Defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka’s stay in Melbourne this year was short, thanks to a rising American star.
Amanda Anisimova, a 20-year-old from New Jersey, stunned the four-time Grand Slam winner on Friday, saving two match points en route to a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory. to reach the fourth round.
“I knew I had to be playing well if I was going to give myself a chance,” said Anisimova, who goes on to play the world’s top-ranked player, Australian Ash Barty.
Here’s everything you need to know about the young American who has taken one of the game’s giants out of the year’s first Grand Slam and will be looking for another big upset the next time she steps onto the court.
Who is Amanda Anisimova?
Anisimova was born in Freehold, NJ, to parents who had recently immigrated from Russia, but the family moved to the Miami area when she was 3 so Amanda and her older sister Maria could focus on tennis.
She rose through the junior ranks, peaking as high as No. 2 in the world as a 14-year-old in 2016. Anisimova reached the second round of US Open qualifying that year and made her WTA main draw debut at the Miami Open in the spring 2017.
She beat Coco Gauff in the final to win the US Open women’s singles title that fall and broke into the top 100 of the WTA rankings in 2018, reaching the final of the Japan Women’s Open in Hiroshima about two weeks after turning 17. years.
Anisimova won her first WTA title on clay in Bogotá, Colombia, in April 2019, despite never winning a single tour-level match on the surface prior to that tournament. She stayed hot in the dirt the following month, reaching the French Open semifinals without dropping a set before losing to Barty.
That season on clay propelled her up the rankings, and that fall she would reach a career-best ranking of No. 21 in the world, but the last two years have been a struggle.
He withdrew from the 2019 US Open after his father and coach, Konstantin, died of a heart attack in mid-August. Though she played well to reach the semi-finals in Auckland in January 2020 before falling to Serena Williams, Anisimova hadn’t made it past the quarterfinals at any tournament since then until she won the Melbourne Summer Set warm-up tournament earlier this year. month.
Entering the Australian Open, she was ranked 60th in the world, leaving her unseeded for the tournament.
“Last year was a big fight for me,” Anisimova told reporters on Friday. “Honestly, I didn’t think I would, I mean, not that I didn’t, but I really wanted to have these moments again.
“Sometimes you doubt it, what if I get injured and I will never be able to play in a Grand Slam again? Those thoughts try to sneak into my head sometimes. Yes, last year just wasn’t great, everything I wasn’t happy with my results. I am very happy to have had a great pre-season with my team.”
Amanda Anisimova’s career record
With the win over Osaka, Anisimova has a 112-63 career record in singles on tour and an 8-0 mark in 2022.
Anisimova had lost nine straight against top 20 players before eliminating 14th-ranked Osaka.
Her best Grand Slam result to date came at the 2019 French Open, where she reached the semi-finals.
She reached the fourth round on her Australian Open debut in 2019 and has career best runs through to the third round at the US Open (2020) and the second round at WImbledon (2019).
He is now 17-11 in Grand Slam matches.