Day 12: Under the microscope

A breakdown of highly-anticipated quarter-finals to be played Thursday.

 - Reem Abulleil

Simona Halep v Amanda Anisimova

A battle between a defending champion and a first-time quarter-finalist, this match-up will feature two players with contrasting playing styles, and who are at opposite ends of the experience spectrum.

Halep, a former world No.1, seeded No.3 this fortnight and looking to keep her Roland-Garros crown for a second straight year, faces the 17-year-old Anisimova for a spot in the semi-finals.

> ORDER OF PLAY: Thursday 6 May (Day 12)

The 51st-ranked Anisimova blasted her way into the last eight without dropping a set this fortnight in Paris, while contesting just the fourth Grand Slam main draw of her career.

This is the young American’s first meeting with Halep, who dropped a set in each of her opening two matches here before finding her groove, losing a total of four games combined in her third and fourth rounds.

Anisimova has been playing some fearless tennis, but the average ranking of her opponents so far this tournament is 132, with three of the four players she’s beaten ranked outside the top 100. The average ranking of Halep’s opponents is 66.25.

The 27-year-old Romanian is battle-tested and has far more experience on the big stage compared to Anisimova.  

Dominic Thiem v Karen Khachanov

This will be the second meeting between Thiem and Khachanov, who won their first showdown in Paris-Bercy en route to his first Masters 1000 crown end of last year. Khachanov is on a 10-match winning streak in the French capital, combining his run in Bercy with the four victories he’s posted so far this fortnight.

The Russian is guaranteed a spot in the top 10 thanks to his maiden Grand Slam quarter-final appearance here while Thiem is looking to improve on his runner-up showing at Roland-Garros from 12 months ago.

Thiem has made the semis or better on each of his last three visits here, and is an impressive 22-5 win-loss at Roland-Garros (81.4% success rate). Khachanov is 10-2 lifetime on Parisian clay.

Fourth-seeded Thiem had a difficult opening week here, getting stretched to four sets in his first three matches before winning in straights against Gael Monfils in the last 16. The Austrian has spent 9hr 25min on court so far. Khachanov has gone through similar mileage, spending 9hr 12min on court en route to the quarters.

Madison Keys v Ashleigh Barty

Facing off for the third time in their careers, and the second time this year, Keys and Barty is an intriguing clash of styles. American No.14 seed Keys is a power-hitter, whose forehand was once recorded as faster than some of the men’s players. Eighth-seeded Australian Barty is crafty, versatile and defeated Keys earlier this year on hard courts in Fed Cup. Keys took their first meeting two years ago here at Roland-Garros.

Keys will be looking to reach her second-consecutive semi-final in Paris while Barty had never made it past the second round here prior to this fortnight.