TennisSection previews the 2022 Australian Open as Ashleigh Barty takes on Amanda Anisimova in the fourth round on Sunday, January 23rd, 2022.
Will it be Ashliegh Barty’s year to win the Australian Open title? The stars seem to be aligning for a home coronation in a week’s time. But Barty and the Australian faithful will not take Amanda Anisimova lightly. The American ended Naomi Osaka’a title defense in style and is looking to protect her unbeaten start to the year.
Ashleigh Barty will not be facing Naomi Osaka as per the projected Round of 16 draw prior to the ball being struck at the 2022 Australian Open. That is thanks in part to Amanda Anisimova’s raw power which ended the Japanese’s title defense and ensured she will be Barty’s opponent on Sunday. Barty reached the second week of her home Slam for the fourth year in a row after dismissing the challenge of Camila Giorgi. Barty extends her service games held to 57 after romping to a 6-2 6-3 win over the power-hitting Italian. She fired four aces and won a staggering 25 out of 27 first-serve points.
Amanda Anisimova, for her part, produced the biggest upset of the 2022 Australian Open. The rejuvenated American ended Naomi Osaka’s title defense in an engrossing third-round match that took over two hours and three pulsating sets to decide it. Anisimova saved two match points and had a fiery ground stroke return at everything Osaka threw at her. That third set alone, she fired 20 winners. In contrast, the Japanese tallied six. Anisimova improves to 8-0 since the turn of the year and will face the tournament favorite Ashleigh Barty in a blockbuster Round of 16 encounter on Sunday.
Ashleigh Barty leads Amanda Anisimova 1-0 in their head-to-head. Their previous solitary meeting came at Grand Slam level when Barty defeated the American in three sets at the 2019 French Open semifinals. Ironically, it was Anisimova who ended the run of that tournament’s reigning champion Simona Halep in the previous round, handing Barty the opportunity to win her maiden Grand Slam. Barty took it with aplomb that season, and history is about to repeat itself. But regardless, I think the Australian is playing tennis from a different planet right now. She has held serve in each of her last six matches stretching back to her title win in Adelaide a couple of weeks ago.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Ashleigh Barty in straight sets
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