Ashleigh Barty felt she played the "perfect match" against Marketa Vondrousova to win her first grand slam singles title at the French Open.

Barty capitalised on a nervy performance from the unseeded Czech teenager to win 6-1 6-3 on Court Philippe-Chatrier on Saturday.

The 23-year-old took just 70 minutes to become the first Australian since the great Margaret Court 46 years ago to be crowned champion at Roland Garros.

Barty, who won a doubles title at the US Open last year, felt her maiden major singles final could not have gone any better.

"It's unbelievable. I'm a little speechless. It was incredible. I played pretty much the perfect match today. It's just been a crazy couple of weeks," said Barty, who will rise to second in the rankings.

"I was nervous. Marketa's had an amazing season, she's just starting her climb. She's going to be in many more grand slam finals. It was really nice to play her today. 

"It's a special place for Australians. Obviously, Sam [Stosur] has been so close before and I'm just so proud, it's really been an incredible few weeks."

Barty's triumph ended an eight-year wait for another major singles success for Australia, stretching back to Stosur's 2011 US Open victory.

On June 6, 2016 Ashleigh Barty reappeared on the WTA Tour rankings at number 623. Three years and two days later she became the French Open champion.

Barty defeated 19-year-old Czech Marketa Vondrousova 6-1 6-3 on Court Philippe-Chatrier to claim her maiden grand slam singles title and become the first Australian to triumph at Roland Garros since Margaret Court in 1973.

The Queenslander will consequently move up to second when the new rankings are released on Monday, but there was a time when her future in tennis looked uncertain.

Having started playing at age five and excelled in the junior ranks – she was crowned girls' singles champion at Wimbledon in 2011 – and as a Tour-level doubles player, Barty struggled with the rigours of the professional circuit.

After suffering defeat in the first round of the 2014 US Open, an 18-year-old Barty announced she would be taking a break from the sport. Instead, she decided to take up cricket and earned a contract with the Brisbane Heat in the inaugural Women's Big Bash League.

"It's been great in cricket to come into a team environment because it's the first time I've ever experienced it and I'm loving every moment," Barty said at the time.

"It was too much too quickly for me as I've been travelling from quite a young age. I wanted to experience life as a normal teenaged girl and have some normal experiences."

But following an almost two-year hiatus, the Australian returned to tennis.

Asked following her first-round win over Jessica Pegula at Roland Garros what the best decision she had made was, Barty simply replied: "Coming back."

She will undoubtedly be even more convinced of that following her triumph over talented left-hander Vondrousova on Saturday.

Barty came out firing and surged into a 4-0 lead but then a forehand found the net to give one break back to Vondrousova, a player who grew up on clay but showed plenty of nerves of her first appearance on Chatrier.

Memories of surrendering a 5-0 advantage to another teenager Amanda Anisimova to lose the first set of her semi-final may have come flooding back, but there was no such capitulation this time from the fearless 23-year-old and a stunning forehand down the line sealed the first set.

Barty broke again at the start of the second and that proved the decisive blow, with an overhead smash by the net getting the job done in just 70 minutes.

Speaking about her journey after defeating Madison Keys in the quarter-finals, Barty said: "I have grown as a person and obviously as a player, as well. But I have had some heart-breaking moments. I've had some amazing moments. But all in all, I have enjoyed every single minute.

"I think that's been the biggest thing, that I haven't had one ounce of regret. I felt like when I came back, it was my decision, we did it my way and it's paying dividends."

By getting her hands on La Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen, Barty ensured her decision to step away from the sport and give herself the time she needed for her own wellbeing received the ultimate vindication.

Ruthless Ashleigh Barty blew a nervy Marketa Vondrousova away in a one-sided French Open final to win her first grand slam singles title.

The magnitude of the occasion appeared to get to unseeded teenager Vondrousova in her first major final and the clinical Barty took advantage, breezing to a 6-1 6-3 victory.

Barty, playing her first grand slam singles final after a doubles triumph at the US Open last year, became the first Australian since Margaret Court 46 years ago to be crowned champion at Roland Garros.

Vondrousova, playing on Court Philippe-Chatrier for the first time, was brushed aside by a steely Barty, who took just 72 minutes to seal a victory that will move her up to a career-high second in the rankings.

The eighth seed dismantled 19-year-old after the start was delayed by an hour and a half due to the time it took Dominic Thiem to beat Novak Djokovic in the second men's semi-final on the main show court.

Barty's triumph came three years after resuming her tennis career following a 21-month hiatus, during which time she showcased her cricket skills for Brisbane Heat Women's Big Bash League.

The women's French Open final will be contested by Marketa Vondrousova and Ashleigh Barty after they won their last-four clashes, but only one of the men's finalists is known.

Rafael Nadal maintained his perfect record in Roland Garros semi-finals to reach the showpiece with a commanding 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory over Roger Federer, but Novak Djokovic's meeting with Dominic Thiem was suspended until Saturday due to rain with the Austrian leading 3-1 in the third set.

Omnisport's man on the ground Tom Webber provides an update from his daily diary in Paris.

 

GUGA SITS DOWN WITH OMNISPORT

It's always good to hear from the experts, and three-time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten provided his thoughts on the men's semi-finalists in Paris.

The Brazilian was thoroughly entertaining to listen to and effusive in his praise of 12-time finalist Nadal.

Kuerten was at the interesting location of Ground Control - a large warehouse with a touchtennis court in the middle of it - for a sponsorship event.

 

LAVER HONOURED BEFORE FEDERER-NADAL

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of his second calendar Grand Slam, Rod Laver was invited onto Court Philippe-Chatrier prior to the semi-final between Nadal and Federer.

A video about his accomplishment was played on the big screen before French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli and French Open tournament director Guy Forget presented him with a replica of La Coupe des Mousquetaires.

Who will get their hands on the real on one Sunday, though?

 

 

VIVE LA FRANCE!

Roland Garros is no longer the only major sporting event in town.

The Women's World Cup is being hosted by France this year and ahead of the opening match between France and South Korea at the nearby Parc des Princes, workers on the metro showed their patriotism with face paint.

With the tricolore adorning their cheeks, they ensured people got on and off carriages safely at busy stations.

 

COURT SIMONNE-MATHIEU A DELIGHT

Inaugurated in March this year, the 5,000-seater Court Simonne-Mathieu is a magnificent addition to Roland Garros.

The semi-sunken stadium is surrounded by four greenhouses, each showcasing rare plants from South America, south east Asia and Australia.

A roof of specially treated glass curves over the seating from those structures to provide shelter without throwing shade on the court.

The walk down is just as good; you can either feel like you're strolling through a park or go via the elegant Orangerie.

But while it is beautiful, as Johanna Konta said following her straight-sets defeat to Vondrousova, it's hardly a stage befitting of a grand slam semi-final.

Marketa Vondrousova revealed she has never set foot on Court Philippe-Chatrier after beating Johanna Konta to reach the French Open final.

The unseeded 19-year-old battled back from behind in both sets on Friday to defeat Konta 7-5 7-6 (7-2) and become the first teenager to make a grand slam final since Caroline Wozniacki at the 2009 US Open.

Vondrousova will face Ashleigh Barty in a battle of two first-time grand slam finalists in Paris on Saturday.

The world number 38 from the Czech Republic plans to take in a hit on the main show court before the biggest match of her life, after her semi-final was staged on Court Simonne-Mathieu.

"I want to warm up there. I [have] never been there. I have never played there. It's going to be something new. But I like those big courts. I'm just really looking forward." said the youngster.

Vondrousova is enjoying an incredible ride that she never expected on the hallowed clay.

"It's amazing. I never imagined this. It's the best week of my life so far. I'm just very happy with everything. It's an amazing thing." she said.

Barty, a 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-3 winner against Amanda Anisimova on Friday, has beaten Vondrousova in both of their previous meetings and the surprise package knows she will be in for a tough challenge.

"I played her twice, I think once on grass and once on hard. We never play on clay, so it's going to be something new." said Vondrousova.

"Of course she's top 10 now and she's playing amazing tennis. She's mixing it also like me, so I think it's going to be an interesting match. It's a final, and I'm just gonna focus and try to relax."

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."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.