Simona Halep knocked out of French Open by 17-year-old
Amanda Anisimova has become the youngest semi-finalist in 13 years at Roland Garros
Amanda Anisimova celebrates winning her quarterfinal match at the French Open against Simona Halep. Photo: Christophe Ena/AP Photo
The defending champion, Simona Halep, is out of the French Open, beaten soundly in straight sets on Thursday by Amanda Anisimova, at 17 the youngest French Open semi-finalist since Nicole Vaidisova, 13 years ago.
Anisimova, born in New Jersey and raised in Miami, the American daughter of Russian emigrants, won 6-2, 6-4 on Court Philippe Chatrier and plays the Australian Ashleigh Barty for a place in the final, scheduled for Saturday but under the threat of gathering rain.
On Court Suzanne Lenglen, Barty beat 14th seed Madison Keys 6-3, 7-5 in the other quarter-final on that side of the draw. The winner will play either Johanna Konta or the remaining teenager in the women’s draw, Marketa Vondrousova, who are due to play their semi-final on Friday, with rain forecast.
Vaidisova, who is still only 30, quit the game in 2010 and aborted a second comeback six years later, but Anisimova looks to be a more permanent fixture after a stunning run at these championships. She hits hard and deep and is wonderfully balanced in the shot, a natural athlete oozing with confidence.
If she went on to win the title, she would be the youngest slam champion since Maria Sharapova, who won Wimbledon in 2004, aged 17.
“Look at this young lady, 17 years old, a star is being born right now,” seven-time French Open champion Chris Evert said on Eurosport. “Her idol is Maria Sharapova. She plays like Maria Sharapova. Halep had windows of opportunity but just didn’t take advantage of them on the big points.”
Anisimova said courtside, “I can’t believe it. I’ve been working so hard but I didn’t believe it would pay off like this. It’s more than I could ever have asked for. Going out today, I knew I’d been playing well, because I was in the quarter-finals. I knew I had to something different. This is one of the best matches I’ve ever played. I’ve had some great memories her from two years ago in the juniors.” – Guardian service