Halep backs Anisimova for big future after Roland Garros upset

Simona Halep believes Amanda Anisimova will go to the top of the sport and has a "big chance" to win the French Open after the teenager's stunning quarter-final victory.

The 17-year-old upset defending champion Halep in straight sets on Thursday to move into the last four at Roland Garros.

Anisimova is one of four semi-finalists all without a grand slam title to their name them and Halep says the American is as well placed as any to triumph.

"I think she has a big chance if she's playing like today without emotions and without thinking about the result," said Halep.

"She was pretty calm. She showed that she's able to do good things and big things, so I think she has a chance."

She added: "I think she has a chance and she will be at the top soon, because she has the game. She sees the game and has a good attitude. I think she's a great player."

Johanna Konta, Marketa Vondrousova and Ashleigh Barty are the other players in the last four and, despite being impressed by Anisimova, Halep cannot separate them.

"Nothing surprises me anymore in tennis but, if I have to choose, it's tough," said the former world number one.

"I know Barty has a big chance also because she's very talented and she feels the ball. She played also well in the previous tournaments on clay, so I think she has the game to win the tournament.

"This is the first time Konta has won matches at Roland Garros, so everything can be possible. The other two, they are very young, so the story from 2017 [when 20-year-old Jelena Ostapenko won] can be repeated.

"Maybe one of them has a chance to win the tournament. It would be nice to have both teenagers in the final – that would be huge."

Reflecting on her own exit, Halep said: "I think [Anisimova] played great. I think that I have done everything I could today and at this tournament.

"I'm happy with the result. It's not bad at all to make the quarter-finals at a grand slam. Coming as a defending champion, the pressure was on. But I think I had good matches."

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