Amanda Anisimova celebrates victory during her ladies singles quarter-final match at the 2019 French Open on June 6, 2019 in Paris.
There’s just one U.S. woman left in the French Open singles competition, and it’s not a player anyone would have predicted when the tournament began.
Seventeen-year-old Amanda Anisimova is heading to her first Grand Slam semifinal after plowing through defending champion and No. 3 seed Simona Halep 6-2, 6-4 on Thursday. The match was delayed a day after rain forced a postponement on Wednesday.
Romania’s Halep had broken serve in 16 consecutive service games heading into the match, but that streak ended against Anisimova, the first player born in the 2000s — man or woman — to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal. Anisimova held strong then broke Halep to take a 4-2 lead in the first set, saved break point to go up 5-2 and took the first set.
Anisimova then broke to go up 2-0 in the second set and held for a 3-0 lead. Later in the match she saved three break points to hold and take a 4-1 lead, then held on to win the final two games after Halep came back to tie it 4-4.
Anisimova is now the youngest American woman to reach a Grand Slam semifinal since 1997, when Venus Williams played in the US Open, and the youngest American woman to reach the semifinals at Roland Garros since Jennifer Capriati in 1990.
Download the Team USA app today to keep up with tennis and all your favorite sports, plus access to videos, Olympic and Paralympic team bios, and more.
She will face No. 8 Ashleigh Barty of Australia at 5 a.m. EST on Friday. Barty has already taken down four Americans in the tournament.
The other two Americans, No. 7 Sloane Stephens and No. 14 Madison Keys, both lost their quarterfinal matches.
Stephens, who was last year’s runner-up at the French Open, fell to Britain’s Johanna Konta 6-1, 6-4 on Tuesday. The No. 26 seed improved to 3-0 over Stephens in a match she dominated from the outset, serving up six aces and earning point after point off her serve in the second set. The 2017 US Open champion never really found her footing in the match and was ousted 71 minutes after it began.
Keys’ match was also delayed a day because of rain, and she fell to Barty 6-3, 7-5. Barty will now play in her first Grand Slam semifinal after taking down Keys in just over an hour. Keys fought back to break Barty when she was serving for the match but Barty responded in kind in the next game and closed out the victory.
This was the first time that the U.S. had three women in the French Open quarterfinals since Olympians Venus and Serena Williams played along with Capriati in 2004.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.