Amanda Anisimova Stuns Halep To Earn Semi-Final Clash With Barty - UBITENNIS
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Grand Slam

Amanda Anisimova Stuns Halep To Earn Semi-Final Clash With Barty

Teenager Amanda Anisimova stormed to a remarkable straight-sets win over Simona Halep to reach the French Open semi-final.




Amanda Anisimova (@rolandgarros on Twitter)

Amanda Anisimova produced one of the biggest shocks in French Open history by beating defending champion Simona Halep 6-2 6-4 in the quarter-final.


The American, 17, is tipped as one of the future stars of women’s tennis but few observers expected her to reach such heights this early in her career.

“I can’t believe it,” Anisimova said in her on-court interview. “I’ve been working so hard but I didn’t think it would pay off like this. This is honestly more than anything I could ask for.”

She continued, “I know I’ve been really well every single day because I’m in the quarter-finals. But I knew if I wanted to win today I had to do something different because this wasn’t going to be an easy match. I’m really happy with my performance because this is one of the best matches I’ve ever played.”

Anisimova makes nerveless start

Amanda Anisimova (@rolandgarros on Twitter)

Right from the start, Anisimova looked ready for the challenge. She did not show any nerves as she held serve three times to establish herself in the match.

Then the American attacked Halep’s serve. She took the ball early, hit it hard and deep and found some great angles to earn two consecutive breaks and take the set 6-2.

In between those breaks, Anisimova saved a break point during a tricky service game. And every time the youngster won a point, one thing was crystal clear: Halep could not cope when the American produced her best shots.

Anisimova withstands Halep fightback

Simona Halep (@rolandgarros on Twitter)

Anisimova continued her charge in the second set. She won three consecutive games to raise the possibility of an embarrassing scoreline for the defending champion.

This was when Halep finally gained a foothold in the match. She played her best game on serve to stop the run of seven games against her and then earned three break points on the American’s serve.

Anisimova saved all three and moved 4-1 ahead, but the Romanian created more opportunities in her next service game, and this time she got the break she needed to restore order.

The last three games of the match were very closely contested, as both players seemed to have finally got the measure of one another towards the end of their first meeting.

While this was an encouraging sign for Halep, it ultimately came too late to change the outcome of this encounter. Anisimova earned a match point on the Romanian’s serve in game ten and seized it with a brilliant backhand down the line.

“Look at this young lady,” Chris Evert said on commentary for Eurosport. “A star is being born right now. Her idol is Maria Sharapova and she plays very much like her. We haven’t seen a 17-year-old with a power game like that for a while.”

Anisimova’s exploits analysed

Amanda Anisimova (@rolandgarros on Twitter)

During his analysis for Eurosport, Pat Cash compared Anisimova’s exploits to those of Ostapenko in 2017.

“The women’s tour has been quite incredible in the last few years,” the Australian said. “Typically, we see someone coming out and doing something unusual at the French Open. We’ve seen some strange winners – like Ostapenko from nowhere.”

Cash continued, “The game plan to beat Halep is take the time away from her and really go for it. She tends to get over-powered from time to time and this was a classic example.”

“Her technique is so fantastic off both wings,” Annabel Croft added. “You can’t underestimate (the impact of) how early she takes it. And look at the variety she has already developed in her game – drop shots, great balance on her groundstrokes and superb serving when she needed it most.”

She continued, “Halep looked a little lost tactically because Anismova constantly out-manoeuvred her. She stepped into court, got the first strike in and was brave with her shots.”

Croft concluded, “It felt like Halep was always on the back foot and had to flail at shots. She could never find her balance. Normally Halep is the one who likes to move opponents into the corners and change the direction of the ball. Today she was having it done to her. She was almost being blasted off the court.”

It was a truly remarkable performance from Anisimova, and her reward will be a semi-final clash with Ashleigh Barty, after the Australian beat Madison Keys 6-3 7-5.

Grand Slam

Dominic Thiem Among Trio Of Former Grand Slam Champions Handed US Open Wildcards




Dominic Thiem reacts to winning the 2020 US Open Men's title (image via US Open Twitter)

Dominic Thiem will play his first US Open match since lifting the title almost two years ago after he received a wildcard into the main draw from organizers on Wednesday. 


The former world No.3 is one of three former Grand Slam winners to have received a pass into the tournament which will get underway later this month. Thiem won his first and so far only major title in New York back in 2020 by coming back from two sets down to defeat Alexander Zverev in a marathon encounter. Since then, the Austrian has been blighted by a wrist injury and was forced to miss last year’s US Open due to the injury. 

Thiem, who decided against using his protected ranking to play in the tournament, is currently ranked 228th in the world. So far this season he has achieved a win-loss record of 7-9 on the ATP Tour with his best result being a run to the semi-finals of the Gstaad Open. He has reached the quarter-final stage or better at his three more recent tournaments. 

Other recipients include Tour veteran Sam Querrey who will make his 16th appearance in the main draw. Querrey reached the quarter-finals back in 2017 before losing to Kevin Anderson. French world No.155 Ugo Humbert and Australian world No.199 Rinky Hijikata have also secured a place through the reciprocal agreements between the USTA, the FFT and Tennis Australia. 

Ben Shelton, who won his first Masters 1000 match on Wednesday at the Western and Southern Open, is among a group of home players that have secured their places. J.J.Wolf, Emilio Nava and Learner have also received wildcards.  

The return of venus

In the women’s tournament, Venus Williams will return to New York on what will be the 25th anniversary of when she made her debut at the Grand Slam. A two-time champion in 2000 and 2001, the 42-year-old missed the tournament last year due to a leg injury. She has won 79 matches at the US Open so far in her career. 

2020 Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin joins Williams in the main draw as she continues her comeback from a foot injury. The 23-year-old didn’t play after Wimbledon last year due to injury and catching COVID-19. As for this season, Kenin hasn’t won a match since January but didn’t play any tournaments between April and July. 

After winning a WTA 125 event in Massachusetts earlier this month, Coco Vandeweghe is also heading into the US Open. She won the doubles title back in 2018 with Ash Barty. Harmony Tan, who defeated Serena Williams at Wimbledon earlier this year, and Jaimee Fourlis have also been selected. Other wildcards go to Elizabeth Mandlik, Peyton Stearns and Eleana Yu who will all be making their debut. 

The US Open will get underway on August 29th. Daniil Medvedev and Emma Raducanu are the defending champions.  

Full list of wildcards


  • Jaimee Fourlis USA
  • Sofia Kenin USA
  • Elizabeth Mandlik USA 
  • Peyton Stearns USA
  • Harmony Tan FRA
  • Coco Vandeweghe USA
  • Venus Williams USA
  • Eleana Yu USA 


  • Rinky Hijikata AUS
  • Ugo Humbert FRA
  • Emilio Nava USA
  • Sam Querrey USA
  • Ben Shelton USA
  • Dominic Thiem AUT
  • Learner Tien USA
  • J.J. Wolf USA

Qualifying wildcards (all American)


  • Kayla Day, 22
  • Valerie Glozman, 15
  • Catherine Harrison, 28
  • Liv Hovde, 16
  • Elvina Kalieva, 19
  • Ashlyn Krueger, 18
  • Christina McHale, 30
  • Whitney Osuigwe, 20
  • Katrina Scott, 18


  • Murphy Cassone, 19
  • Oliver Crawford, 23
  • Martin Damm, 18
  • Brandon Holt, 24
  • Aleks Kovacevic, 23
  • Bruno Kuzuhara, 18
  • Alex Rybakov, 25
  • Ethan Quinn, 18
  • Zach Svajda, 19

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Gael Monfils Withdraws From US Open Due To Foot Injury

Gael Monfils will miss his third consecutive grand slam after another injury setback.




Gael Monfils (@JCPGATA - Twitter)

Gael Monfils’ injury-hit season continues as he withdraws from the US Open due to a foot injury.


The Frenchman started the season in fine fashion as he reached the Australian Open quarter-finals and also won a title in Adelaide beating Karen Khachanov in the final.

However since the Australian Open, Monfils has only played five tournaments and has been struggling with injuries and consistency.

Th 35 year-old has only managed six victories since January and just when Monfils’ return to the tour looked successful in Montreal, the Frenchman suffered a foot injury against Jack Draper in their last 16 match.

After returning to Europe for scans it now turns out that Monfils will miss further weeks on the tour and will be unavailable for the US Open in a couple of weeks.

Speaking on Twitter the Frenchman revealed he will have to undergo further treatment, “Dear all, following the latest medical exams that I took upon returning in Europe, I will sadly not be able to play at the US Open this year,” Monfils told his fans on the social media website.

“I am forced to undergo a new period of treatment before being able to resume tournaments. I will keep you informed as soon as I can with regards to my next tournament.”

The news means that Monfils will miss his third grand slam in a row after being ruled out of Roland Garros and Wimbledon earlier in the year as the Frenchman will look to be refreshed for the end of the season.

Monfils’ best result at the US Open was reaching the semi-finals in 2016 where he lost to Novak Djokovic in four sets.

The 35 year-old will aim to be back at the Masters 1000 event in Paris in November while the US Open will take place without Monfils on the 29th of August.

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Grand Slam

Simona Halep Backs 18-Year-Old Gauff To Win Grand Slam Soon

The two players will lock horns for the third time this season in Toronto on Friday.




Image via

American rising star Coco Gauff has what it takes to become a Grand Slam champion, according to one of her rivals on the WTA Tour. 


Simona Halep has hailed the rapid development of the 18-year-old ahead of their clash at the National Bank Open in Toronto. Gauff is currently the youngest player in the world’s top 20 on the WTA Tour but has already played in the main draw of a major 12 times. Her best performance occurred at this year’s French Open where she reached the final before losing to Iga Swiatek. She has also reached the fourth round at Wimbledon twice and the Australian Open once. 

Halep was the first player to defeat Gauff in a major at the 2019 Wimbledon championships. Since then, the former world No.1 says she has been impressed by her opponent’s development on the Tour.

“I feel she is improving so much mentally and also as a person. She’s super matured since we played together when she was 15 in Wimbledon,” Halep told reporters on Thursday.
“She’s a great person. She’s super nice. And I feel like she’s going to be a Grand Slam champion soon. She has everything to do that. I also feel that she really wants it.’
“So she’s improving a lot. I feel like every day she’s improving, which is great to see.”

Halep, who was 26 when she won her first Grand Slam title, will renew her rivalry with Gauff in Toronto on Friday. It will be the third meeting between the two this year with Halep winning both of their previous meetings in straight sets. Overall, she is yet to drop a set against the American on the Tour.

“She’s a very tough opponent. And she’s super young. She’s powerful, she’s strong, solid. So it’s going to be a tough match like always,”
said Halep. “We played a few times together. It’s a big challenge for me again to play quarters here in Canada. I feel confident, but I know that it’s going to be tough.”

En route to the quarter-finals, the Romanian has dropped just 15 games in three matches played. Besides being a two-time National Bank Open champion, she is the most successful player in the history of WTA 1000 events in terms of match wins. According to the WTA, she has recorded 182 wins which is five more than second place Victoria Azarenka.

Gauff’s route to her latest meeting with Halep has been considerably tougher. In her previous two matches she came through marathon encounters against Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka. However, there is a positive side to these encounters.

“It definitely gives me a lot of confidence because I know I can tough it out in those tough moments. These are the type of players that I need to have to beat if I want to win a Grand Slam,” Gauff said after beating Sabalenka.
“So these matches are giving me more confidence. And I know how it feels in those moments against these players. They’re not going to give you anything and you shouldn’t expect that.”

Gauff is the second-highest ranked player remaining in the tournament after Jessica Pegula.

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