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Anisimova vs Barty French Open Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Opportunity beckons on Barty and Anisimova as they battle for maiden Grand Slam final

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 6 Jun 2019
  • Amanda Anisimova vs Ashleigh Barty is live from Roland Garros on Friday, 7 June from 11:00am local time/ 10:00am BST
  • First meeting between Anisimova and Barty
Amanda Anisimova (Photo by Henri Szwarc/ABACAPRESS.COM)

One of Amanda Anisimova or Ashleigh Barty will advance to her first Grand Slam final on Friday when they meet in the semi-finals of the French Open.

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While top-ten star, Barty has been on the precipice of a major breakthrough, Anisimova's sensational Roland Garros run has come completely out of the blue, and after her nerveless dispatch of last year's champion, Simona Halep, there is no reason to think she cannot go all the way in Paris.

In fact, at this point, there's really no point in tagging anyone favourite, as all four semi-finalists have built up solid enough credentials over the last fortnight!

At the start of the tournament, the women's draw looked wide open, but not to this extent! The semi-final line-up comprises two teenagers- Anisimova and Marketa Vondrousova, the previously clay-averse Johanna Konta and Barty, who is into her first Grand Slam semi-final.

At the start of the year, Anisimova had played just two Grand Slam matches, and lost both, but the 17-year-old has built up a remarkable 8-1 record in majors in 2019, reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open (lost to Petra Kvitova), and now, making the semi-finals of the French Open. In between, she claimed her maiden tour-level title in Bogota. 

Anisimova has moved through the French Open draw without dropping a set, beating Harmony Tan, Aryna Sabalenka (her third top-20 win), Irina-Camelia Begu, Aliona Bolsova, and then the big one, Halep in the quarter finals.

Halep made a slow start to the tournament, needing three sets to take get through each of the first two rounds against Ajla Tomljanovic and Magda Linette, but the champion had been improving through the draw, and swatted away another rising 17-year-old, Iga Swiatek for the loss of just one game in the fourth round. The general analysis was that Anisimova would most likely suffer the same fate as Swiatek, but the American obviously had other ideas.

Anisimova was fearless against Halep, blasting 25 winners (and 24 unforced) errors in the hour and 10-minute victory. She served at 74%, winning 65% of points on both her first and second serves, and was generally clutch on the big points, saving 6 of the seven break points she faced, while breaking the Halep serve four times. 

There was an air of disbelief around Court Philippe Chatrier as the young gun powered to a 6-2 4-1 lead, but Halep wasn't going down without a fight, and she won three games in a row to even the second set at 4-4. The former world No. 1 had a break point for 5-4 as the tide threatened to turn, but Anisimova stayed tough under immense duress, hanging on to her serve before closing out the match in the next game, sealing the win on her first match point with a picture perfect backhand down the line.

“I don't think it will sink in, at least not for today,” Anisimova said afterward. “I mean, it's crazy. I really can't believe the result today. And getting the opportunity to play against Simona, that's amazing, but how it ended is even crazier to me.” 
“I just played the best tennis of my life. I don't know how, and I don't know how I did it, but it just happened.”

A former No. 2 on the ITF junior rankings, Anisimova reached the French Open Girls' Final in 2016 and won the US Open Girls' title the following year, and she has made an almost seamless transition into the main tour. 

She broke into the top 100 last season after reaching her first tour-level final in Hiroshima, and had climbed to 51st by the start of the 2019 French Open, having made the fourth round of the Australian Open, the quarter finals in Auckland, and won the title in Bogota. She is projected to rise into the top 30 by virtue of her semi-final run at Roland Garros.

Can the American teen continue this stunning run by reaching her first Grand Slam final?

She faces Ashleigh Barty in Friday's semi-finals. 

Given her progress over the last couple of seasons, Barty's first major semi-final was always just around the corner, although not many would have predicted it would come at Roland Garros. 

The Australian has dropped just one set in reaching the semi-finals- against Sofia Kenin in the last 16- beating Jessica Pegula, Danielle Collins and Andrea Petkovic in the first three rounds, and Madison Keys in Thursday's rescheduled quarter final. 

The serve was the foundation for Barty's victory over Keys, as she won 81% of points behind her first serve, and did not face a break point until she served for the match at 6-3 5-4. She lost her serve, but regained the break immediately, and made no mistake on her second attempt to close out the match, serving out the 6-3 7-5 victory to love.

A fine season has included a superb title run in Miami, where she beat Kiki Bertens, Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova en route her first Premier Mandatory title. She had earlier finished second to Kvitova in Sydney, and made the quarter finals at the Australian Open. She also reached the last eight on the clay of Madrid in the lead up to the French Open. 

Barty broke into the top-ten for the first time after he Miami success, and regardless of whatever happens against Anisimova in the French Open semi-finals on Friday, she will break into the top four after Roland Garros.

"Oh, it's incredible," Barty said. "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."

She is by far the highest-ranked player left in the draw, but ranking hasn't seemed to matter in this tournament! Can she take down a confident and fearless Anisimova on Friday to make her first Grand Slam final?

Anisimova will again be positive and aggressive, but Barty is such a canny player, and can drag the American into uncomfortable positions with the variety she possesses. The Australian has also been in terrific form at Paris, and I reckon she will have just a bit too much for the Anisimova on Friday.

Amanda Anisimova vs Ashleigh Barty is live from Roland Garros on Friday, 7 June from 11:00am local time/ 10:00am BST

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Anisimova vs Barty French Open Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Opportunity beckons on Barty and Anisimova as they battle for maiden Grand Slam final

Amanda Anisimova takes on Ashleigh Barty meet in the French Open semi-finals on Friday. Who will reach a maiden major final? Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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