Australian Open: Amanda Anisimova Stuns Aryna Sabalenka

Australian Open: Amanda Anisimova Stuns Aryna Sabalenka


MELBOURNE, Australia — Amanda Anisimova upset 11th-seeded Aryna Sabalenka, 6-3, 6-2, to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open, her best showing at a major tournament.

Anisimova, a 17-year-old American, is the youngest player still in contention in the women’s draw at Melbourne Park and has dropped just seven games against seeded players in the last two rounds. She broke Sabalenka’s serve four times in the 65-minute match and fended off the only break point she faced.

Anisimova, who beat No. 24 Lesia Tsurenko, 6-0, 6-2, in the second round, had first-round exits in her two previous appearances in the main draw of major tournaments.

Sabalenka won the title at Shenzhen to start the season and reached the fourth round at last year’s U.S. Open.

Earlier in the day, Roger Federer beat the 21-year-old American Taylor Fritz, 6-2, 7-5, 6-2, in his 100th match at the Australian Open. After winning match point to reach the round of 16 at a Grand Slam tournament for the 63rd time, Federer raised his racket to the crowd — not unlike what a batter scoring a century would do to acknowledge 100 at the nearby Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Federer will next play the 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas, who draws a big, vocal crowd to Melbourne Park.

“I think I wanted to get out of the blocks quickly. I knew of the threat of Taylor,” Federer said. “I think I had extra focus today.”

Tsitsipas had a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4 win over Nikoloz Basilashvili earlier on Margaret Court Arena to become the first Greek man to reach the fourth round at multiple majors. He reached the same round at Wimbledon last year.

Big sections of Greeks sang songs and waved the blue and white flag and scarves in the crowd. Melbourne has the highest concentration of Greek people of any city outside of Greece, and Tsitsipas is getting a lot of attention.

“I’m delighted,” he said. “I feel so comfortable. I feel like playing at home.

“It’s exciting to have such an atmosphere. I never get to play with so many Greek people supporting me … and, and, and, Australians!”

While rain prevented early play on outside courts at Melbourne Park for the first two and a half hours of Day 5, matches went ahead on the show courts. At one stage, Greek fans had to split their time between the adjoining Rod Laver and Margaret Court Arenas.

There were no split loyalties on Rod Laver, where the local favorite Ashleigh Barty became the first player through to the fourth round with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Maria Sakkari.

Tomas Berdych, the 2010 Wimbledon finalist, beat No. 18-seeded Diego Schwartzman, 5-7, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4. Berdych has reached the quarterfinals or better in seven of his previous eight trips to Melbourne Park.



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