Berrettini and Anisimova Win Final-Set Tiebreaks to Stay Alive in Melbourne

Berrettini and Anisimova Win Final-Set Tiebreaks to Stay Alive in Melbourne

4 min read

Day 5 of the Australian Open saw the top halves of the draws move into the fourth round, with a lot of fanfare and late-night action. Top seed Ashleigh Barty (UTR Rating 13.38) is still making it look easy, while Amanda Anisimova (12.71) and Matteo Berrettini (15.83) had to survive final-set super tiebreaks to get there.

It's time to dive deeper into the action with the help of Universal Tennis INSIGHTS.

Super Tiebreakers Reign Supreme

Each Grand Slam has a different rule for final sets, and the super tiebreaker was implemented by the Australian Open in 2019. On Day 5, two third-round matches went all the way, and so far six matches have ended in a super tiebreak (it's played at 6 games all, first to 10 points).

In men's action, No. 7 seed Berrettini outlasted 18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz (15.85) in four hours and 10 minutes, 6-2, 7-6(3), 4-6, 2-6, 7-6(5). Alcaraz, a newcomer to the tour, has risen at an exponentially fast speed up the rankings. The match was called correctly by INSIGHTS with a 51% edge given to the 26-year-old Berrettini.

In the women's draw, defending champion Naomi Osaka (13.00) was knocked out by a red-hot Anisimova. The American had an INSIGHTS 31% chance of upsetting Osaka and did so in the most dramatic way possible, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(6). She even saved two match points at 4-5 in the third set.

"I just want to soak in this moment," Anisimova told press. "Just extremely happy. It was an amazing match. It was very close. There were a bit of nerves and to play Naomi for the first time, it's unreal, honestly."

Anisimova will do her best to challenge Barty in the fourth round. The 25-year-old Australian has yet to lose more than three games in a set, and eased past No. 30 seed Camilia Giorgi (12.99), 6-2, 6-3.

Amanda Anisimova picked up her first win ever over Naomi Osaka. (AP Photo/Simon Baker)

INSIGHTS Predicts Next Men's Matches to Watch

Berrettini will have to bounce back quickly to take on No. 19 seeded Pablo Carreno Busta (15.38). The Spaniard ended the run of 20-year-old Sebastian Korda (15.59) in four sets. INSIGHTS has Berrettini as the favorite to reach his first Australian Open quarterfinal over Carreno Busta at 73%. In their INSIGHTS head-to-head comparison, Berrettini has the edge in UTR Ratings, recent win-loss record, and record versus common opponents. Carreno Busta has the best win, over Novak Djokovic at the Olympic Games. The 30-year-old has never faced Berrettini.

While Berrettini is favored to emerge from the top quarter of the draw, unseeded Miomir Kecmanovic (15.03) has done a stellar job making the most of his opportunity. The Serbian was initially going to play Djokovic in the first round. He upset No. 26 seed Lorenzo Sonego (15.49) to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the very first time. The 22-year-old will try to do one better against an in-form Gael Monfils (15.64). Monfils, the No. 17 seed, has every advantage with an INSIGHTS prediction of 80% but crazier things have happened Down Under.

INSIGHTS Predicts Next Women's Matches to Watch

Per INSIGHTS, No. 24 seed Victoria Azarenka (13.16) has a 55% chance of taking out 2021 Roland Garros champion and No. 4 seed Barbora Krejcikova (13.04). Azarenka is a tournament favorite despite her low seeding as she's won the Australian Open twice and is playing far better than her ranking shows.

Azarenka made good on the INSIGHTS prediction that she would upset No. 15 seed Elina Svitolina (12.92) in the third round, dismissing the Ukrainian, 6-0, 6-2. The Belarusian's three-month trending UTR Rating is 13.20 compared to Krejcikova's 13.00 and she beat the Czech in their only career meeting in Ostrava in 2020.

In other intriguing fourth-round clashes, No. 21 seed Jessica Pegula (13.03) has a 46% chance of upsetting fifth seed Maria Sakkari (13.06). In the third round, Pegula eased past unseeded Nuria Parrizas Diaz (12.29) while Sakkari dismissed No. 28 seed Veronika Kudermetova (12.61). Sakkari has beaten Pegula twice, most recently in Miami last year in a third-set tiebreaker.



Honorable Mention

After ousting No. 10 seed Hubert Hurkacz (15.70) in the second round, veteran Adrian Mannarino (14.95) pulled off another upset by taking out No. 18 seed Aslan Karatsev (15.58) late (well after 2 a.m. Melbourne time). The 33-year-old Frenchman is hoping to reach his first Grand Slam quarterfinal and get an even bigger upset when he takes on Rafael Nadal (16.20).

Two UTR Pro Tennis Tour champions have teamed up to reach the third round. In the first round, Li Tu and Dane Sweeny benefitted from a walkover mid-match from No. 16 seeds Franko Skugor and Andrey Golubev. The Australians then beat fellow wild cards Treat Huey and Christopher Rungkat in straight sets. These are the first Grand Slam-level win for either Tu or Sweeny.

Sweeny was named the Standout PTT Player in December after going 33-5 and winning back-to-back titles in Brisbane, while Tu picked up five PTT titles in 2021.


Stay tuned for more from INSIGHTS, and to learn more about Universal Tennis, click here.

•UTR Ratings and INSIGHTS probabilities as of 9 a.m. EST, Jan. 21, 2022.

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