts.

"I fought for every point. I can't be sad about that," said Osaka, who nearly walked away from tennis last year.

"I'm not God, I can't win every match. It would be nice to win the tournament, but I can't think of winning the grand slam at the start of the year every time.

"I feel like I grew a lot in this match. The last time I played in New York I think I had a completely different attitude, so I'm really happy, even though I lost. I'm happy how it went."

Osaka's Australian Open title defence has been halted by a breakthrough American talent for the second time, having previously lost to Coco Gauff at the same stage in 2020.

Despite match points passing the world number 13 by, she refused to be too downbeat by the manner of the defeat.

"There are days that I'm going to have bad days, and there are days that I'm going to have great days," she said. 

"It's always random, and I never know, but no matter what happens for me, I just want to leave the court knowing that I fought for every point.

"Today, of course there were things I felt I could improve on, but even with that, I had two match points, and I think that's something that I can be proud of myself for."

Osaka had dropped just one set in her first five matches this season and looked in the mood as she raced ahead against Anisimova.

But Anisimova hit more than twice the number of winners that Osaka managed (46 to 21) to pull off a huge upset and set up a last-16 clash with top seed Ash Barty.

The American lifted her second career title at Melbourne Summer Set 2 earlier this month and has now won 10 of the last 11 matches she has played, including all eight in 2022. 

It is the first time Anisimova has won from match point down since the 2019 Mallorca Open and the youngster was lost for words in her on-court interview.

"I'm speechless. I absolutely love playing in front of you guys [the crowd] in Melbourne. It's honestly so much fun. I can't stop smiling," she said.

"I knew I had to be playing sharp if I wanted to give myself a chance, Naomi is always going to be playing well and she's an absolute champion. 

"I knew I had to step up my game and try to be aggressive, I think that's what I started doing in the second set.

"I'm so grateful I was able to play well and get this win, it means a lot. Stepping on to the court, all I'm thinking is having fun. Every day here is an amazing opportunity."

Ash Barty insisted she had no expectations Naomi Osaka would be her fourth-round opponent at the Australian Open after the Japanese star's surprise loss.

Barty and Osaka were on track to meet in the last 16 in Melbourne before the latter suffered a three-set loss to Amanda Anisimova on Friday.

World number one Barty, who crushed Camila Giorgi 6-2 6-3, always felt there were no certainties despite all the talk about a potential clash against Osaka.

"That was your expectation. My expectation was whoever it would be. I mean, each match is uncertain," she said.

"Each match of tennis, there are no certainties. You have no idea what's going to happen. You just have to navigate your way through as best you can that given moment.

"I have done a good job of that this week. Now it's exciting to get to play Amanda again. We've played before. It will be nice to play each other again in a big match."

Barty and Anisimova will meet for the first time since their 2019 French Open semi-final, which the former won on her way to a maiden grand slam title.

That match was a "turning point" in Barty's career. After losing the first set despite leading 5-1, Barty fell 3-0 behind in the second, only to fight back for a 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-3 victory.

"I try to forget, but also, I remember that I learned a lot from that moment," Barty said.

"That was a turning point in my career, and you have to be able to take learnings from those moments, as hard as they are sometimes, and I was able to navigate and find a way through.

"At that point in my life, in my career, it was a massive turning point.

"Obviously it feels like it's a lifetime ago, but some of those memories are still really vivid. Without a doubt we will take that and use that experience, use those feelings and those emotions as best we can come Sunday."

Defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka squandered two match points as she suffered a shock third-round exit at the hands of unseeded Amanda Anisimova on Friday.

Osaka eased past Camila Osorio and Madison Brengle in straight sets in the first two rounds but fell to a 4-6 6-3 7-6 (10-5) loss to Anisimova in a thrilling contest.

Anisimova, who won her second career title at Melbourne Summer Set 2 earlier this month and is now 8-0 for the season, will face top seed Ash Barty in the last 16.

Two-time Australian Open winner Osaka had won 24 of her past 25 matches in Melbourne and made a fast start against Anisimova by breaking her opponent in the first game.

She held serve to ease ahead on Margaret Court Arena, but Anisimova battled back well in the second set.

The world number 60 broke Osaka in the fourth game with a sublime disguised backhand drop and served out the set in a relatively straightforward manner.

Anisimova continued to dig in and saved two match points in the 10th game to help pave the way for a decisive first-to-10 tie-break.

Osaka had no response to her opponent's accurate hitting as she fell 3-0 behind and, while she did bring it back to 3-2 and 5-4, Anisimova took five of the next six points to advance in a big upset.

DATA SLAM: Osaka outgunned by Anisimova

Osaka had dropped just one set in her first five matches this season and looked in the mood as she raced ahead against Anisimova.

But the American youngster fired in 11 aces and hit more than twice the number of winners that Osaka managed (46 to 21) to pull off the victory.

With this defeat, Osaka has now failed to defend any of her four major crowns, with Victoria Azarenka the last women's player to do so at Melbourne Park in 2012 and 2013.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Anisimova – 46/44
Osaka – 21/45

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Anisimova – 11/8
Osaka – 5/3

BREAK POINTS WON
Anisimova – 1/8
Osaka – 1/10

Defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka squandered two match points as she suffered a shock third-round exit at the hands of unseeded Amanda Anisimova on Friday.

Osaka eased past Camila Osorio and Madison Brengle in straight sets in the first two rounds but fell to a 4-6 6-3 7-6 (10-5) loss to Anisimova in a thrilling contest.

Anisimova, who won her second career title at Melbourne Summer Set 2 earlier this month and is now 8-0 for the season, will face top seed Ash Barty in the last 16.

Two-time Australian Open winner Osaka had won 24 of her past 25 matches in Melbourne and made a fast start against Anisimova by breaking her opponent in the first game.

She held serve to ease ahead on Margaret Court Arena, but Anisimova battled back well in the second set.

The world number 60 broke Osaka in the fourth game with a sublime disguised backhand drop and served out the set in a relatively straightforward manner.

Anisimova continued to dig in and saved two match points in the 10th game to help pave the way for a decisive first-to-10 tie-break.

Osaka had no response to her opponent's accurate hitting as she fell 3-0 behind and, while she did bring it back to 3-2 and 5-4, Anisimova took five of the next six points to advance in a big upset.

Ash Barty continued her rampant run at the Australian Open, brushing aside Camila Giorgi in straight sets on Friday.

The world number one has dominated during the opening week in Melbourne and quickly eased past Giorgi, the Italian 30th seed, 6-2 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena.

Barty has dropped just eight games in the first three rounds at her home grand slam, where she is eyeing her third major title.

The Australian is on track to face Naomi Osaka in a blockbuster fourth-round clash, although the Japanese star was involved in a tight contest with Amanda Anisimova.

Giorgi made a nervous start and back-to-back double faults handed Barty a break of serve in the second game.

Barty rolled into a 4-1 lead before digging herself out of a 15-40 hole to hold for 5-2.

Speaking after her second-round win, Barty was wary of Giorgi's ability to hit players off the court, but 16 unforced errors were costly for the Italian in the first set.

Giorgi tidied up the errors to begin the second set, but a double fault handed Barty two more break-point chances in the sixth game.

The reigning Wimbledon champion took the second of those when Giorgi pulled a backhand well wide.

That break proved to be enough for Barty, who closed out a fourth win in as many meetings with Giorgi.

DATA SLAM: Barty keeps up top-seed record

Top seeds have enjoyed good records at the Australian Open.

In the Open Era, the top seed has only once failed to make the last 16 at the Australian Open and that came in 1979 (Virginia Ruzici). Barty ensured she did not join the Romanian.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Barty – 11/13
Giorgi – 8/24

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Barty – 4/2
Giorgi – 0/5

BREAK POINTS WON
Barty – 3/5
Giorgi – 0/4

A hampered Emma Raducanu crashed out of the Australian Open with a defeat to Danka Kovinic in the second round on Thursday.

World number 98 Kovinic beat the US Open champion 6-4 4-6 6-3 on Margaret Court Arena to become the first player representing Montenegro to reach the third round of a grand slam.

Raducanu was troubled by a blister on her right hand and although the 17th seed showed her fighting spirit to take a topsy-turvy match the distance, she was unable to avoid an early exit.

It had all started so well for the 19-year-old Raducanu, but Kovinic won five games in a row from 3-0 down in the first set and although the Brit got back on serve at 5-4, she was fell behind after being broken for a fourth time.

Clearly restricted by her damaged hand, the favourite mixed up her approach intelligently with a measured sliced forehand and levelled the match courtesy of two breaks, an overcooked forehand from Kovinic ending the set.

Kovinic saved four break points early in the decider and broke when her opponent sent a backhand long, but the battling world number 18 hit straight back to get back on serve at 3-2.

However, a stroke of good fortune via the net cord gave Kovinic another break point, which she won with a brilliant lob and went on to serve out the match.

Kovinic will face two-time major winner Simona Halep or Beatriz Haddad Maia for a place in the fourth round at Melbourne Park, having struck 40 winners to Raducanu's 27 in the biggest win of her career.

Samantha Stosur reflected on achieving "more than I ever thought was possible" after her singles career came to an end with a defeat to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Stosur, 37, confirmed that this year's Australian Open would be her final appearance in a singles draw. 

The one-time grand slam champion will call time on her career altogether at the end of the year, but will remain on the doubles circuit until then.

Though she has tasted more success in the doubles, winning two Tour Finals and seven grand slams, including last year's US Open, Stosur has more than held her own as a single.

Indeed, she reached a career-high world number four ranking and clinched her sole singles grand slam success at Flushing Meadows in 2011, having previously reached the final of the French Open.

The Australian made her singles debut in the main draw at Melbourne Park 2002, having failed to progress through the qualifying rounds in the previous two years.

In fitting fashion, her second-round match against Pavlyuchenkova on Thursday proved her last.

"I have done more than I ever thought was possible," she said in an on-court interview after the 6-2 6-2 defeat. 

"I dreamed of winning a grand slam and doing close to the things I did. To do what I have done dreaming as a little kid is phenomenal.

"I couldn't have asked for more. I've had many great moments here in Australia and around the world. Yeah, it's been amazing.

"Thank you to everyone who has been along with me the 20 years. The coaches, they know who they are, they have all helped me in some way on and off the court, shaped me into the person I am.

"The family – they are all down there now – mum and dad, my brothers for giving up everything early on driving me to tournaments on the weekend, getting dragged along for Sam's tennis. But I think it was all worth it, so thanks for giving everything you've got as well."

Stosur was playing in her 797th career singles match, though she was never any match for 10th seed Pavlyuchenkova, who felt the emotion of the occasion.

"It was actually very emotional for me," said the Russian. 

"I had goosebumps when everybody was clapping for Sam. She is such a wonderful human being and also an amazing tennis player, so thank you, Sam."

Alize Cornet is simply living in the moment at the Australian Open, after she suggested 2022 will be her final year on the court.

Cornet defeated reigning WTA Finals champion Garbine Muguruza 6-3 6-3 on Thursday to reach the third round of the Australian Open for the sixth time in her career.

The 31-year-old did not offer up a single break point across the 87-minute encounter with 2020 Australian Open finalist Muguruza, who entered the tournament ranked third in the world.

It marked Cornet's third straight win over Spain's Muguruza, who is a two-time grand slam champion.

Cornet is playing in her 63rd grand slam and 17th Australian Open, yet the Frenchwoman has never progressed deeper than the fourth round at a major.

This is Cornet's 60th successive appearance in the main draw at a grand slam, meaning she is just two shy of the record held by Ai Sugiyama (62).

Should Cornet, who will play Tamara Zidansek in round three, feature in the main draw of each of this year's majors, she will set the outright record.

However, should she achieve that feat, it may well mark the end of her career.

"I'm telling myself that I'm playing probably my last year. I'm not sure yet," she told reporters.

"When I stepped on the court, I was like, You know what, just enjoy the moment because you don't know if you're going to come back. I think that's what made the difference.

"Playing a whole year, playing 100 per cent, trying to beat this record of consecutive play in a grand slam. After that, I think it will be a good time for me to retire. 

"I gave so much to this game and to this tennis life. I feel I'm pretty much ready for the next chapter.

"It's been a while [since I] beat a Top 5 player in a slam, so it's a really good feeling. 

"I really enjoyed it today, which doesn't mean I will enjoy it tomorrow! That's why when the fun is here, you have to take it. You never know how you're going to feel in the next match."

 

Muguruza was not the only big name to drop out on Thursday, with sixth seed Anett Kontaveit falling foul of teenager Clara Tauson.

The 19-year-old Dane needed just 79 minutes to seal a 6-2 6-4 victory that brings up her first win over a Top 10 opponent in only her second such match.

Kontaveit won 28 of her last 32 matches in 2021 to break into the Top 10.

"It's the first time I'm in the third round of a slam," said Tauson. 

"Playing a player like her to reach it, it's a really big achievement for me. Obviously, it was one of the things I really wanted to do, to beat the good players in the bigger tournaments.

"Doing it in a slam is a really great feeling. It's just a lot of hard work that I've put into it."

Naomi Osaka will face Amanda Anisimova in round three of the Australian Open after easing past Madison Brengle on Wednesday.

The two-time champion in Melbourne won 6-0 6-4 to set up a meeting with the 20-year-old American, who earlier upset Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic in straight sets.

Despite a second-set wobble on serve that gave Brengle hope of a comeback, Osaka looked in comfortable control of the contest and has now dropped just one set in her five matches in 2022.

Brengle was a 6-2 6-2 winner in the only previous meeting in Rock Hill way back in 2013, when Osaka had just turned 16 and had barely any Tour experience. Against the Osaka of 2022, a four-time major champion, she had few answers.

Osaka tore through Brengle's defence in the opening set, wrapping it up in 20 minutes while dropping just three points on serve.

Brengle was credited with just one winner in her chaotic first-round match with Dayana Yastremska, who retired trailing 6-1 0-6 0-5. It was not until the second game of the second set that Brengle matched that tally, but it was worth the wait: a brutal inside-out backhand across court, celebrated with gusto, as she began to make inroads on the Osaka serve.

Osaka dug deep, saving three break points before holding for 2-1 and then another with a timely ace in her next service game. Her play was becoming erratic, though, and after saving a further three break points at 3-3, a wild overhead handed Brengle the breakthrough.

Yet if the 31-year-old thought then that the match was just getting started, it was suddenly over. Osaka broke back immediately with a backhand volley at the net and did not lose another point from there, clinching the contest when Brengle's passing shot dropped wide.

DATA SLAM: Osaka into overdrive

Brengle quadrupled her winner count from her first-round match, but the world number 54 was simply outgunned by Osaka when it came to rallies.

The Japanese star fired in 37 winners to 32 unforced errors, turning on the power just when it seemed like the contest was balancing out.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Brengle – 4/14
Osaka – 37/32

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Brengle – 0/1
Osaka – 8/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Brengle – 1/10
Osaka – 5/7

World number one Ash Barty is wary of Camila Giorgi's ability to "hit you off the court" ahead of their meeting at the Australian Open.

Barty crushed Lucia Bronzetti 6-1 6-1 in the second round on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday.

The Australian has lost just three games in the opening two rounds at Melbourne Park, where she is bidding to win her third grand slam title.

Another Italian, 30th seed Giorgi, awaits in the third round and Barty is wary of the hard-hitting 30-year-old.

"Some very different challenges to what I've had the last couple matches. She has the ability to hold baseline, to control the centre of the court, be super, super aggressive off her serve and first shot, particularly off her return," she said.

"It's going to be a match where I'm going to have to serve well, bring in variety, make sure I can cover the court, neutralise the best that I can. She has the ability to hit you off the court without realising it's happening.

"I think it's going to be another match with some fresh challenges. But having played her before, she kind of knows my game, I kind of know hers. It's about going out there and trying to do it as good as I can."

In three previous meetings with Giorgi, Barty has never lost, although the most recent of those came at the 2018 Australian Open.

Barty has been in impressive form so far in Melbourne and was pleased with her performance against Bronzetti.

"Yeah, I felt good. I felt like I wanted to try to use my experience a little bit today, get off to a quick start. I felt like I was able to do that," she said.

"I served well. I was able to find plenty of forehands and control the match quite well, so pleased with that one."

Ash Barty continued her impressive start to the Australian Open with a resounding win over Lucia Bronzetti on Wednesday.

The world number one dropped just one game in the first round and was similarly rampant in the second, crushing Bronzetti 6-1 6-1 on Rod Laver Arena.

Barty, a two-time grand slam champion, raced through in just 52 minutes to set up a meeting with another Italian, 30th seed Camila Giorgi.

The Australian remains on track for a blockbuster fourth-round meeting with Japanese star Naomi Osaka.

Barty quickly broke the Bronzetti serve, taking a 2-0 lead after a double fault and tame backhand into the net from the Italian.

Bronzetti won just one point during her opening two service games as Barty broke again for 4-0, on her way to taking the first set in just 26 minutes.

The one-sided encounter continued to begin the second set, a pair of double faults from Bronzetti helping Barty break to love in the third game.

Barty remained untroubled, cruising through in style as her run in Melbourne continued.

DATA SLAM: Brilliant Barty continues early blitz

Barty has dropped just three games through two rounds at the Australian Open.

That is the fewest number of games she has lost through the opening two rounds of a grand slam in her career, better than last year's Australian Open (seven).

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Barty – 21/14
Bronzetti – 6/14

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Barty – 8/2
Bronzetti – 1/5

BREAK POINTS WON
Barty – 5/6
Bronzetti – 0/0

Emma Raducanu triumphed in a battle of US Open champions as she started her Australian Open campaign with victory over Sloane Stephens.

The 19-year-old stunned the tennis world when she claimed the title at Flushing Meadows last year after progressing all the way through the qualifying rounds and main draw without dropping a set.

The Briton struggled to build on those famous two weeks in New York, losing four of her next six matches including a 0-6 1-6 thrashing by Elena Rybakina at this month's Sydney Tennis Classic.

However, she put that result firmly behind her with an impressive 6-0 2-6 6-1 defeat of Stephens in her first match in the main draw of the Melbourne grand slam.

The first set was in keeping with Raducanu's US Open performance as she clinched it in just 17 minutes while dropping only four points.

But American Stephens, champion in her home slam in 2017, fought back in the second set and set up a decider with a forehand winner.

Yet the 17th seed responded well, marching into a 5-0 lead before serving out the match to set up a second-round clash with Danka Kovinic.

"I think both me and Sloane really put everything out there and gave it everything we had," she said.

"I think it was a really high-quality match, with some very long rallies. I'm very happy to come through against a great champion like her."

 

Petra Kvitova was convincingly beaten to bow out of the Australian Open in straight sets in the first round on Tuesday.

The Czech 20th seed, a finalist in Melbourne in 2019, was crushed 6-2 6-2 by Romanian Sorana Cirstea on John Cain Arena.

Kvitova produced a staggering 39 unforced errors with just seven winners to bow out in 71 minutes.

It continued a mixed record at Melbourne Park for the two-time Wimbledon champion.

Kvitova has now bowed out of a grand slam in the first round 11 times – with four of those coming at the Australian Open.

Cirstea will face either Misaki Doi or Kristina Kucova in this year's second round.

The 31-year-old also beat Kvitova at the Australian Open last year – in the second round.

Coco Gauff reflected on a hugely disappointing Australian Open defeat as the two leading United States players exited the women's draw on day one in Melbourne.

Gauff is ranked 16th, closing on top American Sofia Kenin in 13th, but neither advanced to the second round on Monday.

The 17-year-old was stunned 6-4 6-2 by Wang Qiang in a sloppy display that included 38 unforced errors, with 21 in a second set in which she fell 5-0 behind.

Meanwhile, Kenin was beaten by compatriot Madison Keys, who came into the tournament in high spirits having won her sixth career title – and first since 2019 – at the Adelaide International 2. That run included a semi-final defeat of Gauff.

After her latest loss, Gauff said: "I think just everything disappointed me about today.

"I feel like in the pre-season I worked really hard, and I felt like I was ready to have a good run here. Today I just didn't perform well.

"I think there's a lot to learn from. I think I was playing a little bit tighter than normal.

"So I think next time coming into the first round of a slam, especially after a tough week before, I think I need to just play more free and focus on the moment."

Keys is playing with that freedom, eager to move on from a dismal 2021 in which she won only 11 matches.

"I'm not taking it quite as seriously, that's the biggest difference this year," she said.

Keys already has seven wins in eight matches in 2022, defeating fellow Americans in each of her past three outings.

Of the win over 2020 champion Kenin, she said: "At this point every first round is tough, but when you have to go up against a grand slam champion it's never easy.

"I think knowing that she was going to compete so well, I just had a really good mentality and attitude. I had a couple of opportunities I didn't really capitalise upon and I was able to reset and continue to play well.

"I had my first real run in a slam here, I missed last year, so absolutely ecstatic to be back in Melbourne. It would mean the world to have another run here."

World number one Ash Barty kicked off her Australian Open title bid with a convincing straight-sets victory over Ukrainian qualifier Lesia Tsurenko on Monday.

The two-time grand slam winner, whose previous best finish on home soil at Melbourne Park was a run to the semi-finals in 2020, prevailed 6-0 6-1 in a time of just 54 minutes.

Barty held serve throughout the one-sided contest with Tsurenko and is now unbroken in 41 successive service games across her last four matches.

"It's certainly nice to be back on home soil and playing as well as I did tonight. It was a lot of fun out here," Barty said in her on-court interview.

"I felt like it was nice and clean. End-to-end I did a good job in adjusting. Tonight it was just nice and solid to get out here and play a decent match and feel like I enjoyed it."

Tsurenko took Barty to three sets when they met in this competition two years ago, but the world number 113 was outclassed on this occasion.

Looking to build on her recent Adelaide International success, Barty eased through the first set as she dropped just 12 points.

Barty was just as dominant in the second set, but she squandered two match points in the sixth game to miss out on a double-bagel to begin her campaign in Melbourne.

Not that it mattered a great deal, though, as the 25-year-old emphatically served out the match to set up a meeting with Italian qualifier Lucia Bronzetti for a place in round three.

 

DATA SLAM: Barty makes statement start

Barty came through this first-round match with minimal stress and looks in great shape as she bids to become the first Australian to win here since 1978.

The pressure is no doubt on as the pre-tournament favourite, with no top-seeded player in the women's draw failing to make at least round four since Virginia Ruzici in 1979.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Barty – 14/17
Tsurenko – 4/21

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Barty – 5/0
Tsurenko – 0/1

BREAK POINTS WON

Barty – 5/8
Tsurenko – 0/2

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