Published: Sat, June 08, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

French Open 2019: Highlights - Ash Barty ends Amanda Anisimova run - Roland-Garros

French Open 2019: Highlights - Ash Barty ends Amanda Anisimova run - Roland-Garros

Ashleigh Barty insists she won't fall into the trap of taking unseeded American teen Amanda Anisimova lightly in Friday's French Open semi-final.

That was to take nothing away from her opponent, who played like the more experienced competitor and clinched a place in her first slam final with a typically precise backhand drop shot, winning 7-5 7-6 (2).

She reached the final of the junior event at Roland Garros three years ago and won the US Open junior title two years ago.

She rolled through the first four rounds of the French Open 2019 with relative ease and then showed "remarkable courage", as Mair described it, while fending off multiple set points against Johanna Konta in the semifinals.

But a Grand Slam final is sometimes decided on nerves and 23-year-old Barty, whose previous best run at a major came in this year's Australian Open when she reached the quarter-finals, might be better equipped to deal with the occasion.

Halep admitted the stress that comes with being the defending champion played a part in her performance after she lost seven games in a row to go from 2-2 in the first set to 6-2 3-0 down in the second.

'I'm just so proud of myself the way we were able to go out there and handle it today.

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"I think for me it was an opportunity, in a Grand Slam semifinal, I will play no matter what court it is", she said.

Anisimova is the youngest American woman to reach the last four of a major since Venus Williams at the 1997 US Open, and said last week that 23-time Slam title victor Serena Williams had helped pick her up after a recent hard defeat in Miami. Her older sister, Maria, played tennis at college for the University of Pennsylvania, serving as an inspiration for Amanda, who first took a tennis racket in her hands at the age of two. "I don't have that many friends, I'd say", she said.

As for Barty, she will face another teenager, Marketa Vondrousova, in the final. She doesn't rely on power as much as precision, depositing what she has called "effortless shots" near lines and often wrong-footing Halep.

In the fifth game of the second set Halep almost pulled out the break on a number of occasions, with a couple of errors creeping into her opponent's game.

"Today I felt how she's playing, because before, I had never played against her", she said.

"I was just trying to do the same thing I was doing, but she just stayed consistent and it was just really tough". At 17 years and 10 months old, she is also the youngest American to a Grand Slam semifinal since Venus Williams did it at the 1997 U.S. Open when she was 17 years and two months old. She used to have a wobble in matches and sometimes let the other player back in, but she just hasn't had that in any match. "But when I had my time off, I think it was just a gradual progression of missing the competition, missing what I loved".

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