Amanda ANISIMOVA struggled to overcome Paula BADOSA despite physical issues at the Australian Open

Friday, 19 January 2024 at 02:48
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Amanda Anisimova (No. 442) secured a hard-fought victory against Paula Badosa (No. 100) to advance to the round of 16 at the 2024 Australian Open, only in her second tournament after a 9-month hiatus from competition.
Badosa showcased an impressive level of play in the early rounds, despite the extended time away from matches. In the first round, she dispatched Taylor Townsend (No. 73) with a score of 6-1, 6-3, and then defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (No. 46) 6-2, 6-3.
On the other side, Anisimova also returned from a prolonged injury and overcame a challenging test against the 13th seed Lidumila Samsonova, securing a 6-3, 6-4 victory. In the second round, she defeated the Argentine Nadia Podoroska (No. 82) with a score of 6-2, 6-3, setting up a meeting with the Spaniard for the first time in their careers.
In the first set, Badosa claimed an early break in the second game, taking a 2-0 lead on her third opportunity. The American appeared unfocused and committed numerous unforced errors but managed to break back in the following game. Badosa capitalized on Anisimova's deficiencies once again, securing her second break to go up 3-1 and extending to 4-1 with her service.
Anisimova fought back into the match, despite continuing to make many unforced errors. She won the next four consecutive games and had the chance to serve for the set at 5-4. However, Badosa responded with a new break to level the score. After another break, Anisimova had the service at 6-5, and in a closely contested game, she saved three break points before finally converting her seventh set point opportunity.
Towards the end of the set, Anisimova experienced breathing difficulties and requested a medical timeout during the break before the second set. Anisimova adopted a more aggressive approach in the second set, avoiding extended rallies and attempting to find angles to force Badosa out of position. The 22-year-old American recorded 24 winners but also committed 22 unforced errors, compared to Badosa's 12 winners and 8 unforced errors.
The second set remained closely contested in the early games, with both players holding their service games without facing significant threats. In the seventh game, Badosa struggled with her first serve and provided three break opportunities to her opponent, with Anisimova ultimately converting on her first chance.
This lone break opportunity proved sufficient for Anisimova to close out a challenging match against the former world No. 2 Paula Badosa, winning 7-5, 6-4.

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