World number 5 Rafael Nadal of Spain has advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne. Nadal dropped his first set at this year’s tournament, but still powered through with a 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 defeat of Russian, Karen Khachanov.
In the women’s draw, 60th-ranked Amanda Asinimova of the United States caused an upset when she knocked out defending champion, Naomi Osaka, of Japan.
Asinimova rallied from a set down to beat Osaka 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 and also reach the fourth round of the tournament.
Nadal, seeking to claim a record 21st Grand Slam title in the absence of great rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, was sensational as he took a two-set lead.
But Khachanov, seeded 28th, threw caution to the wind in the third set, stalling Nadal’s charge with some ferocious hitting. Nadal seized back control with a break of serve at the start of the fourth set and finished off the match in two hours and 54 minutes.
World number seven, Matteo Berrettini, overcame teenage Spaniard, Carlos Alcaraz, 6-2, 7-6, 4-6, 2-6, 7-6 to advance. The Italian won a final set super tie-break after four hours and 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, reigning women’s singles champion, Naomi Osaka of Japan, crashed out in the third round of the tournament. 60th-ranked Amanda Anisimova of America beat Osaka 4-6 6-3 7-6. Anisimova saved two match points and smashed winners at will to beat the Japanese.
“I knew that I really had to step up my game and try to be aggressive and I think that’s what I started doing in the second set and honestly I was so grateful that I was able to play so well today and get this win, it means a lot,” says World Number 60, Amanda Anisimova.
Anisimova will next meet Australian world number one, Ashley Barty, for a place in the quarter-finals. Barty eased past Camila Giorgi in just over an hour. The Australian was in dominant form in her 6-2 6-3 victory over the Italian.
Belarusian, Victoria Azarenka, dismantled 15th seed Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine 6-0, 6-2 to also advance to the fourth round. Azarenka’s next opponent will be French Open champion, Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic. Krejikova fought back from a set down to beat Latvian Jelena Ostapenko 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.