NJ’s Amanda Anisimova upsets Naomi Osaka at Australian Open


Amanda Anisimova, a 20-year-old American ranked 60th in the world, overcame a first-set loss at the Australian Open and ousted defending champion and four-time major champion Naomi Osaka 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (10-5) Friday.

Born in Freehold Township, Anisimova – whose older sister Maria played tennis collegiately at the University of Pennsylvania – moved at a young age with her family to Florida, where many professional tennis players live and train.

Anisimova will now move on to face No. 1 seed Ashleigh Barty in the Round of 16. 

Her victory in the third round over Osaka is not the first time she’s rocked the tennis world at the Australian Open.

Naomi Osaka, left, of Japan congratulates Amanda Anisimova of the U.S. after their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Simon Baker)

In 2017, when she was 17, Anisimova scored a stunning win over 11th-seeded Aryna Sabalenka to become the youngest American to reach the fourth round at Melbourne Park since Jennifer Capriati in 1993.

Tournament coverage: Full Australian Open coverage from USA Today 

Despite her Freehold connection, Anisimova drew a blank after the Sabalenka match when asked about the town’s most famous export.

 “Wait — Bruce who?” she asked. “Is he, like, old?”

Amanda Anisimova of the U.S. celebrates after defeating Naomi Osaka of Japan in their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Simon Baker)

Though Anisimova eventually acknowledged some recognition of Bruce Springsteen’s work.

She was born in 2001, long after Springsteen’s career was underway.

“Yeah,” she said, “how am I supposed to know that?”

At the current Open, Anisimova has also taken out Olympic champion Belinda Bencic. That was in the second round.

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After losing the first set to Osaka, Anisimova said she knew she needed to get more aggressive or she would be out of the tournament, according to the Associated Press.

“I knew I had to be playing sharp if I wanted to give myself a chance,” she said.

The story continues below after the video…

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.

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. After an early loss at the U.S. Open, she took an extended layoff to reset and arrived at the year’s first major with a seeding of No. 13.

— The Associated Press contributed to this story


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