News | Tennis
27 Jun 2019 2:52
NZCity News
NZCity CalculatorReturn to NZCity

  • Start Page
  • Personalise
  • Sport
  • Weather
  • Finance
  • Shopping
  • Jobs
  • Horoscopes
  • Lotto Results
  • Photo Gallery
  • Site Gallery
  • TVNow
  • Dating
  • SearchNZ
  • NZSearch
  • Crime.co.nz
  • RugbyLeague
  • Make Home
  • About NZCity
  • Contact NZCity
  • Your Privacy
  • Advertising
  • Login
  • Join for Free

  •   Home > News > Sports > Tennis

    Ashleigh Barty takes on Amanda Anisimova in maiden French Open semi-final

    As controversy over court selection hits Ash Barty's French Open semi-final, former Australian great Todd Woodbridge believes she has all the tools to advance to the final.


    Ash Barty has a shot at history this evening when she faces off against unseeded American Amanda Anisimova for a spot in the French Open final.

    Barty has already progressed further than she ever has at a Grand Slam by reaching tonight's semi-final, but will be desperate to go one step further and reach her maiden Grand Slam singles title.

    The 23-year-old Queenslander has tasted success at a Grand Slam before, winning last year's US Open doubles title with CoCo Vandeweghe, but is in uncharted territory when it comes to singles.

    Barty is one of three of the four semi-finalists who have never been at this stage in a Grand Slam before in their careers. Sydney-born Brit Johanna Konta is the exception.

    However, as world number eight, Barty is the highest-ranked player still left in the women's draw at Roland Garros.

    Can she win?

    The answer is yes, according to Australian great Todd Woodbridge.

    "What stands out for me is there's no fear, this tournament over the last 10 years has thrown up some unusual winners," Woodbridge told the ABC.

    "Whoever wins this one goes on to win the tournament.

    "When she's in good form, good touch, she has more skill than any other player I think currently on the tour."

    Woodbridge believes Barty's skill set is equal to that of the greats of the game.

    "You think of Evonne Goolagong, one of her mentors, who had the classic athleticism and the fluid strokes. That is what we're seeing from Ash.

    "Statistically she's served as the number one player throughout the tournament and at five-foot-five, that's an incredible stat.

    "We're seeing a sliced backhand that rivals Rod Laver or Roger Federer.

    "Great composure, good athleticism, great shot-making and great skills."

    Barty is set to move into the world's top five regardless of what happens in the semi-final, just three years after her return from a two-year cricketing sojourn, a break that Woodbridge credits with Barty's rise.

    "She worked out how much she liked it … [and] how much of an opportunity she had in tennis, and I think that took a lot of stress away from her."

    For her part, Barty said she was playing the best tennis of her career on clay, a surface she did not traditionally favour.

    "I feel like I'm playing some of the best tennis that I have," Barty told the WTA website after her quarter-final victory.

    "Today was certainly some of the best tennis I have played on clay in my career."

    However, Woodbridge said he felt the surface was ideally suited to Barty's game.

    "This court gives her time to showcase her skills and we see her bring opponents forward into the part of the court they don't like.

    "She can out-duel them from the baseline and then she out-finesses them when she brings them forward."

    Who is Amanda Anisimova?

    Standing in Barty's way is Anisimova, the 17-year-old American who sensationally knocked out reigning champion and third seed Simona Halep in the quarter-final, 6-2, 6-4.

    Ranked a career-high number 51 in the world, Anisimova is the youngest America woman to reach a Grand Slam semi-final since Venus Williams did so at Flushing Meadows in 1997.

    Ominously, she is yet to drop a set this tournament, admitting that her own form has surprised her.

    "I have been playing very well. But today I knew I had to do something different because playing against Simona, I mean, I knew it wasn't going to be easy" Anisimova said.

    "She's an amazing athlete and player. I was just trying to show my best tennis and trying to play different from what I normally play because I knew I had to do something a little bit different just to get the win.

    "I just played the best tennis of my life. I don't know how, and I don't know how I did it, but it just happened."

    Anisimova reached the fourth round of the Australian Open this year, but won her first career WTA title on clay in Bogota, beating Barty's Australian compatriot Astra Sharma in the process.

    She has never played Barty in a singles match on tour.

    Court controversy

    This year, the women's semi-finals matches were scheduled to be played on the main show court, the 15,225-capacity Court Philippe Chatrier, on Thursday.

    However, due to rain washing out an entire day's play on Wednesday, that schedule has been thrown into chaos.

    Complicating matters is the fact that the men's semi-finals have to be played on the same day to allow the winner enough time to recover before the traditional Sunday afternoon final slot.

    Additionally, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal will face off in one of the most anticipated semi-finals in French Open history, followed by Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic.

    Much to the disappointment of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), the women's matches have been bumped to the other two show courts in the Roland Garros complex.

    Barty's clash with Anisimova will take place on Court Suzanne Lenglen, which holds 10,068 spectators.

    The other semi-final between Konta and Marketa Vondrousova has been moved to the unique Court Simonne Mathieu, which incorporates greenhouses on all four sides but only seats 5,000 people.

    Former French number one Amelie Mauresmo was furious, tweeting that the decision was "shameful".

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

    "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."

    French Open tournament director Guy Forget said the decision was made in an attempt to be "fair to everyone".

    For their part, the players do not appear too concerned as to where they play.

    "Obviously we would love to play on Chatrier," Barty said.

    "For me … it doesn't really matter which court I play on."

    Animisova said: "I'm happy I get to play tomorrow. They are all beautiful courts."

    Barty's match is due to start tonight at 7:00pm AEST.

    © 2019 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved


     Other Tennis News
     25 Jun: ASB Classic runner-up Bianca Andreescu has withdrawn from Wimbledon as her injury worries continue
     23 Jun: Juan Martin del Potro is unsure if he has played the last match of an injury-hit career after re-fracturing his kneecap during the Queen's Club championships
     22 Jun: Kiwi tennis player Michael Venus will break into the top 10 in the world doubles rankings for the first time next week
     21 Jun: Andy Murray's first tennis outing since January has been a successful one at the Queen's Club Championships in London
     21 Jun: Another ATP doubles semi final for New Zealand's Michael Venus
     19 Jun: Football game breaks out mid-point in tennis match between Benoit Paire and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
     15 Jun: New Zealand doubles player Marcus Daniell and his Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof will chase their second ATP title as a team this weekend in the Netherlands
     Top Stories

    RUGBY RUGBY
    The Silver Ferns anticipate their opponents could have a chip on their shoulders when they play their first world cup warm up game tonight More...


    BUSINESS BUSINESS
    A more affordable New Zealand .... could mean more tourists More...



     Today's News

    Business:
    A more affordable New Zealand .... could mean more tourists 21:57

    Politics:
    Australia and PNG agree to extend contracts for Manus Island asylum seeker services 21:47

    Entertainment:
    Tom Holland rescued a fan from getting crushed by "30 grown men" on Monday (24.06.19) 21:40

    Business:
    Population growth and technology advances will lead changes in Auckland's workforce over the next decade 21:17

    Entertainment:
    Beth Chapman's family have reportedly been told she may not wake from her medically-induced coma 21:10

    Entertainment:
    Celine Dion took three years to find the "passion to keep going" after René Angélil's death 20:40

    Entertainment:
    John Stamos wants to "protect" his son from the "hatred" on social media 20:10

    Entertainment:
    Elisabeth Moss was "surprised" by the success of 'The Handmaid's Tale' 19:40

    International:
    Khaled Sharrouf orphan gives birth to third child days after rescue from Syria 19:37

    Entertainment:
    Pamela Anderson has accused Adil Rami of leading a "double life" 19:10


     News Search






    Power Search


    © 2019 New Zealand City Ltd