Monday, June 3, 2019

Anisimova, 17, reaches first Grand Slam quarterfinal

Amanda Anisimova slugs a forehand en route to her first
professional title at 15 in the 2017 Sacramento Challenger.
Photo by Rob Vomund
   Amanda Anisimova today became the youngest player to reach the French Open quarterfinals since Nicole Vaidisova 13 years ago.
   Both players have a Sacramento connection.
   Anisimova, 17, of Aventura, Fla., dispatched 21-year-old qualifier Aliona Bolsova, a Spanish citizen from Moldova, 6-3, 6-0 in 69 minutes in Paris to set up a first-time meeting with Simona Halep.
   Halep, the third seed and defending champion, crushed 18-year-old Iga Swiatek, last year's Wimbledon girls singles titlist from Poland, 6-1, 6-0 in 45 minutes.
   Anisimova, who was born to Russian parents in Freehold, N.J., won her first professional title at 15 in the 2017 Sacramento Challenger. She has not lost a set en route to her first Grand Slam quarterfinal.
   Anisimova also became the youngest American to reach the last eight at Roland Garros since Jennifer Capriati in 1993.
   Vaidisova, a Czech, played for the now-defunct Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis from age 15 to 17 (2004-06). She climbed to a career-high No. 7 in 2007 but retired at 20 in 2010 because of burnout. Vaidisova returned in 2014 but retired again at 27 in 2016 because of injuries.
   Also in the top half of the French Open draw today, two women coming off big upsets lost.
   Sofia Kenin, a 20-year-old American who ousted 10th seed and three-time French Open champion Serena Williams, fell to eighth-seeded Ashleigh Barty of Australia 6-3, 3-6, 6-0. Kenin won Northern California Challenger singles titles in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
   Katerina Siniakova, who knocked out top-ranked Naomi Osaka, succumbed to 14th-seeded Madison Keys, the champion in the final edition of the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford in 2017, 6-2, 6-4.
   In the quarterfinals in the top half of the French Open men's draw, top-seeded Novak Djokovic will face fifth-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany, and fourth-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria will meet 10th-seeded Karen Khachanov of Russia.
   Djokovic, who won the 2016 French Open title to complete a career Grand Slam, has not lost more than four games in a set in this year's tournament. Thiem reached last year's final, losing to Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.

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