In one of the most stunning upsets at even this French Open, in which just one top ten seed has reached the last four, 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova continued her thrilling run in Paris by knocking out defending champion Simona Halep. Anisimova, who arrived in the match without having dropped a set, was expected to provide a stern test to the Romanian world #3. But surely few could have predicted her victory, let alone the manner of it.
Anisimova began the match sharply, breaking Halep fast out of the blocks with some big-hitting. Halep tried to stem the flow of winners from the American’s racquet, but to no avail as Anisimova broke through again to take a commanding lead in the first set. Halep found herself unable to dig herself out of the hole she was in as Anisimova raced to take a one-set lead in their quarterfinal clash on the red clay.
Halep, shell-shocked, fell behind again at the start of the second set. But then Anisimova looked to get a little tight. Halep had chances to get the break back down 1-3, but proved unable to do so as the young gun hung tough to secure a 4-1 lead. But when the defending champion’s chance came again, she took it, getting back level at 4-4. With the pressure on Anisimova, the 17-year-old came close to wilting, hitting a double fault before an error to give Halep another break point.
But Halep couldn’t take it, missing a forehand from on the back foot as the teenager snuffed out her chance. Another would not come. Serving to stay in the match, it was Halep who faltered under pressure as a double fault of her own gave Anisimova match point. Anisimova, with the opportunity to claim unquestionably the biggest win of her career did not hesitate. She hammered a backhand down the line beyond the reach of Halep and in doing so staked her claim as a champion of the here and now, never mind the future.
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