It took 2018 champion Halep just 54 minutes to breeze past the 19-year-old in Paris, reenacting some sort of revenge on Anisimova for ruining her title defense in last year’s quarterfinals.
“When she has time and she has the ball in the right position, she is very, very dangerous and she plays great. So today I think I did a great job changing a little bit the tactic.”
After saving five break points in the second game of the encounter match, Halep didn’t face another one all game and hit just seven unforced errors in the dominant victory.
But after the victory, Halep was full of praise for her opponent, saying she has a bright future ahead of her.
“She’s very young, so she has so many years ahead,” she said. “She’s a great player, and she will be in the top very soon.”
With reigning champion Ashleigh Barty and US Open winner Naomi Osaka not traveling to France due to coronavirus fears and injuries respectively, Halep is seen as the favorite to lift her second French Open title.
She will face Poland’s Iga Swiatek in the round of 16. The pair faced off in the same stage last year, with Halep winning comfortably 6-1, 6-0.
The favorite advances
Rafael Nadal’s march towards tying the record for grand slam singles titles with Roger Federer continues. Federer won 20 such titles, and Nadal is on pace to equal him. Nadal’s dominance of clay court tennis also persists.
The 12-time French Open winner beat the Italian Stefano Travaglia 6-1, 6-4, 6-0 in just an hour and 35 minutes to advance to the last 16 of the tournament.
The Spaniard hit 28 winners and just 13 errors as he cruised to victory and into the next round in France.
The No.2 seed will face 20-year-old American Sebastian Korda next after he beat Pedro Martinez on Friday.