Amanda Anisimova, a 17-year-old rising tennis star, has just shot to fame after defeating Simona Halep, who is currently ranked as the number three player (formerly number one) with ease in just two sets, which lasted a little over an hour at the French Open. Although Halep, 27, admitted that playing against much younger and fearless players is always a challenge for her, Anisimova's victory came as a surprise.
The young tennis star, who currently holds 51st place in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) ranking, has become the youngest female US player to reach semi-finals in a Grand Slam championship since Venus Williams took second place in the 1997 US Open.
Russian Descent and Tennis Career Inspiration
Anisimova is the younger daughter of Olga and Konstantin Anisimov, who moved from Russia to the US shortly before she was born. Her older sister, Maria, played tennis at college for the University of Pennsylvania, serving as an inspiration for Amanda, who first took a tennis racket in her hands at the age of two. Seeing her interest, the family decided to move to Florida in a bid to give Amanda access to the best US coaches.
Success in Junior League
Anisimova won her first major junior tournament at the age of 14, when she still ranked below the top 300. She went on to play several junior Grand Slam tournaments in the International Tennis Federation, reaching second place in the ITF junior ranking.
First WTA Success and Entrance to the Top-100 Ranking
Upon leaving the junior league, Anisimova made her first major appearance during the 2018 WTA championship at Indian Wells, where she defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Petra Kvitová, ranked 23 and 9 respectively. She also finished the Japan Women's Open in Hiroshima in 2018 as a runner-up after losing to Hsieh Su-wei. Anisimova ended that year rising to within the top 100 players, taking 95th place.