Halep vs Anisimova French Open tennis preview, head-to-head and predictions

hannahwilks in French Open 01 Oct 2020
Simona Halep (Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA)

French Open favourite Simona Halep faces a stern test against Amanda Anisimova, who ended her title defense in 2019.

Halep vs Anisimova is live from Roland Garros on Friday 2 October, 1pm local/12pm BST

Simona Halep was the consensus favourite to win a second French Open title in 2020 and her chances have only been boosted by the exits of Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka, who were among her potential semifinal opponents. But Amanda Anisimova, her third-round opponent, could pose a serious threat to the Romanian’s title ambitions.

French Open 2020: Find out tournament information for Roland Garros 2020 and how to stream French Open matches live

Anisimova defeated Halep in straight sets in last year’s quarterfinals, ending Halep’s defense of the Roland Garros title she won in 2018. The young American has looked a little lost recently but knows how to beat Halep – can she do it again?

Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.

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Halep vs Anisimova: Head-to-head

Amanda Anisimova beat Simona Halep 6-2, 6-4 in their only previous match, in the quarterfinals of the French Open in 2019.

Halep vs Anisimova: Preview

Will it be revenge for Halep – or a reprise of last year’s result? Things are looking better and better for the top seed in terms of the draw – she doesn’t have to face Marketa Vondrousova or Su-Wei Hsieh in the fourth round; projected quarterfinal opponent Kiki Bertens is really struggling physically; no Serena Williams or Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals. But to take advantage of all of that, she has to find a way past Anisimova.

At last year’s French Open, Halep was obviously burdened by being defending champion; that was obvious by the way she played once that burden was lifted, tearing through the Wimbledon draw to become champion there. In 2020, the Romanian has seemed in a much happier and more mentally stable place, both before and after the sport’s shutdown allowed her to spend an unprecedentedly long time at home. It’s showed in her results: Halep is, lest we forget, 22-2 in 2020 and on a 16-match winning streak coming into this Roland Garros clash.

Amanda Anisimova (Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA)

Anisimova, on the other hand, is in a more ambiguous position. At the time of last year’s French Open she was racing up the rankings, blazing a trail, happy to have a go at hitting anybody off the court – and more often than not succeeding, dishing out that treatment to Aryna Sabalenka in Melbourne and Paris and then Halep too. She narrowly missed out on reaching her first Grand Slam final at that French Open, just losing out to Ashleigh Barty; but she would only play five more events in 2019, partly because of the sudden death of her father before the US Open.

Anisimova started off 2020 well with a semifinal run in Auckland but was trounced 1-6, 1-6 by Serena Williams and ever since then she’s seemed to be floundering a little, which is not to say that she’s had poor results particularly – she hasn’t been losing to poor players – just that she’s looked a little lost on court. This is not very surprising in a player who is still so young, only turning in 21 in August.

Should Anisimova turn up and play the way that she did in the quarterfinal in 2019, she would take a set, but I think Halep would still find a way to win the match, because the Romanian is performing at a much higher level: Looking unburdened, fit, and hungry for competition. Anisimova has the power, but not the tactical clarity, whereas Halep knows exactly what she wants to do on the court. I think she can find ways to smother Anisimova with depth, open up the court and pressure errors off the American.

Halep vs Anisimova: Prediction

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