Halep punishes Anisimova to reach last 16 at French Open


Paris Oct. 2: Top seed Simona Halep extracted brutal revenge on American teenager Amanda Anisimova with a 6-0 6-1 victory to move ominously into the fourth round of the French Open.

Anisimova caused a huge upset last year when she comfortably beat Romanian Halep, then the defending champion, in the quarter-finals, but could not reproduce that form.

Halep was in typically miserly mood on Court Philippe Chatrier, giving precious little away and waiting for the 19-year-old Anisimova to make mistakes.

She pocketed the opening set in 23 minutes and although 25th seed Anisimova, who had dropped only four games in her first two matches, briefly threatened a revival at the start of the second set Halep raced away to victory.

Halep will face another rising star in the next round when she plays Poland's Iga Swiatek in a repeat of their fourth-round clash last year in which Halep dropped only one game. 

Elina Svitolina advanced into the fourth round with a solid 6-4 7-5 victory over Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova, staying focused throughout - a tough ask in the near total absence of fans, she said.

The Ukrainian third seed, who reached the last eight twice at Roland Garros, benefited from the 27th seed's early string of unforced errors to take the better start as she set up a meeting with Belgian 16th seed Elise Mertens or France's Caroline Garcia.

In the men's competition, third seed Dominic Thiem was not at his best but still had enough firepower to see off Norway's Casper Ruud with a 6-4 6-3 6-1 win and march into the French Open fourth round on Friday. 

US Open champion Thiem, who has lost the last two finals at Roland Garros to Rafa Nadal, struggled with his serve in the opening set, facing six break points, but improved as the match progressed under the closed roof of Court Philippe Chatrier. 

The 21-year-old Ruud arrived in Paris having reached the semi-finals in Rome and Hamburg in the lead-up to the Grand Slam and came into the third-round clash having won more tour level claycourt matches than anyone else in 2020. 

Bidding to become just the second Norwegian player to reach the fourth round at a Grand Slam - his father Christian reached the last 16 at the 1997 Australian Open -  Ruud gave a good account of himself but it was not enough. 

His highlight was a brilliant 'tweener' lob, hit between his legs, during the second set which landed on the baseline with Thiem scampering back from the net but unable to return. 

"I'm very happy. It was a great match, I didn't make any mistakes," Thiem said in a courtside interview. "Casper is a really great player, very attractive to play. I think there were many good rallies. It was a good match from both of us. 

"The conditions are very nice to play under the roof, no wind, so the court is perfect and everything is prepared for great matches like that." 

The 27-year-old, who won his maiden Grand Slam in New York last month, next meets either former French Open champion Stan Wawrinka or local hope Hugo Gaston.-Agencies 

Related News

Mane 2nd Liverpool player this week to contract virus

Liverpool, England, Oct. 3: Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has become the second player to contract the coronavirus at the English Premier League champions this week. “I've been tested positive but I am feeling good and not showing heavy symptoms,” Mane wrote on Instagram on Friday. “I will begin my quarantine…

French Open: Novak Djokovic advances, Garbine Muguruza crashes out

Paris, Oct. 4: World number one Novak Djokovic has moved clear of Roger Federer with his 71st Roland Garros victory, after he cruised past lucky loser Daniel Elahi Galan of Colombia in his third round contest in the ongoing tournament. On Saturday, Djokovic defeated Galan 6-0, 6-3, 6-2 to improve…

Kvitova reaches 1st French Open quarterfinals since 2012

Paris, Oct. 5: Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova reached the French Open quarterfinals for the first time in eight years by beating Zhang Shuai 6-2 6-4. The seventh-seeded Czech player lost her only semifinal match at Roland Garros in 2012. Zhang had a medical timeout while trailing 5-2 in the…

Afghanistan cricketer Najeeb Tarakai dies following road accident

Kabul, Oct. 6: Afghanistan top-order batsman Najeeb Tarakai has died from injuries following a road accident last week, the country’s cricket board said on Tuesday. The 29-year-old was critically injured in the accident on Friday, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) said without sharing details. “ACB ... mourns the heartbreaking &…

Australia's women hammer NZ to share ODI record win streak with men

Melbourne, Oct. 7: The peerless Australian women's cricket team thrashed New Zealand by 232 runs in Brisbane on Wednesday to match the world record 21-game winning streak in one-day internationals set by Ricky Ponting's men's side in 2003. Stand-in skipper Rachael Haynes (96) and fellow opener Alyssa Healy (87) helped…

Teen Swiatek is lowest-ranked French Open women's finalist

Paris, Oct. 9: Iga Swiatek is just 19. She's ranked 54th. She's never won a tour-level title. She'd never been past the fourth round at a Grand Slam tournament. And she's as dominant as can be so far at the French Open. Poland's Swiatek became the lowest-ranked women's finalist at…


Find Us on Facebook

From Social