Teen Anisimova stuns Halep at French Open

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

American teenager Amanda Anisimova stunned French Open defending champion Simona Halep 6-2, 6-4 on Thursday to qualify for her first Grand Slam semifinal.

The 17-year-old, a New Jersey native raised in Florida, is the youngest American woman to reach a Grand Slam semifinal since the 1997 U.S .Open, when Venus Williams reached the final.

Anisimova will meet Australian Ashleigh Barty, who defeated American Madison Keys in the day's other quarterfinal match, in the semifinal on Friday.

"I can't believe it," Anisimova said after the win. "I've been working so hard, but I didn't think it would pay off like this. This is honestly more than anything I could ask for."

The unseeded Anisimova played an aggressive match from the beginning, keeping No. 3 seed Halep on the run.

Anisimova jumped to a 4-2 lead, but a double fault by Halep led to an Anisimova break, and she used her hard groundstrokes to close out the set.

In the second set, Anisimova got the early lead, using an early break to go up 3-0.

Halep came back to win the fourth game, and had three break chances in the following game, but Anisimova prevailed for a 4-1 lead. Halep won the next game on her serve, then broke Anisimova for the first time, and she tied the set at 4-4.

That was as close as Halep got.

Anisimova made the round of 16 at the Australian Open in January and won her first WTA title in April in Bogota. She was the ranked No. 51 in the world before the match against Halep, ranked No. 3.

"I knew if I wanted to win today, I had to do something different because this wasn't going to be an easy match to win," Anisimova said. "I'm really happy with my performance, because this is one of the best matches I've ever played."

In the other quarterfinal, No. 8 seed Barty needed one hour, 10 minutes to defeat No. 14 seed Keys 6-3, 7-5. Friday's match against Anisimova will be her first-ever appearance in a Grand Slam semifinal.

Barty, 23, used her slice backhand to keep Keys off balance, which resulted in 26 unforced errors for the American.

"It was a really clean match. I felt like I was in control. I got the balls I wanted, and I was able to put the balls in difficult positions for Maddie. Really, really happy with how we went about it," Barty said.

She said came into the tournament prepared for the clay courts in Paris.

"I felt for myself and my team, we have approached this clay court season a little bit differently to others. Have really enjoyed it, embraced it. Have been playing some pretty good tennis.

"Ultimately I feel like when I'm able to play my game style and my kind of tennis, I can match it with everyone regardless what surface it's on.

"I'm super excited, and the fact that we're still here in the last few days is incredible."

--Field Level Media

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting