Amanda Anisimova has nothing to lose. The 17-year-old is into her second consecutive fourth round at a Grand Slam. She has yet to drop a set at Roland Garros, which includes a dominating win over World No. 11 Aryna Sabalenka. Similarly to the Australian Open, the young American will have a chance to punch her ticket to her first quarterfinal at a Major.
But this time, Anisimova is in a position where she can challenge for the Roland Garros title.
“I’d never passed a round at the French Open before, so obviously it’s super special,” Anisimova said. “It feels great.”
Amanda Anisimova Trained Her Whole Life for Grand Slam Opportunity
It wasn’t a long time ago when Anisimova picked up a tennis racket for the first time. Her father, Konstantin, was a tennis coach and a young Amanda was inspired by her sister to get involved in the sport.
“When I was little she was playing tennis. I always saw her playing, and I wanted to do it too. That’s how I got into it and my parents got into it too,” stated Anisimova.
Anisimova was born and raised in New Jersey, but her parents moved the family to Florida so that she could be afforded greater opportunities to get involved in tennis. This decision proved to be extremely effective. Anisimova rose up the Junior rankings, eventually reaching #2. She would win the Junior US Open in 2017 and become the first American female Junior finalist at the French Open in 14 years.
On the pro tour, Anisimova’s young career has continued to flourish. She won a match against a top 150 opponent before 15 years of age. As a 16-year-old, she defeated two-time Grand Slam champion Petra Kvitova at the 2018 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. At the 2019 Australian Open, it was not surprising to witness the youngster defeat Aryna Sabalenka, who was one of the favorites to capture the title. At such a young age, having success against top opponents has given her the confidence and belief that a Grand Slam is soon within her grasp.
“I mean, it’s always tough playing someone after you have played them before,” Anisimova said after beating Sabalenka in Paris. “I just try to regroup and forget about the history and just play for a new match.”
Remaining French Open Draw Favourable for Anisimova
Coming into the French Open, Anisimova was struggling tremendously. She had not followed up on the success in Melbourne and experienced a tough three-set loss to Anett Kontaveit in Miami. While a teenager’s confidence could be quelled after a devastating loss like that, Anisimova gathered herself after a one-on-one conversation with 23-time Grand Slam champion, Serena Williams.
“it was a really long match and I was super upset in the locker room, Serena actually came up to me and we shared a little bit of a chat,” Anisimova said. “That was really nice of her, and I’ll remember it forever.”
Anisimova came into the French Open after winning her first WTA title in Bogota. With her dominant serve and powerful groundstrokes put on full display at Roland Garros, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise if the young American can contend for the title. Her next match is against Aliona Bolsova, who is a qualifier with nowhere near the power of Anisimova. Then, Anisimova would potentially have to draw Simona Halep, last year’s French Open champion, who is still competing without a coach. The semis could be potentially All-American, as Anisimova would take on Madison Keys. Keys has struggled on the clay courts this season and plays right into Anisimova’s aggressive style of play.
The only player on the opposite side of the draw who has won a Grand Slam is fellow American Sloane Stephens. But she has underperformed this season, after being a finalist in Paris a year ago.
Age should not matter when weighing Anisimova’s chances of winning a Grand Slam. If Monica Seles could capture the French Open at 16, then Amanda Anisimova certainly can beat the odds to win in Paris as a teenager. She’s ready to take the tennis world by storm.