Tennis  

Anisimova stuns Halep, Djokovic to face Thiem in semifinals

Romania’s Simona Halep (L) and Amanda Anisimova of the US leave the court at the end of their women’s singles quarter-final match on day twelve of The Roland Garros 2019 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on June 6, 2019. (Photo by Philippe LOPEZ / AFP)

Anisomova defeated French Open’s defending champion and third seed, Simona Halep of Romania, 6/2, 6/4 to book a semifinal clash with Australia’s Ashleigh Barty, who defeated America’s Madison Keys 6/3, 7/5.

The world number one player, Novak Djokovic breezed past fifth seeded Alexander Zverev 7/5, 6/2, 6/2 to set up a semifinal clash with Dominic Thiem, who routed Russia’s Karen Khachanov6/2, 6/4, 6/2.

In all their previous career meetings, the winner of the first set went ahead to win the matches and it was no different this time. Djokovic took a closely contested first set during which Zverev powered four aces but committed four double faults.

In the second set, Djokovic held his first two services games and broke Zverev to lead 3-0. Although Zverev survived a break point before holding the fourth game, his opponent took the fifth game at love. Helped by his sixth ace of the match, Zverev reduced the tally. Djokovic faced break point but rallied to lead 5-2 and broke a long Zverev service game to win the set 6/2.

Zverev had a break point on Djokovic’s serve in the opening game of the third set but the Serbian annulled it to hold on first advantage.

Two service breaks gave the top seed the set 6/2 for the match. It was his first victory on clay over the German player.

Dominic Thiem confirmed his billing as heir apparent on clay courts, by his clinical routing of Karen Khachanov on Suzanne-Lenglen Court. After taking the first set 6/2, Thiem broke Khachanov’s serve in the ninth game of the second set.

Serving for the set, Thiem reached set 40-15 point but his opponent took him to deuce before he clinched the game on the frist advantage.

Khachanov took the first game of the third set on his serve, but Thiem was taken to deuce before holding to level 1-1. The set proceeded routinely with serve until Thiem broke Khachanov’s serve to lead 3-2 and extended the gap without dropping a point.

Khachanov did not win a point on his serve as he conceded the seventh game. Serving for the match, Thiem dropped the first point but took four in a row to win the game and match.

Amanda Anisimova defeated the defending champion, Simona Halep in 68 minutes. A star was born after she hit a backhand shot past Simona to win the match. She made history as the youngest American woman to reach the semifinals of a grand slam since 1997 when a debutante Venus Williams lost the U.S. Open title to Martina Hingis of Switzerland.

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