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!

There was no play at the French Open on Wednesday due to bad weather.

Reigning champion Simona Halep and world number one Novak Djokovic were due to take to Court Philippe-Chatrier, but woeful conditions in Paris led to tournament organisers announcing the holding over of four quarter-final matches.

The decision was taken after persistent rain had seen Halep's clash with Amanda Anisimova and the meeting of Madison Keys and Ashleigh Barty have their start times pushed backed by two-and-a-half hours.

Djokovic was scheduled to face Alexander Zverev second on Chatrier, while Dominic Thiem and Karen Khachanov made up the other last-eight encounter.

The French Tennis Federation offered full refunds to spectators and granted them free entry to the grounds on Thursday.

Amanda Anisimova defeated qualifier Aliona Bolsova on Monday to become the youngest French Open quarter-finalist in 13 years.

Not since Nicole Vaidisova's run to the semi-finals in 2006 has someone so inexperienced reached the last eight at Roland Garros.

Anisimova is also the youngest to reach the quarter-finals of any major since Belinda Bencic at the 2014 US Open.

Next up for the 17-year-old American is reigning French Open champion Simona Halep on Wednesday, so who is she and how has she got to this stage?

THE EARLY YEARS

Anisimova was born to Russian parents – her father Konstantin was initially her coach, though she now works with Jaime Cortes – in New Jersey on August 31, 2001 and moved to Miami when she was just three.

She won her first international junior title at the prestigious Abierto Juvenil Mexicano – just her second appearance at the Grade A level – in 2015 while unseeded and just 14, beating third seed Katie Swan in the final.

Anisimova enjoyed her first deep run at Roland Garros the following year, reaching the final of the girls' singles but losing to Switzerland's Rebeka Masarova in straight sets.

She fell in qualifying for the 2016 US Open and after losing three finals on the ITF circuit she received a wildcard for the 2017 French Open as part of an arrangement between the French Tennis Federation and United States Tennis Association.

Anisimova won the first set but ended up losing to Kurumi Nara 3-6 7-5 6-4 in the opening round, and upon returning to the junior level she clinched the US Open girls' singles title.

PRO BREAKTHROUGH

Anisimova reached the semi-finals of a 125K series event at Indian Wells in March 2018 only to lose to former world number five and French Open finalist Sara Errani, a performance that was sufficient to earn a wildcard for the Premier Mandatory event at the same location the following week.

The teenager defeated Pauline Parmentier and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova before claiming the biggest victory of her career, shocking world number nine Petra Kvitova 6-2 6-4.

However, a fractured right foot forced her to withdraw ahead of a second-round meeting with Garbine Muguruza at the Miami Open and six weeks in a protective boot interrupted her rapid rise.

Anisimova returned after four months out and played at the US Open, where she fell to Taylor Townsend in the first round.

Unperturbed, she followed it up by reaching her first final on the WTA Tour in Hiroshima last September and although Hsieh Su-wei denied her the trophy she broke the top 100 for the first time.

FIRST TITLE AND ROLAND GARROS RUN

Anisimova upset 11th seed Aryna Sabalenka en route to the Australian Open fourth round this year, where eventual runner-up Kvitova avenged her Indian Wells loss to the American.

Despite failing to replicate her performance from the previous year at Indian Wells, Anisimova claimed her maiden WTA Tour title in Bogota in April. She had not won a single clay-court match at that level prior to the tournament.

After failing to qualify for the Madrid Open, Anisimova was beaten by the in-form Kiki Bertens in the second round at the Internazionali d'Italia and moved up to a career-high 51st in the rankings.

The 17-year-old kicked off her campaign at Roland Garros by beating Harmony Tan, before once more getting the better of Sabalenka in the second round.

She defeated Irina-Camelia Begu and Bolsova without dropping a set to earn a shot at defending champion and world number three Halep – the biggest match of her career.

Serena Williams became the first athlete to make it onto Forbes' annual list of World's Richest Self-Made Women.

The 23-time grand slam champion made the list behind big endorsements, including Nike, JPMorgan Chase and Gatorade, investing in startups – Williams has put money into 34 over the past five years – and her recently launched company, Serena Ventures, which focuses on companies founded by women and minorities.

Forbes released the list on Tuesday which also featured Oprah Winfrey (number 10), Rihanna (37), Vera Wang (45) and Ellen DeGeneres (63), among many others.

Williams, 30, ranked 80th overall with an estimated fortune of $225million.

"It's fun to get in there. I don't gamble. I don't jump off buildings," she told Forbes.

"I'm the most non-taking-a-chance kind of a person, but I felt like seed [investing] was where we wanted to be."

Forbes noted Williams' $29m total income over the past 12 months is the highest of her career.

"I want to be a part of it," Williams said. "I want to be in the infrastructure. I want to be the brand, instead of just being the face."

Williams made it clear, however, she will continue playing tennis at the highest level.

The American suffered a third-round loss at the French Open, leaving her one short of matching Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 grand slams.

"I am in no rush to get out of this sport," Williams said. "I want to create a brand that has longevity, kind of like my career. It's not fancy, it's not here, it's not out, it's not trendy, it's a staple, like my tennis game."

Marketa Vondrousova avenged her Istanbul Cup final defeat to Petra Martic by defeating the Croatian 7-6 (7-1) 7-5 for a place in the last four of the French Open on Tuesday.

Unseeded 19-year-old Vondrousova went into the match with the best record on the WTA Tour since the end of the Australian Open and was in complete control on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.

She booked a maiden grand slam semi-final and will take on 26th seed Johanna Konta, who defeated last year's runner-up Sloane Stephens in straight sets.

Martic, who eliminated second seed Karolina Pliskova in the third round in Paris, broke for the second time to give herself the chance to serve for the opening set but hooked a forehand wide at the end of a 20-shot rally.

Vondrousova saved three set points, the last with an ace down the middle, to force a tie-break in which she raced clear, a beautiful drop shot and a lob proving key.

Momentum was all with the young left-hander and she broke on the way to surging 3-0 ahead in the second set, but, following a tumble when chasing down a Martic drop shot, a long forehand from the Czech got the contest back on serve.

The 31st seed failed to consolidate due to a miss at the end of another long rally, but Vondrousova gave up her first two match points and dropped serve.

Martic did well to save a third but an overhead smash into the net preceded a long lob that sent the world number 38, who is still yet to drop a set in the tournament, through to the last four.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Marketa Vondrousova bt Petra Martic [31] 7-6 (7-1) 7-5

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Vondrousova - 29/23
Martic - 26/44

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Vondrousova - 2/3
Martic - 1/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Vondrousova - 5/8
Martic - 4/12

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Vondrousova - 71
Martic - 64

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Vondrousova - 58/59
Martic - 57/56

TOTAL POINTS
Vondrousova - 88
Martic - 74

Johanna Konta struggled to find the words to sum up her feelings after reaching the French Open semi-finals for the first time, eventually settling on "just happy".

British star Konta matched her best performance at a grand slam when she reached the last four at Roland Garros on Tuesday with a stunning 6-1 6-4 defeat of last year's beaten finalist Sloane Stephens.

The 28-year-old was in top form and wore a wide smile after sealing victory, which was reflected in the first answer of her post-match news conference as she sought to describe her emotions.

"I think happy, more than anything. I feel just really happy," Konta said. "Yeah, happy, I think, is the main word, main feeling.

"I feel really pleased with just how I dealt with the conditions out there and just how I gave myself space to play. I thought I played the game, which I was just really pleased with. Just happy."

Konta had never previously won in the main draw at the French Open, crashing out in the first round in each of the past four years.

The world number 26 is pleased to see her hard work pay off in 2019, although she was not interested in ranking this run against previous semi-finals at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

"I wouldn't say it means more. It's slightly different," she said. "It's a different process getting here than when I got to the semi-final at Wimbledon or even when I got to the semi-final at Australia.

"I think it's a slightly different process. But, more than anything, I am just really pleased with how I am just training and working every day on something that I enjoy and that I believe in.

"I think that's probably the most satisfying feeling out of this whole thing right now."

And opponent Stephens acknowledged there was little she could do against such an impressive Konta display.

"Yeah, obviously she played well. She was serving really well," the American said. "There is not much you can do when someone is playing like that. She definitely played her game today.

"It just wasn't meant to be. I didn't get a chance to really get into the match, but sometimes that happens."

Johanna Konta steamrolled a lacklustre Sloane Stephens to storm into her first French Open semi-final on Tuesday.

Konta had never won a main-draw match at Roland Garros before last week, but she now stands two victories away from a maiden grand slam title after beating last year's runner-up 6-1 6-4.

Stephens lost her two previous meetings with Konta this year - one of which came in Rome last month - and the 26th seed shattered the 2017 US Open champion's hopes of winning a second grand slam.

Konta was relentless on Court Philippe-Chatrier and will face Marketa Vondrousova or Petra Martic after becoming the first British women since Jo Durie in 1983 to reach the last four in Paris.

An inspired Konta produced an exhibition of power and precision, saving the only break point she faced and losing just one point behind her serve in the second set as she blew the startled seventh seed away.

Konta's serve got her out of trouble in the first game after Stephens forced a break point and she went from strength to strength after starting with a battling hold.

The 2017 Wimbledon semi-finalist swarmed all over the American, breaking for a 3-1 lead when Stephens paid the price for an errant backhand error.

Konta consolidated and pounced on timid Stephens serves by fizzing a couple of blistering returns beyond the world number seven before a rasping forehand winner put her 5-1 up.

The hesitant Stephens looked a totally different player to the one that saw off Garbine Muguruza in the fourth round and she was broken in the first game of the second set after Konta wrapped up the first in 32 minutes. 

A sprightly Konta did not give Stephens a look-in as she marched towards the last eight, racing through her service games in a flash en route to a third major semi-final.

Stephens, who lacked power and mobility, looked like she did not know what had hit her as she charged off court after drilling a backhand just wide to crash out in an hour and 11 minutes.

Amanda Anisimova is enjoying an outstanding run at the French Open, yet she would be willing to risk it all for a picture with rapper Drake.

Toronto Raptors super fan Drake, a constant feature of the NBA Finals, has garnered a reputation for 'cursing' sports stars by posing for photographs ahead of big events.

While the Raptors are still holding their own, heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua was the latest athlete to be jinxed, posting a picture with the Canadian before losing to Andy Ruiz Jr.

Yet Anisimova would not turn down the opportunity to get her own Drake picture.

The 17-year-old American moved into the last eight at Roland Garros with a dominant victory over Aliona Bolsova on Monday, after which she was asked about her musical idol.

"I was thinking about it [the 'jinx']," she told a news conference. "I was like, 'Oh my god'.

"Yeah, I would [get a picture]. I wanted to meet him for so long. It's okay - I'm not that superstitious."

Anisimova will play defending champion Simona Halep next, who also eased through on a day that saw three bagels across just four matches in the women's draw.

SWIATEK GIVEN TOUGH EDUCATION

Polish prospect Iga Swiatek, exactly three months older than Anisimova, was the unfortunate player who faced Halep on Monday, claiming one game as she was beaten in just 45 minutes.

Swiatek later confirmed she would now head back to school, but she hoped she would be able to learn from facing one of the world's finest.

"It's a good experience for me - and I'll remember that match," she said. "I'll learn from it, even though it lasted, like, 40 minutes."

 

BARTY READY FOR A CRICKET WORLD CUP PARTY

Ashleigh Barty had too much for Sofia Kenin, winning 6-3 3-6 6-0, and can look forward to a day out of action. Her pastime? Watching more sport. The Cricket World Cup was on her mind more than the State of Origin, though.

"I kind of forgot about Origin, actually," she said. "But I think, more than anything, I have a day off tomorrow to watch a bit of the World Cup, which will be good.

"We'll all have a streaming site up there somewhere to keep an eye on it."

She will then return her focus to Madison Keys, who defeated Katerina Siniakova in straight sets.

BIG CONQUERORS CRASH OUT

Although Kenin and Siniakova landed two of the biggest results of the tournament when they dumped out Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka respectively, neither could reach the last eight.

But Kenin was positive, explaining: "Of course there are obviously a lot of improvements I can do. And I'm young, I'm 20, playing at the big stages. I think it's great, a great opportunity for me, just getting my name out there."

Siniakova added: "It's tough every time. Every match is different, and it showed in this match [against Keys]. I was really playing well these four matches and today I just wasn't solid enough for her."

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