Naomi Osaka and Ashleigh Barty both marched towards an epic fourth-round clash between the tournament favorites at the Australian Open during their first two matches. But Osaka couldn’t get past third-round opponent Amanda Anisimova on Friday, ending her hopes for a repeat win in Melbourne.

Australian Open Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka dropped her third-round match at the Australian Open, ending her bid to defend her title in Melbourne. (Image: Tertius Pickard/AP)

The defending Australian Open women’s champion lost to Anisimova in three sets, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).

Barty favored to win first Australian Open title

The 20-year-old Anisimova overcame losing the first set, becoming more aggressive for the remainder of the match to beat Osaka. The American saved two match points before coming back to beat Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam winner.

“I knew I had to be playing sharp if I wanted to give myself a chance,” Anisimova said after her win.

Osaka entered the Australian Open as the No. 13 seed after taking time off last season to care for her mental health. However, she was still among the favorites to win the tournament, ranking only behind Barty at most sportsbooks.

The top-seeded Barty had an easy time in her own third-round match, beating Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-3 to advance on Friday. Barty has won two Grand Slam titles in her career, but hasn’t lifted the trophy at the Australian Open. With Osaka out of the running, the Australian now stands as the clear favorite to win the women’s title, with FanDuel Sportsbook listing Barty at +155 – far ahead of Simona Halep (+600) and Iga Swiatek (+650).

Despite the comfortable score, Barty said Giorgi challenged her in the match.

“Tonight I think I struggled a little bit with controlling the ball properly and that was credit to Camila, she was able to really strike the ball well and putting me on the back foot,” Barty said after her win. “Each and every day I’m trying to get the best out of myself and I know my opponent is trying to do the same thing and make me uncomfortable.”

Nadal rolls into fourth round

In the men’s draw, Rafael Nadal moved on to the fourth round by beating No. 28 seed Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1. Khachanov was the first player to win a set off of Nadal at the Australian Open this year, but couldn’t keep up his momentum as the Spaniard blew him away in the fourth.

“I have been going through some very tough times last year and a half,” Nadal said afterwards. “But for me, nights like today mean everything.”

Rafael Nadal rates as the +440 third choice to win the Australian Open men’s championship. Daniil Medvedev stands as the +135 favorite, with Alexander Zverev (+330) second on the board. Nadal is attempting to win his 21st Grand Slam title, which would break a tie for the most ever with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

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