PARIS, France - 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova is into her first career Grand Slam quarterfinal at Roland Garros after defeating qualifier Aliona Bolsova in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0.
Looking right at home on Court Simonne Mathieu, Anisimova struck 33 winners and three aces to end the Cinderella run of Bolsova, who was into the round of 16 on her Grand Slam main draw debut.
“I was a bit nervous, but when I was about to step on court I was able to push my nerves aside,” Anisimova admitted in her post-match press conference. “I think that really helped me, because I was just taking my time during the match and kind of, like, I was making effortless shots.
“So I'm really happy about that because I was, like, playing kind of relaxed even though I was nervous before the match. So I'm happy that didn't kick in.”
It’s a historic moment for the next generation of WTA players, too: with the victory Anisimova becomes the first player born in the 2000s, female or male, to make a Grand Slam quarterfinal.
In fact, the American is just one of two teenagers to advance to the quarterfinals this fortnight, joining 19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova who is already through to the final eight.
Anisimova has yet to drop a set at Roland Garros in an impressive run that includes a second-round upset over No.11 seed Aryna Sabalenka, along a comfortable victory over French wildcard Harmony Tan and a tight battle against Irina-Camelia Begu.
Up against former college tennis standout Bolsova, of Spain, Anisimova took control of the match from the start. She had Bolsova’s serve under pressure with her heavy returns, pushing her to deuce in her first service game before breaking at 4-2. That break would prove to be decisive, as Bolsova struggled to find inroads into the Anisimova serve - the American didn’t face a break point all set long - and the teenager took the first set, 6-3.
Now a set away from her maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal, Anisimova showed no sign of nerves as she reeled off the next six games in a row. The American covered the court with ease and struck winners off of both wings - 33 in total across both sets, against Bolsova’s 10.
The Spaniard fought her way to break points on all of Anisimova’s service games - racking up eight in total, along with saving a match point - but Anisimova wouldn’t be denied, and she closed out the match after just 68 minutes.
“When the year started, I was hoping to be Top 100 - next week I'm going to be,” an upbeat Bolsova reflected in her post-match press conference. “Even if I go backwards a little bit, I have showed this few weeks that I have the level. So I just need to believe in myself and keep working very hard.”
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Anisimova’s reward for reaching her first Grand Slam quarterfinal will be a mouth-watering clash with former World No.1 Simona Halep, the defending champion. It’ll be the pair’s first meeting.
“I can't describe how excited I am,” Anisimova grinned. “It's amazing playing her. She won it the previous year. So honestly, I couldn't ask for a better matchup. I'm just extremely happy and excited for the next round.”