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Barty Continues Charge To Australian Open History in Rematch vs. Anisimova

World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty of Australia faces Amanda Anisimova in an Australian Open fourth-round rematch of their Roland Garros semifinal. EPA-EFE/DAVE HUNT AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT

Amanda Anisimova is already a blockbuster buster.

Now she’ll try to be a repeat world beater.

The 60th-ranked Anisimova fought off match points stunning defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka and spoiling the highly-anticipated fourth-round blockbuster between world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty and Osaka.

A red-hot Anisimova meets Barty in an AO fourth-round match of two of the hottest players on Tour.

The top-seeded Barty calls her 2019 Roland Garros semifinal comeback against Anisimova “a massive turning point” in her life story.

Staring down a bleak one-set, 0-3 deficit, Barty stormed back to subdue both Anisimova and arduous conditions, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3, to reach her first Roland Garros final in wild ride on Court Suzanne Lenglen. Barty went on to beat Marketa Vondrousova to win her maiden major in Paris.

The explosive Anisimova played party crasher saving two match points to stun defending AO champion Naomi Osaka 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(10-5) in the third round after she beat Olympic gold-medal champion Belinda Bencic in round two.

Amanda Anisimova of the USA gestures during her third round Women?s singles match against Naomi Osaka of Japan on Day 5 of the Australian Open Tennis Tournament at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia, 21 January 2022. EPA-EFE/DEAN LEWINS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT

Working with coach Darren Cahill on a trial basis, Anisimova is playing proactive patterns riding a career-best eight-match winning streak, with five of those wins coming in three sets.

Showing her instinct for the kill shot, Anisimova more than doubled Osaka’s winner total—46 to 21—and showed toughness under pressure saving nine of 10 break points vs. the four-time Grand Slam champion. Anisimova has a solid swing volley and will need to attack at times and force Barty to try to pass off her weaker backhand wing—that backhand pass is the about the lone less than stellar shot in Barty’s awesome arsenal.

In their Roland Garros match, Barty blew a 5-0 first-set lead as Anisimova hit through the 5’5” Aussie to come within three games of the French Open final. Facing that one-set, 0-3 deficit, Barty began using her slice backhand more to disrupt the rhythm of rallies and give her time to run around the backhand and blast her favored forehand to end Anisimova’s fairy-tale run.

If Anisimova is to pull off a second straight upset, she must serve with the self-assurance she showed against Osaka (served 61 percent with 11 aces), attack the Aussie’s second serve and most importantly beat Barty up in backhand exchanges.

Experience and the ability to mix the spins and speeds of her shots helped Barty unsettle Anisimova and turn the match around in Paris look for her to apply it all again in Melbourne.

A ruthless Barty has permitted just eight games in three tournament wins has served flawlessly bidding to become the first Aussie woman in 44 years to hoist the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup.