Marketa Vondrousova to face Ashleigh Barty in French Open final

Marketa Vondrousova to face Ashleigh Barty in French Open final

Marketa Vondrousova to face Ashleigh Barty in French Open final

Fans can watch the match for free via a trial of fuboTV.

Amanda Anisimova, a 17-year-old rising tennis star, has just shot to fame after defeating Simona Halep, who is now ranked as the number three player (formerly number one) easily in just two sets, which lasted a little over an hour at the French Open. She also had the advantage in each set, leading 5-3 in both.

Barty, who famously took a break from tennis to play professional cricket in 2015, struck 27 winners past an opponent riddled with nerves.

"I played some really good tennis, I played some pretty bad tennis".

Anisimova insisted pre-match she would "not be nervous at all" yet her performance in the early stages belied that claim as she appeared totally overwhelmed, wildly spraying the ball all over with an alarming lack of composure.

The 23-year-old from Queensland fought back from a set and 3-0 down in Friday's semifinal, her all-court game eventually prevailing against the 17-year-old in a 6-7 (4) 6-3 6-3 victory.

Vondrousova had reached the final without dropping a set and had the best record on tour since the Australian Open, but she left it too late to get her game in order on this occasion.

It was the first time Vondrousova - who was looking to become the first teenage victor since Iva Majoli 22 years ago - had dropped a set in the tournament.

Even from close quarters, Pat Cash is staggered by what Ashleigh Barty has achieved over the past year.

Barty returned in early 2016 and has since won four tour titles - including the Miami Open in March - as well as the US Open women's doubles title previous year.

The world number 51 rattled off five consecutive games to draw level and another sloppy forehand from Barty gave Anisimova the chance to serve for the set. "I'm sure Marketa is going to be in many more Grand Slam finals".

Yet Anisimova had other plans and regathered her composure, clinching the first set in a tiebreaker.

Ms Barty is already guaranteed a minimum of $1.9 million AUD in prize money and if she wins, she will take home $3.7 million. The chair umpire checked the white lines, though, and determined the match could continue.

The little pause might have been enough to break Anisimova's concentration.

But it was at this point, with a certain symmetry, that she faltered. After another, she balled up her right hand into a fist and landed a punch on each thigh.

"I needed time to step away, to live a normal life, because this tennis life certainly isn't normal", she said.

Vondrousova did not start her major semifinal debut well, either. "I definitely don't regret anything". And in the second, Konta again blew a 5-3 edge. Yet Barty's inner strength and outer authenticity have been visible in situations far more challenging than any tennis match, whether it's speaking frankly about her own tussle with burnout; standing up publicly for her former doubles partner, Casey Dellacqua, when Dellacqua was the subject of homophobic comments by past champion Margaret Court; or embracing and celebrating her indigenous heritage. It tossed loose dirt from the court into both players' eyes, so much so that Federer joked it felt as if they were playing in a sandbox. "That's what she does well". There was also drizzle and temperatures of about 60 degrees (15 Celsius). Their semifinal, played second Friday, was suspended for the day in the third set because of rain in the evening.

Her parents, Robert and Josie, were stranded in London, having flown in from Australia to meet up with her over the grass court season, not expecting her to win on her least favoured surface. "Yeah, I mean, it's odd".

"The way it looks probably speaks for itself more than anything", said Konta after the match in reference to the court.

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