Anisimova leads French Open quartet chasing first major title
- With Simona Halep losing to Amanda Anisimova, we take a look at the four women aiming to win a first major at the French Open.
A first-time grand slam champion will be crowned at the French Open after 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova stunningly ended Simona Halep's title defence on Thursday.
Anisimova became the youngest semi-finalist at Roland Garros since Nicole Vaidisova in 2006 by defeating the world number three and will take on eighth seed Ashleigh Barty for a place in the showpiece.
On the other side of the draw, Marketa Vondrousova, 19, will face Johanna Konta, who is the only player left in the draw with experience of the last four at a major.
Unseeded duo Anisimova and Vondrousova will join 26th seed Konta in attempting to join an exclusive club and become only the fourth woman outside the top 10 seeds to lift La Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen
Barty is the only player capable of stopping one of them emulating Margaret Scriven, Francesca Schiavone and Jelena Ostapenko.
We take a look at the four players bidding to appear in their first major final in Paris.
Barty made her grand slam debut as a 15-year-old at the Australian Open but had more luck in doubles during the early stages of her career.
When she was still a teenager she made an incredible decision take an almost two-year break from tennis and switch to cricket, featuring in the Women's Big Bash League for Brisbane Heat and Queensland Fire.
Less than 12 months after returning to the WTA Tour, when she was ranked 623rd, she claimed her first title in Kuala Lumpur and has since added a further three crowns – the most recent one coming at this year's Miami Open.
Barty and partner Casey Dellacqua lost the women's doubles final to Lucie Safarova and Bethanie Mattek-Sands at Roland Garros in 2017 and she now looks best placed to seal singles success.
Konta had only twice gone beyond the first round of a major before making the semi-finals of the 2016 Australian Open, where was eliminated by eventual champion Angelique Kerber.
She gained momentum from that run, though, triumphing in Stanford, Sydney and Miami before enjoying a run to the last four at Wimbledon in 2017 – the first British woman to do so in 39 years.
Konta dipped outside the top 50 in 2018 but has seen a resurgence this year following her link-up with coach Dimitri Zavialoff, reaching clay-court finals in Rabat and Rome.
The future looked bright when Vondrousova got her first taste of glory on the WTA Tour as a 17-year-old qualifier at Biel/Bienne in 2017, having spent most of her time until then on the ITF Circuit.
However, the left-handed Czech, who enjoyed two seasons in the top 100, had to wait until 2019 for another chance at glory when she made finals in Budapest and Istanbul.
Vondrousova avenged her Istanbul Cup defeat to Petra Martic in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros and is yet to drop a set in Paris.
Anisimova only made her first main-draw appearance on the WTA Tour a little over two years ago, going down to Taylor Townsend in three sets in the first round of the Miami Open.
A reciprocal arrangement between the French Tennis Federation and the United States Tennis Association enabled her to make her major debut at Roland Garros in 2017, but she fell to Kurumi Nara in the first round.
The former US Open girls' singles champion defeated Petra Kvitova en route to the fourth round of the Indian Wells Masters the following year but missed the entire clay-court season due to a foot fracture.
Anisimova lifted the Copa Colsanitas for her first WTA Tour crown in April, despite failing to record a match win on clay at that level prior to taking part, and overcoming Halep continued her stunning run in Paris.