French Open 2019: Who is Amanda Anisimova, the 17-year-old quarterfinalist taking on Halep?

The teenage sensation plays defending champion Simona Halep in the biggest match of her career. Anisimova is the youngest player to reach the last eight at Roland Garros since Nicole Vaidisova in 2006.

Amanda Anisimova will face French Open champion Simona Halep in her first grand slam quarter-final   -  Getty Images

Amanda Anisimova defeated qualifier Aliona Bolsova on Monday to become the youngest French Open quarterfinalist 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.

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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.

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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.