Shocking news circled the tennis world today as a young American, Amanda Anisimova, defeated Simona Halep, the defending French Open Champion. To many, it would seem like Anisimova came out of nowhere to do the unthinkable but she has been steadily climbing up the ranks for a while now.
So, who is Amanda Anisimova?
Amanda was born in New Jersey in August of 2001. Her family had emigrated from Russia just three years before. Maria Anisimova, Amanda’s older sister, became passionate about tennis and Amanda would tag along with her to the courts. That is where she grew to love the game, but she says that she loves it because of the one-on-one nature of the sport.
It wasn’t long before she started to find success.
Maria would go on to play college tennis, while Amanda took her tennis a little further. Amanda raced up the ranks in ITF tournaments, having played her first professional level tournament at fourteen years old.
Anisimova would go on to make the junior final of the French Open in 2014 and won the US Open Junior title in 2017.
She hasn’t even been able to play a full professional season yet because of the limits and restrictions placed on players under 18.
Still, she is making waves, and will most likely be a name you’ll be looking at for years to come.
The 17-year-old has grown taller, allowing her more reach and easy power. Her two-handed backhand has become a strong weapon for her.
With her backhand and her improving serve, she has started to see more positive results. She made the Round of 16 at the Australian Open in January, her first time in the second week of a Major. She was stopped by Petra Kvitova – the eventual runner-up.
She won a few rounds at Indian Wells and Miami this year. Her ranking has steadily climbed. She is currently the youngest player ranked in the top 100. She won her first tour-level event at the Copa Colsanitas in April 2019. She’s ranked 51 at the time of publishing, but she’ll be climbing further after the French Open is completed.
At the French Open, not only did she dethrone Halep, but she has become the first player born in the 2000s to advance to a Slam quarterfinal. She’s also the youngest American woman to make the semifinals of the French Open.
More than anything, she seems to bring a youthful energy to the sport. The women’s tour is in need of a leader, and she could be primed to step into that spot.
Only time will tell how good she’ll be.
She next plays Australia’s Ashleigh Barty.
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