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French Open

Halep blown out of French Open by teenager Anisimova

American teenager Amanda Anisimova has reached the semi-finals of the French Open after thrashing defending champion Simona Halep

Defending champion Simona Halep was knocked out of the French Open 6-2 6-4 by 17-year-old American Amanda Anisimova in a quarter-final shock on Thursday.

The third seed from Romania had been looking to become the first woman to retain her title at Roland Garros since Belgian Justine Henin won three times in a row from 2005-07.

The unseeded Anisimova, the first player born in the 2000s to reach the last eight at a Grand Slam, can become the first teenager to lift the trophy here since Iva Majoli of Croatia prevailed in 1997.

“This is honestly more than I could ever have asked for,” the teenager said on court at the finish. “That was one of the best matches I have ever played.”

Asinimova wil play Australian Ashleigh Barty in the last four after the eighth seed reached her first Grand Slam semi-final as she outplayed error-prone American Madison Keys 6-3 7-5.

In a quarter-final clash postponed on Wednesday because of heavy rain, Barty produced an intelligent display full of guile in the Court Suzanne Lenglen sunshine.

Barty’s greater variety proved too much for 2018 semi-finalist Keys whose power game broke down at the vital moments.

“Anisimova has been playing some great tennis, to reach a semi-final you must be doing the right things,” Barty, who once quit tennis to play cricket, said on court.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for both us and we will both enjoy it tomorrow.”

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