MELBOURNE – The Latest on Friday at the Australian Open (all times local):
12:20 a.m. (Saturday)
Rafael Nadal has advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open with a 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 victory over No. 28-seeded Karen Khachanov.
Nadal, aiming for a men’s record 21st Grand Slam singles title, was facing his first seeded opponent and dropped his first set of the tournament.
The sixth-seeded Nadal struggled in the third set when the 6-foot-6 Russian broke to go up 3-1 before taking the set in 57 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.
But the 35-year-old Nadal quickly regained control in a dominant fourth set, twice breaking the Olympic silver medalist.
Nadal shares the men’s record of 20 singles titles with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic, a nine-time champion at Melbourne Park, couldn’t play after having his visa canceled for failing to meet Australia’s strict COVID-19 vaccination regulations. Federer is skipping the Australian Open while he continues his recovery from injury.
Defending champion Naomi Osaka was knocked out of the Australian Open after losing to Amanda Anisimova 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the third round.
The 20-year-old Anisimova saved two match points in the third set at Margaret Court Arena ahead of the tiebreaker and ended the match with an ace. She hit 46 winners to Osaka's 21.
Anisimova built a 3-0 lead in the 10-point tiebreaker and went up 9-5 with a forehand winner into tight space down the line.
Anisimova double-faulted twice in the first game of the match to hand the 13th-seeded Osaka an early break. But she hit 15 winners in the second set and broke to go up 3-1 on a backhand drop shot with Osaka caught at the baseline.
She will next face top-ranked Ash Barty in the fourth round.
Top-ranked Ash Barty advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open with a 6-2, 6-3 win over 30th-seeded Camila Giorgi.
Barty has only conceded eight games and spent less than three hours on court in the first three rounds at Melbourne Park. The Wimbledon champion and 2019 French Open winner is aiming to be the first Australian woman to win her home championship since 1978.
She will next player either defending champion Naomi Osaka or 20-year-old American Amanda Anisimova.
Olympic gold medalist Alexander Zverev has advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Radu Albot, a No. 124-ranked qualifier from Moldova.
The third-seeded Zverev finished it off with his third match point in just under two hours. He converted three of his six break-point chances and fended off all five on his own serve.
Zverev hit 44 winners and 16 aces to prepare for his next match against No. 14-ranked Denis Shapovalov of Canada.
Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini has fended off 18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz 6-2, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 2-6, 7-6 (5) to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.
The seventh-seeded Berrettini wasted a match point when Alcaraz was serving to force a fifth-set tiebreaker, netting a return to a second serve.
But the 25-year-old Italian dominated the match super tiebreaker, taking a 9-5 lead to get four more match points before No. 31-ranked Alcaraz finished with a double-fault.
“He’s unbelievable. At his age, I didn’t even have an ATP point,” Berrettini said. “He’s impressive. He’ll only improve, playing matches like this. He’s showed everyone his potential.”
Berrettini advanced to the fourth round at Melbourne Park for the second straight year and for the eighth time at a Grand Slam event, equaling Fabio Fognini and Andriano Panatta's Open-era record for the most by an Italian man.
No. 14-seeded Denis Shapovalov beat No. 23 Reilly Opelka 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in another men's third-round match.
French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova rallied from a set and a break down against No. 26-seeded Jelena Ostapenko to win 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 and advance to the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time.
The fourth-seeded Krejcikova will next play two-time Australian champion Victoria Azarenka, who ousted 15th-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-0, 6-2.
In other results on Day 5, fifth-seeded Maria Sakkari beat No. 28 Veronika Kudermetova 6-4, 6-1 to move into a fourth-round match against American Jessica Pegula, who beat Nuria Parrizas Diaz 7-6 (3), 6-2.
Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka is into the fourth round for the first time since 2016 after overpowering 15th-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-0, 6-2.
Azarenka accumulated nearly twice as many winners, 17, as unforced errors, nine, and never faced a break point. Svitolina made mistake after mistake, 26 unforced errors in all.
Azarenka improved to 5-0 against Svitolina.
The 24th-seeded Azarenka won the title at Melbourne Park in 2012 and 2013, and she also has been the runner-up at the U.S. Open three times, most recently in 2020.
She next will play No. 4 Barbora Krejcikova or No. 26 Jelena Ostapenko, who each has won the French Open.
Since a quarterfinal run in Australia in 2016, Azarenka lost first-round matches last year and in 2019, and missed the hard-court tournament in 2017, 2018 and 2020.
Day 5 at the Australian Open features two much-anticipated matchups that could lead to an even bigger one.
Defending champion Naomi Osaka faces Amanda Anisimova at Margaret Court Arena, while No. 1 Ash Barty plays hard-hitting Camila Giorgi at Rod Laver Arena. Both are on the night schedule.
The winners of those two matches will meet each other in a fourth-round contest that could have the feel of a Grand Slam final a week early if it’s Osaka vs. Barty.
Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka is taking on No. 15 seed Elina Svitolina to get things started in the third round.
Later Friday, Rafael Nadal will continue his bid for a record 21st Grand Slam title with a third-round match against No. 28 Karen Khachanov, and Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini takes on No. 31 Carlos Alcaraz.
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