TennisSection previews the 2022 Australian Open as Naomi Osaka takes on Amanda Anisimova in the third round on Friday, January 21st, 2022.
Will Naomi Osaka make it 16 wins on the bounce at Melbourne Park? Or will Amanda Anisimova maintain her perfect start to 2022? It is shame this is only a third-round match at the Australian Open, because the quality that both players will bring to the table will be insane.
Naomi Osaka brushed aside the challenge of Madison Brengle to post her 15th straight match win on Australian soil. Osaka took just 20 minutes to wrap up the first set 6-0. Although the American threatened to run away with the second set after Osaka smashed long to break serve, it was only for a moment. The 24-year-old won the last three games from 3-4 down to seal her spot in the third round. And Osaka’s quest to retain her crown will get slightly treacherous with each round with World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty looming on the horizon. But first she will have to take care of the in-form Amanda Anisimova.
Amanda Anisimova is the midst of a career resurgence in 2022. She is looking to reach the second week of the Australian Open for the second time, but she has a battle on her hands when she takes on Naomi Osaka. Anisimova should feel confident on her chances of progressing after making the perfect start to the season. She is 7-0 in the current campaign, winning her first WTA title since 2019 at the Melbourne Summer Set 2 two weeks ago. And so far at the Australian Open, she overcame the challenges of Arianne Hartono and Belinda Bencic to advance.
Naomi Osaka and Amanda Anisimova have not played each on the WTA Tour before. This matchup was long overdue. Osaka and Anisimova are two of the best ball strikers on the women’s tour. But I like Osaka’s consistency, she can keep her unforced- error count in check. Some of the tennis she played in that first set against Brengle drew glowing praise from Andy Murray. This should be a real test for Osaka, but I expect her to have the antidote to Anisimova’s power.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Naomi Osaka in 3 sets.
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