Australian Open: Kevin Anderson crashes out, Ons Jabeur marches on

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South Africa's Kevin Anderson hits a return against Belarus's Ilya Ivashka during their men's singles match on day two of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 21, 2020. (Photo by DAVID GRAY / AFP) / IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE (Photo by DAVID GRAY/AFP via Getty Images)

Two-time Grand Slam finalist Kevin Anderson of South Africa crashed out of the Australian Open following a straight sets defeat to Matteo Berrettini on Tuesday.

Anderson lost 6-7, 5-7, 3-6 to the Italian ninth seed in a match that lasted more than two hours at Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne.

FILE PHOTO: South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in action during the 2020 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne. (Photo by DAVID GRAY/AFP via Getty Images)

In a tight match, the big-serving South African fired 18 aces and 36 winners compared to Berrettini’s 14 aces and 45 winners. However, crucially, Anderson committed 29 unforced errors to Berrettini’s 15 and saved two of seven break points faced while Berrettini saved all three against him.

The former world number five also won fewer service points (69 percent to 83 percent) and return points (17 percent to 31 percent) compared to Berrettini.

Anderson’s compatriot Lloyd Harris reached the second round of the Grand Slam for the first time with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over Mikael Torpegaard.

Meanwhile, Tunisian trailblazer Ons Jabeur stormed into the third round after beating Anna Karolína Schmiedlová 6-3, 6-2 at Melbourne Park on Wednesday.

The 27th seed registered an improved performance from her first round match notching up six aces and 19 winners and converting four out of five break points.

She will face her sternest test yet when she plays third seed Naomi Osaka in the third round on Friday. Osaka dispatched Caroline Garcia in straight sets 6-2, 6-3.

Jabeur is aiming to replicate her sensational run at the same event last year where she made history by becoming the first Arab woman to make an appearance at a Grand Slam quarterfinal.

That run saw her defeat a host of top-ranked players, including former world number one Caroline Wozniacki.

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