Ashleigh Barty was proud of the way she came through a "brutal" French Open semi-final despite admitting she was "pretty awful" at times against Amanda Anisimova.

The eighth seed - the highest ranked player in the last four - looked set for a straightforward outing against 17-year-old Anisimova as she raced into a 5-0 lead, only to dramatically collapse as she slipped a set and a break behind.

But Barty rallied impressively to emerge a 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-3 winner and move into the final of a grand slam for the first time in her career.

The Australian acknowledged that it was not her most accomplished performance but was delighted to be able to battle through and secure a huge result.

"The occasion, the conditions, it was pretty brutal out there," she told a news conference.

"I'm just proud of myself, the way I was able to fight and scrap and hang in there and find a way when I kind of threw away that first set.

"At the end of the day, it's an amazing opportunity. Yeah, I think it was just a really challenging day."

Assessing her performance, Barty added: "I played some really good tennis. I played some pretty awful tennis.

"At the end of the day, I think I was able to scrap and fight and find a way to keep competing. That's probably the best part that came out of today."

And Barty is now looking forward to meeting Marketa Vondrousova, another teenager and first-time finalist, in Roland Garros' showpiece match.

"It's amazing," she said. "It's been an incredible journey the last three years. It's been an incredible journey the last two weeks.

"I feel like I have played some really good tennis, some consistent tennis. Although that level wasn't there today for the whole match necessarily, it was there when I needed it.

"Yeah, I'm just so proud of myself the way we were able to go out there and handle it today. All things considered, we're in a pretty amazing place now."

Johanna Konta was critical of the scheduling of the women's French Open semi-finals as a sexism row continued at Roland Garros.

Rain washed out play on Wednesday and meant the women's last-four matches were pushed back in line with the men's, for which separate tickets to Court Philippe-Chatrier had already been sold.

Ashleigh Barty's 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-3 victory over Amanda Anisimova consequently took place on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, while Konta's 7-5 7-6 (7-2) defeat to Marketa Vondrousova was on Court Simonne-Mathieu.

WTA CEO and chairman Steve Simon branded it "unfair and inappropriate", while two-time major winner Amelie Mauresmo called it "a disgrace".

Asked if she agreed with Mauresmo's assessment, Konta said: "I know you guys want headlines on this and you want me to say something really juicy. I'm not oblivious to that.

"But I think more than anything, what is tiring and what is really unfortunate in this more than anything is that … female athletes have to sit in different positions and have to justify their scheduling or their involvement in an event or their salary or their opportunities.

"And I think to give time to that is even more of a sad situation than what we found ourselves in in terms of the scheduling. I don't want to sit here and justify where I'm scheduled. That's not my job.

"My job is to come here and entertain people, and I feel I did that. And I feel I gave people who paid tickets every opportunity to enjoy their French Open experience. And if the organisers do not feel that that is something that can be promoted and celebrated, then I think it's the organisers you need to have a conversation with, not me, because I did my job and I did my job well."

She added: "I think the way it looks probably speaks for itself more than anything.

"The court that we played on is a beautiful court, no doubt about it. I played my third round on there. So it's nice to be on a nice court. However, I think the way it looks probably speaks for itself."

On whether it felt like she was playing a grand slam semi-final, she said: "In terms of the surrounding and the occasion, probably not. But then obviously I'm aware in what match I'm playing and what round. But in terms of the match itself, probably."

Amanda Anisimova felt she was outplayed by Ashleigh Barty, who was "just too good", despite the topsy-turvy nature of their French Open semi-final.

The 17-year-old acknowledged she was "frozen" in the early stages of the match as she trailed 5-0, before rallying spectacularly to take the opening set and move a break in front in the second.

The tide turned again, though, and Barty levelled the contest before taking the decider to reach her first grand slam final, denying Anisimova the same breakthrough.

The American, who stunned defending champion Simona Halep in the last eight, insisted she had not got ahead of herself midway through the second and instead suggested Barty was a level above.

"I wasn't really excited because I still had to work to win the set," Anisimova told a news conference.

"I was just trying to do the same thing I was doing, but she just stayed consistent and it was just really tough. I kind of struggled with her game, so she just outplayed me basically.

"I have played players similar to her that like to slice a lot. I have played a lot of players that actually have that game plan against me, but today she was just too good.

"I'll just keep working and practicing, and hopefully I can get to have a rematch soon."

Summing up her experience at Roland Garros, where she had not dropped a set until the second in the semi-final, Anisimova said: "It's amazing even though I'm obviously upset I lost.

"I'm always upset if I lose, because it's disappointing. But at the end of the day, I did make it to the semi-finals for the first time. So it's a positive week for me.

"I'm just going to try to be happy about the couple of weeks, and hopefully today I'll be a little bit happier than I am right now."

Ashleigh Barty advanced to her maiden grand slam final after edging out Amanda Anisimova in a remarkable French Open tussle at Roland Garros.

The eighth seed eventually prevailed 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-3 but that only tells half the story.

Barty led 5-0 in the first set and lost it, while a similar fate befell Anisimova in the second despite the American establishing a 3-0 lead.

The decider was a little more conventional as Barty held herself the better to set up a title decider against Marketa Vondrousova on Saturday.

Defeat will be tough to take for Anisimova, the 17-year-old looking to become the youngest finalist at a grand slam event since her childhood idol Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004 and the youngest in Paris since Martina Hingis in 1997.

She will undoubtedly have many more opportunities over the course of her career but this will feel like a golden chance wasted as she reflects on a match that perfectly encapsulated tennis' endearing capacity for shifts in momentum.

Much of the build-up centred around the tournament organisers' decision to stage the women's semi-finals away from the main arena, Court-Philippe Chatrier, but a sparsely-populated Court Suzanne-Lenglen seemingly did little to quell the obvious tension felt by both these first-time major semi-finalists.

Anisimova insisted pre-match she would "not be nervous at all" yet her performance in the early stages belied that claim as she appeared totally overwhelmed, wildly spraying the ball all over with an alarming lack of composure.

She won just one point in the opening four games as Barty broke twice - the second courtesy of a delicious drop shot - to establish a 4-0 lead inside 15 minutes.

The advantage swiftly became 5-0 before Anisimova belatedly found her range, her much-vaunted double-handed backhand finally beginning to fire.

And it prompted a remarkable turning of the tide. As Anisimova improved, Barty crumbled.

The world number 51 rattled off five consecutive games to draw level and another sloppy forehand from Barty gave Anisimova the chance to serve for the set. 

The nerves returned, however, and Barty hit back at the fourth attempt to take it to a tie-break which turned into a microcosm of the set as a whole.

Barty led 4-2 but then faltered as Anisimova came roaring back to win it with a blistering forehand down the line.

Barty looked temporarily beaten as Anisimova's charge continued, extending her winning streak on points to 17 to establish a 3-0 lead in the second set.

Perhaps sensing she was on the verge of a life-changing breakthrough, Anisimova went AWOL once again.

Credit Barty for digging deep but it was all too easy for the Australian as she promptly won six games on the trot to level the match.

Despite the first two sets dispelling most theories, the start of the decider felt like it could be pivotal, Barty taking an opening game on serve that lasted seven minutes.

And, although it was not immediately evident, it eventually proved to be the case.

Barty broke for 4-2 and, despite wasting three match points at 5-2, finally got the job done at the sixth attempt to go through in one hour and 53 minutes.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Ashleigh Barty [8] bt Amanda Anisimova 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Barty – 40/33
Anisimova – 21/41

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Barty – 5/3
Anisimova – 0/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Barty – 8/20
Anisimova – 5/8

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Barty - 52
Anisimova - 65

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Barty – 69/45
Anisimova – 56/36

TOTAL POINTS
Barty - 103
Anisimova - 87

Marketa Vondrousova continued her incredible French Open run by becoming the first teenager to reach the Roland Garros final in 12 years, piling more semi-final misery on Johanna Konta.

The 19-year-old made it to the last four without dropping a set and sensationally extended that record despite twice trailing by a break in a 7-5 7-6 (7-2) win.

Vondrousova becomes the first teenaged finalist at the French Open since Ana Ivanovic in 2007 and the first in any grand slam since Caroline Wozniacki at the 2009 US Open.

She will face Ashleigh Barty in the showpiece clash in Paris after Amanda Anisimova, even younger at 17, fell short on Friday.

For Konta, who had not won a main-draw match at Roland Garros heading into this tournament, this was another semi-final disappointment to rank alongside defeats at the Australian Open in 2016 and Wimbledon in 2017.

Despite her run of straight-sets victories, Vondrousova had been broken at least once in each prior contest and made a dismal start as Konta sent a stunning backhand down the line to immediately break to love.

Konta won the first 10 points, but Vondrousova recovered to hold in her second service game and then levelled the set at the fifth attempt thanks to a double fault.

Momentum continued to swing back and forth, with Konta edging back in front before squandering a pair of set points on Vondrousova's serve – costly errors as the Czech star tied up the opener again in the next game.

And Vondrousova's lob over an off-balance Konta on break point secured the set.

Konta quickly led in the second but, after a series of more straightforward games, she again lacked composure when serving for the set, her double fault bringing Vondrousova back level.

The 28-year-old battled into a tie-break but was always on the back foot and a stunning, stretching forehand from Vondrousova put her two mini-breaks up at 5-2, allowing her to serve her way into the final.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Marketa Vondrousova bt Johanna Konta [26] 7-5 7-6 (7-2)

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Vondrousova - 21/22
Konta - 33/41

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Vondrousova - 1/5
Konta - 3/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Vondrousova - 4/9
Konta - 3/7

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Vondrousova - 68
Konta - 70

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Vondrousova - 65/60
Konta - 54/60

TOTAL POINTS
Vondrousova - 84
Konta - 74

Novak Djokovic joined Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem in the French Open semi-finals on Thursday, while in the women's draw Amanda Anisimova caused an upset by eliminating defending champion Simona Halep.

With the matches that were held over from Wednesday due to bad weather finally completed, Omnisport's man on the ground Tom Webber provides an update from his daily diary.

 

TOP SEED WOULDN'T PICK TOP GUN

Not at a single point has Djokovic's hopes of holding all four majors for the second time in his career looked like Mission Impossible.

The Serbian has cruised through his opening five matches in Paris, defeating Hubert Hurkacz, Henri Laaksonen, Salvatore Caruso, Jan-Lennard Struff and Alexander Zverev without dropping a set.

However, if a film were to be made about him, Tom Cruise would not be his pick for the leading role.

"I probably wouldn't choose Tom if I had a choice, even though of course I respect him," said Djokovic, who denied any aspirations to feature on the silver screen himself.

When the next reporter suggested the questions get back to tennis, the Serbian let out a sigh before assenting.

 

DOG DAYS

A metro ride to Roland Garros can be a pretty dull affair.

However, if a dog climbs aboard your carriage, as occurred for Omnisport's reporter, the journey immediately becomes a lot better.

Rain the previous day led to a 24-hour paws in the schedule and tournament director Guy Forget being hounded by the media about contingency plans for the semi-finals.

However, seeing a pooch on the underground meant Thursday got off to a bright start, despite opting against leaning in for a groundstroke.

 

MCENROE SHOUTS AT A BABY

It's definitely not as bad as it sounds, though.

The legends matches have provided good entertainment for the public while they wait for the show courts to open.

John McEnroe was – as usual – playing up to the crowd during an enjoyable doubles match against Younes El Aynaoui and Cedric Pioline.

The American, who reached the final at Roland Garros in 1984, threw his racket in the air after lost points and playfully teased the crowd.

Reprimanding a screaming baby with a shout of "Silence, s'il vous plait!" drew laughs, as did belting out his famous phrase: "You cannot be serious!"

 

E-ASY MONEY

The first eTennis tournament will take place at Roland Garros this year and the schedule was announced on Thursday.

Unsurprisingly, the game played will be the Roland Garros edition of Tennis World Tour.

Among the 12 competitors aiming to reach Sunday's final on the Bullring are Rogederer - see what he's done there?

The winner of the tournament, which will be commentated on by Philippe Chatrier's grandson Norman, will take home a cool €5,000.

WTA CEO and chairman Steve Simon branded the French Open organisers' decision not to stage the women's semi-finals on the main show court as "unfair and inappropriate".

With rain washing out play on Wednesday, the decision was taken to delay the last-four matches in the women's draw until Friday, with separate tickets having already been sold for the men's matches.

It was announced on Thursday that eighth seed Ashleigh Barty and 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova, who eliminated defending champion Simona Halep in the quarter-finals, will play on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, with Johanna Konta meeting Marketa Vondrousova on the newly built Court Simonne-Mathieu.

Both men's semi-finals will take place on Court Philippe-Chatrier, with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal kicking off the action an hour and 50 minutes after their female counterparts are scheduled to begin.

"There's no doubt that scheduling has been challenged by weather conditions and the WTA understands the scheduling issues presented at Roland Garros," read a statement from Simon.

"We are, however, extremely disappointed by the scheduling of both women's semi-finals on outside courts. This decision is unfair and inappropriate.

"The four women who have played so well and made it this far have earned their right to play on the biggest stage.

"We believe other solutions were possible which would have been to the benefit of fans as well as all players."

Tournament director Guy Forget on Wednesday admitted scheduling concerns were heightened by the prospect of more rain in Paris on Friday.

Ashleigh Barty revealed that she has approached the 2019 clay-court season differently and believes that is the reason for her improved French Open results.

The eighth seed booked her place in the last four at Roland Garros on Thursday with a comfortable victory over Madison Keys.

For Barty, a first major semi-final feels like reward for the way she has prepared for a stretch in which she is enjoying her tennis.

"Oh, it's incredible. I felt for myself and my team, we have approached this clay-court season a little bit differently to others," she told a news conference.

"I've really enjoyed it and embraced it. And I've been playing some pretty good tennis.

"Ultimately, I feel like when I'm able to play my game style and my kind of tennis, I can match it with everyone regardless of what surface it's on.

"I'm super excited. And the fact that we're still here in the last few days is incredible."

Barty is one of four semi-finalists chasing a first grand slam title after big names like Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep bowed out.

But she insists that does not make her task any easier, explaining: "It's opened up in a seeding regard, but I think the other three girls in the semi-finals are playing incredible tennis.

"Even though it's a first time for a few of us, and Jo [Konta] has obviously had some exposure to semi-finals before, you can't take absolutely anything away from them. They have played amazing tennis.

"Even though they don't have a seeding next to their name, that doesn't necessarily mean they're any less of a player. I think they have played an incredible tournament obviously to be in this position, and they're enjoying it.

"It's an opportunity for all four of us to go out there and try to continue that."

The Australian will play Amanda Anisimova and said of the 17-year-old's progress: "It's amazing. It's amazing for WTA tennis. I think the way that Amanda must have played - I didn't see it today - must have been incredible."

After a disappointing defeat, Keys is already looking forward to Wimbledon.

"I think I'm going to go home, have a good little training block, get my legs really ready to stay low, as much as I love that," she said.

"Honestly, I think time on grass is so valuable just because it's such a different surface. Leading up to every other slam, we have weeks on that surface.

"So, it's always tough to go from clay and then you're like, 'okay, we're on grass now, then there is Wimbledon in two weeks - have fun'."

Amanda Anismiova was unwilling to rest on her laurels after shocking French Open champion Simona Halep in the quarter-finals as she quickly turned her attentions to last-four opponent Ashleigh Barty.

Anisimova, 17, became the youngest semi-finalist at Roland Garros since Nicole Vaidisova in 2006 with a stunning 6-2 6-4 victory over world number three Halep – the biggest win of her fledgling career.

However, the American, making just her fourth appearance in the main draw of a grand slam, quickly turned her focus to a semi-final showdown with eighth seed Barty, who defeated Madison Keys 6-3 7-5.

The women's semi-finals were moved to Friday, in line with the men's, after rain on Wednesday washed out a day of play.

"I always think the day before about the next round. I have never played [Barty] before, but I'm really looking forward to it. It should be a good match," said Anisimova.

"I have watched her play a couple of times and I think she's a very good player. I'm really happy that I get to play tomorrow. I don't have to wait a whole day, because I get really eager to want to go on the court, so I'm happy I get to play tomorrow."

After defeating 18-year-old Iga Swiatek in just 45 minutes in round four, Halep stated the young players on the WTA Tour have a degree of courage that she and her contemporaries did not possess at such an age.

World number 51 Anisimova gave an example of that confidence by revealing she thought seriously about her prospects of triumphing at the 2019 Australian Open, having upset Lesia Tsurenko and Aryna Sabalenka before falling to Petra Kvitova in round four.

She said: "I obviously respect every opponent I play, it doesn't matter what ranking they are. I was going out there and I'm playing Halep. She won last year [and] obviously I respect her a lot, but I know I'm capable of doing a lot, and I know I can play very well. I never doubt my abilities.

"Actually, when I was playing in Australia, I was thinking about winning it. It seems like such a hard thing to do. I didn't really think that I could. It just seemed very difficult. And even getting past Petra, she just killed me in that match.

"In this tournament, I feel a lot more confident and feeling my game a bit better than I did there."

Due to the downpour on Wednesday, neither of the women's semi-finals will take place on Court Philippe-Chatrier, with Anisimova's match against Barty on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, while Johanna Konta and Marketa Vondrousova do battle on Court Simonne-Mathieu.

"It doesn't really matter. They're all beautiful courts. Whatever court they put me on to play in, I'm going to be happy. They are all amazing courts," added Anisimova.

Simona Halep believes Amanda Anisimova will go to the top of the sport and has a "big chance" to win the French Open after the teenager's stunning quarter-final victory.

The 17-year-old upset defending champion Halep in straight sets on Thursday to move into the last four at Roland Garros.

Anisimova is one of four semi-finalists all without a grand slam title to their name them and Halep says the American is as well placed as any to triumph.

"I think she has a big chance if she's playing like today without emotions and without thinking about the result," said Halep.

"She was pretty calm. She showed that she's able to do good things and big things, so I think she has a chance."

She added: "I think she has a chance and she will be at the top soon, because she has the game. She sees the game and has a good attitude. I think she's a great player."

Johanna Konta, Marketa Vondrousova and Ashleigh Barty are the other players in the last four and, despite being impressed by Anisimova, Halep cannot separate them.

"Nothing surprises me anymore in tennis but, if I have to choose, it's tough," said the former world number one.

"I know Barty has a big chance also because she's very talented and she feels the ball. She played also well in the previous tournaments on clay, so I think she has the game to win the tournament.

"This is the first time Konta has won matches at Roland Garros, so everything can be possible. The other two, they are very young, so the story from 2017 [when 20-year-old Jelena Ostapenko won] can be repeated.

"Maybe one of them has a chance to win the tournament. It would be nice to have both teenagers in the final – that would be huge."

Reflecting on her own exit, Halep said: "I think [Anisimova] played great. I think that I have done everything I could today and at this tournament.

"I'm happy with the result. It's not bad at all to make the quarter-finals at a grand slam. Coming as a defending champion, the pressure was on. But I think I had good matches."

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.

 

Ashleigh Barty

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.

 

Johanna Konta

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.

 

Marketa Vondrousova

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.

 

Amanda Anisimova

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.

Teenager Amanda Anisimova breathtakingly took down defending French Open champion Simona Halep 6-2 6-4 to become the youngest grand slam semi-finalist in 13 years.

The unseeded 17-year-old took the match to Halep, mixing clean groundstrokes with phenomenal drop shots to set up a last-four meeting with Ashleigh Barty.

In the process, she became the youngest player to reach the last four of a major since Nicole Vaidisova's run to the semis at Roland Garros in 2006.

Defeating world number three Halep represented the biggest triumph of the American's fledgling career, with this only her fourth main-draw appearance at a slam. Anisimova only claimed her first WTA Tour title in Bogota in April despite heading into that tournament without a prior match win on clay at that level.

For Halep, it ended her hopes of joining an elite group of five women – Margaret Court, Chris Evert, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles and Justine Henin – to retain La Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen.

Anisimova started the match by halting Halep's run of 16 successive breaks of serve – a streak that stretched back to her round-two win over Magda Linette – and a subsequent hold to love suggested the youngster would not cower on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Anisimova grew in confidence and punished the third seed by angling a forehand slice into the open court for her 11th winner, which sealed the first set in fine fashion.

The teenager continued to excel off the ground and produced a searing forehand down the line for a break point in game two of the second set that was duly converted.

Anisimova showed her resilience to pass through a service game with a trio of winners as she shut the door on Halep's three chances to finally win behind her return, but she was unable to stop the Romanian hitting back at the next opportunity.

Errors started to creep in for Anisimova and after a chance to put herself in position to serve out the match arrived, she buried a forehand into the net as Halep drew level at 4-4.

However, the 2018 champion missed a chance to break and, in the next game, double faulted to give Anisimova match point, the American wrapping things up with a sweet backhand to retain her record of not dropping a set in Paris this year.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Amanda Anisimova bt Simona Halep [3] 6-2 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Halep - 16/17
Anisimova - 25/24

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Halep - 1/2
Anisimova - 1/0

BREAK POINTS WON
Halep - 1/7
Anisimova - 4/7

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Halep - 72
Anisimova - 73

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Halep - 52/53
Anisimova - 64/64

TOTAL POINTS
Halep - 52
Anisimova - 68

Ashleigh Barty booked her place in a grand slam semi-final for the first time with a 6-3 7-5 last-eight win over Madison Keys at the French Open.

Eighth seed Barty enjoyed her best major performance in a run to the quarter-finals at the Australian Open in January and she stylishly improved on that display on Thursday.

Keys reached the last four at Roland Garros last year but the American struggled to get to grips with Barty's serve.

After coming under increasing pressure on her own serve, Keys bowed to the brilliant Barty, who can now look forward to a showdown with Amanda Anisimova following the teenager's sensational triumph over defending champion Simona Halep.

Keys won the first two points of the match on Barty's serve but neither player threatened a break until the eighth game when a stunning backhand from the Australian hared past her opponent at the net to seize the lead.

Barty maintained a resolute defence and clinched the opener just inside half an hour serving to Keys' forehand.

The start to the second set was steady again, before Barty let Keys off the hook with a tame return into the net at break point.

It was only a temporary reprieve, though, as the world number 14 sent a backhand long to gift Barty the advantage at 4-3, meaning a confident hold took her to the brink of a landmark victory.

However, serving for the match, Barty thrashed into the net to allow Keys to capitalise on her very first break point and level the set.

Keys failed to build on that foothold, though, and instead double-faulted to immediately hand Barty the advantage again, with the 23-year-old this time capitalising.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Ashleigh Barty [8] bt Madison Keys [14] 6-3 7-5

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Barty - 16/17
Keys - 19/26

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Barty - 4/1
Keys - 8/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Barty - 3/5
Keys - 1/1

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Barty - 60
Keys - 58

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Barty - 80/62
Keys - 62/56

TOTAL POINTS
Barty - 68
Keys - 52

French Open tournament director Guy Forget did not rule out playing semi-finals across three courts or moving a final to Monday if further rain delays strike on Friday.

Play was washed out on Wednesday before any of the scheduled quarter-finals – which would have seen Simona Halep and Novak Djokovic in action – were able to get under way at Roland Garros.

The women's semi-finals were consequently pushed back in line with the men's on Friday, when more inclement weather is forecast, though Forget suggested the highly anticipated match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will be the first match to take place.

In view of a potential scheduling pile-up, Forget acknowledged the solutions available are not "ideal" and pointed to the fact Nadal and Djokovic finished their 2012 final on a Monday following rain interruptions.

"The schedule of bad weather on Friday we know is a possibility. I just left the room to see the different options that we have. None of them are ideal, because we have the ladies' and the men's to be played," said Forget.

"We could technically play on three courts, but at one point it's a call we're going to have to make. We have the match with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, which is the one that a lot of people are waiting for.

"But then, after that, we have two big finals, the women's and the men's, and we want to make the best we can so they can be played on time.

"The weather for [Thursday] seems to be Ok. So we will be able to move on with that schedule.

"If we achieve that, it's a good start. Then we will worry about Friday after that, but Friday is kind of complicated already. If you have to play the men's [semi-finals] at the same time, that's when we thought about playing on three courts."

On the possibility of having the men's semi-finals on Court Philippe-Chatrier and the women's on Court Suzanne-Lenglen on Friday, Forget said: "We are thinking about this option. And also why not have them play on a third court? We know that [Court] Simonne-Mathieu is a court that is very successful if things were to become worse.

"The ideal thing would be for both players to have the same recovery time. And the best way to get this result is for them to play their matches at the same time.

"If there is a rain interruption, then they are interrupted at the same time. In this way, there will be no player finishing the match 24 hours before the other.

"We saw that historically we can play men's finals on Monday. We remember the final between Djokovic and Nadal. We can think of the same thing for the women in terms of a disaster scenario."

Play at the French Open was cancelled due to bad weather on Wednesday, but Omnisport's reporter was still hard at work during the disappointing delays.

There was no Novak Djokovic or Simona Halep in sight, but Tom Webber still managed to provide an update from his daily diary in Paris.

 

SINGING IN THE RAIN

It rained for a second straight day in Paris, and it was a bit worse than the sudden downpour that forced Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal off court for an hour on Tuesday.

There was only one kind of soaking for the masses that arrived at Roland Garros, and it didn't involve taking in the atmosphere.

Hordes of drenched ticket-holders crowded under any shelter possible as they waited for the torrents to abate.

At least they had some form of entertainment provided by groups of musicians dotted around the grounds.

 

CLIMATE CONCERNS

Wednesday was Sustainable Development Day at Roland Garros, and a video including messages from Djokovic, Dominic Thiem and Kristina Mladenovic urged watchers to help "win the race against climate change".

Of course, it's a salient topic, but the tournament organisers may well have been wishing for a change in the climate to avoid cancelling all the matches!

 

BARMY BAHRAMI

There was at least some tennis for those who arrived early enough, and Mansour Bahrami delighted one fan in particular during his over-45 legends match on the beautiful Court Simonne-Mathieu.

He and partner Fabrice Santoro took the first set against Sergi Bruguera and Goran Ivanisevic and Bahrami - who spent a lot of time running around with five tennis balls in his left hand - celebrated getting off the mark in the second by posing for a selfie for a spectator in the front row.

Unsurprisingly the match wasn't being taken too seriously, with Bruguera using his foot and Ivanisevic adding a header to a rally at the net!

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