Amanda Anisimova upsets Simona Halep in the French Open

Amanda Anisimova upsets Simona Halep in the French Open

Teenage sensation Amanda Anisimova has become the first tennis player – man or woman – born in the 2000s to reach the semis of a grand slam after pulling off a shocking 6-2, 6-4 upset of defending champion Simona Halep in the French Open quarter-finals on Thursday. Although her professional ascent may seem sudden, the New Jersey native has been preparing for this moment since picking up the game at age two when she first noticed older sister Maria (inset bottom) playing tennis. Her parents Olga Anisimova and Konstantin Anisimov did not play tennis while growing up in Russia, but they would soon become immersed in the sport after Maria picked up a racquet at age 10 when the family still lived near Moscow. In fact, it was Maria’s desire to develop as a tennis player, as well as Olga’s family, that prompted the Anisomovs to move to New Jersey. Eventually Olga and Konstantin, who both work in finance, became so knowledgeable about tennis that they served as Amanda’s coach at various stages of her development. They taught Amanda to speak Russian, although as recently as 2017 she had still never been to her parents’ home country. As a young child, Anisimova moved with her family to Florida, where many young American tennis players are developed. It was there that she began to pick up momentum as an amateur, earning her first win at 14. Two months later she won her first tournament in Bogota, Colombia, becoming the youngest American to capture a title since Serena Williams won Indian Wells in 1999 at 17. If she can win at Roland Garros, Anisimova will become the first American not named Serena Williams to win the French Open since Jennifer Capriati in 2001. Anisimova is already the youngest semi-finalist in Paris since Nicole Vaidisova in 2006 and she has yet to drop a single set.

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