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Halep vs Anisimova tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Halep must defuse explosive teenager in French Open quarterfinals

Hannah Wilks in WTA Tour 5 Jun 2019
  • Simona Halep faces Amanda Anisimova in the quarterfinals of the French Open
  • Halep vs Anisimova is live from Roland Garros on Thursday 6 June at 12pm local/ 11am BST
Simona Halep (PA Sports)

Amanda Anisimova has nothing to lose as she plays her first major quarterfinal at Roland Garros – can defending champion Simona Halep, who does, prove too good for her?

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Defending champion Simona Halep takes on her second teenager of the tournament as she faces 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova for a place in the semifinals at the 2018 French Open.

Halep is not one of the two players who have made it to the last eight at Roland Garros without dropping a set, but the world no. 3 is certainly gathering momentum as she goes through the draw. 

Simona Halep in action (PA Sports)
Returning to the French Open as the defending champion after beating Sloane Stephens to win the title in 2018, Halep dropped sets against both Ajla Tomljanovic and Magda Linette in the opening two rounds. Coupled with an injury-blighted clay season – Halep pulled out of Stuttgart with a hip injury sustained during Fed Cup, which didn’t stop her from reaching the final of the Madrid Open but did seem to bother her again during the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, where she lost to Marketa Vondrousova – and the third seed seemed among the more vulnerable of the top seeds through the first couple of rounds.

Instead she’s one of only two top-eight seeds left in the draw at the time of writing, with eighth seed Ashleigh Barty (a potential semifinal opponent) the other. And what looked like a tough draw has increasingly opened up as Halep’s wins have become more dominant. Against Lesia Tsurenko in the third round, Halep got her first straight-sets win of the tournament as she improved to 8-0 vs the Ukrainian with a 6-2, 6-1 victory; and in the fourth round, she dropped just one game against the very talented Iga Swiatek.

Halep took 18-year-old Swiatek’s legs out from under her from the beginning and did not allow her to hold serve once, hitting 17 winners and only five unforced errors in her best performance of the tournament. It took Halep only 45 minutes to sweep past the Pole, who admittedly was clearly nervous and a bit out of her depth on Court Philippe-Chatrier, but was given absolutely no chance to find her feet – not even the tiniest toehold – by the Romanian. 

‘I expected a very tough one,’ Halep said afterwards. ‘So I was ready for that, but it was much better than I thought.

‘Every match is tough at this level,’ Halep went on to say. ‘So if you're in the second week, your expectations are bigger. So I expect more from myself. Today I was really good on court, and I'm happy about that. Next round is just a big challenge to go through this tournament. It's my favorite Grand Slam, so I will do my best.’

Next up for Halep is another teenager who will be playing in the biggest match of her life. Can Halep mete out the same harsh dose of reality to Amanda Anisimova that she did to Swiatek?
Anisimova is the first player born in the 2000s, male or female, to reach the quarterfinals of a major – and she’s done it without dropping a set, too. 

Amanda Anisimova (PA Sports)
The New Jersey-born Anisimova was a junior finalist at the French Open as well as a US Open junior champion, but this is just her fourth main-draw appearance at a Grand Slam – yet this run still doesn’t feel like it has come out of nowhere. Anisimova, who got her first and so far only win a top-10 player on her way to the round of 16 at Indian Wells in 2018, broke into the top 100 at the end of last season after making her first WTA final as a qualifier in Hiroshima; in January, she ousted seeds Tsurenko and Aryna Sabalenka to make the round of 16 at the Australian Open; she won her first WTA title in Bogota in April, coming back from a set down in three of the five matches she played. On European clay, her results weren’t great – she lost in qualifying for Madrid and Rome, although she did get to the second round of the latter as a lucky loser and took a set from Kiki Bertens there – but at Roland Garros she hit the ground running, beating French wildcard Harmony Tan before reprising her Australian Open win over 11th-seeded Sabalenka. She took out experienced clay-courter Irina-Camelia Begu next before ending the run of Spain’s Aliona Bolsova, a qualifier, 6-3, 6-0. That’s zero sets and just 23 games dropped from Anisimova on her way to the quarterfinals.

‘I can't describe how excited I am,’ Anisimova said after setting the clash with Halep. 

‘It's amazing playing her. She won it the previous year. So honestly, I couldn't ask for a better matchup. I'm just extremely happy and excited for the next round.’

This will be the first meeting between Halep and Anisimova, and as match-ups go, it seems on the face of it to be quite a straightforward one. Anisimova has a big serve, booming groundstrokes – her backhand is particularly impressive and versatile – and plays a first-strike, aggressive power game; Halep is fundamentally a counter-puncher, a defender, who has painstakingly improved her serve and added layers of aggression and attack into her game, which appear to no better advantage than on this surface. Players who can beat Halep on this surface – the likes of Jelena Ostapenko in the 2017 final, Kiki Bertens in Madrid – tend to be players who can bring more raw power to the equation, but the truth is there’s only really a handful of players who have beaten Halep on clay in the past few years, and it takes an impeccable display of first-strike tennis to do so. This is going to be such a big step for Anisimova in every sense; she’s had a smooth draw (apart from facing Sabalenka, and that’s a comfortable match-up for her). She also hasn’t got any experience in coming back from adversity in this tournament; Halep has. I could completely envision a nothing-to-lose Anisimova coming out on fire and taking the first set, but Halep has the tools and the form to defuse and dismantle the teenager over the best of three to book her place in another French Open semifinal.

Halep vs Anisimova quarterfinal tennis is live from Roland Garros on Thursday 6 June at 12pm local/11 am BST

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Halep vs Anisimova tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Halep must defuse explosive teenager in French Open quarterfinals

Simona Halep vs Amanda Anisimova live streaming, preview and predictions for the French Open quarterfinal women’s singles tennis match on Thursday 6 June: Anisimova hasn’t dropped a set to reach her first major quarterfinal but Halep at Roland Garros should be too good for the 17-year-old

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