Fixture: (1) Simona Halep vs (25) Amanda Anisimova
Date: 2 October 2020
Tournament: Roland Garros 2020
Round: Third round (Round of 32)
Venue: Paris, France
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: Approx. €38,000,000
Match timing: Approx. 2 pm CEST, .30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - NBC / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Simona Halep vs Amanda Anisimova preview
In a repeat of last year's quarterfinal, top seed Simona Halep faces 25th seed Amanda Anisimova for a place in the fourth round of the 2020 French Open on Friday.
Halep has been the player to beat this season. After winning at Dubai, Prague and Rome, the Romanian has come to Paris as the big favorite for her second title at Roland Garros. And so far, everything has gone according to the script.
The World No. 2 has occasionally struggled with the conditions, but she has also managed to brush off those minor obstacles with aplomb.
In her second round match she faced a familiar foe, Irina-Camelia Begu, whom Halep had beaten seven times in the past. Begu was able to break her compatriot's serve once in each set, but that only inspired the 2018 French Open winner to raise her game and eventually complete a 6-3, 6-4 win in 1 hour 23 minutes.
Halep looks poised and unflustered at the moment, which is exactly what she needs to be when facing an opponent who beat her here a year ago.
Amanda Anisimova's big win over the-then defending champion Halep paved the way for her first-ever Major semifinal. But while the 19-year-old did make a couple of quarterfinals on the WTA tour after that, she has struggled with injury and poor form lately.
Anisimova's best performance since the resumption of the tour has been a third-round appearance at the US Open. On clay, she had lost two out of the three matches she played before entering Roland Garros.
But it has been heartening to see that those disappointing results have not completely demoralized the World No. 29. Showcasing the kind of brilliance that was a hallmark of her 2019 run, Anisimova dispatched Tamara Korpasch and Bernarda Pera in the first two rounds in Paris to set up the blockbuster meeting with Halep.
Simona Halep vs Amanda Anisimova head-to-head
The Roland Garros quarterfinal match last year happens to be the only meeting between Simona Halep and Amanda Anisimova so far. Courtesy the commanding 6-2, 6-4 win over the Romanian in that match, Anisimova leads their head-to-head record 1-0.
Simona Halep vs Amanda Anisimova prediction
Endowed with a power-packed game, Amanda Anisimova is one of those hard-hitters who have the ability to blow Simona Halep off the court.
Perhaps more impressively though, Anisimova also used plenty of variety in their match last year. With Halep pinned behind the baseline due to her weight of shot, Anisimova frequently brought out slices and drop shots to lure the Romanian to the net. The youngster would then hit easy passing winners into the open court, leaving Halep frustrated.
The conditions this year favor the big hitters even more, and Anisimova would no doubt be fancying her chances of going for a repeat. However, Halep still has the edge by dint of her spectacular form this season.
The Romanian has won 16 matches in a row now, and is every bit the most consistent player of 2020.
During her run to the Rome title, Simona Halep faced Garbine Muguruza - another player who makes life difficult for the Romanian with her big hitting. The close three-set win that she earned over the Spaniard would have boosted her confidence in the lead-up to facing Anisimova.
The Wimbledon champion has to hit with depth and precision, and cannot afford to give her opponent short balls. She has to keep aiming for her down-the-line backhand, a shot that she briefly found success with against Anisimova last year before the rising star wrested control of the match.
If Halep can also mix it up by throwing in a few drop shots in between, it would help a great deal in interrupting Anisimova's rhythm. This is a tough match for the Romanian, but she has been too solid of late to not exact revenge.
Prediction: Simona Halep to win in three sets.Published 01 Oct 2020, 15:29 IST