Amanda Anisimova: Who is the star who stunned Naomi Osaka at the Australian Open?

Amanda Anisimova stunned Australian Open defending champion Naomi Osaka today with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 victory in the third round of the tournament

Amanda Anisimova stunned Australian Open defending champion Naomi Osaka today with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 victory in the third round of the tournament.

Osaka has been in excellent form since making her return to the tennis court at the start of January, but Anisimova’s resilience and grit proved to be too much for her Japanese opponent.

She will now take on world number one Ashleigh Barty in the fourth round of the Grand Slam.

With more eyes set to be on the 20-year-old than ever before, GiveMeSport Women takes a look at Anisimova’s career so far.

Early life

Anisimova was born in Freehold Township in New Jersey in 2001. Her parents had moved from Russia to the United States just a few years earlier.

Inspired by her older sister Maria, who played college tennis for the University of Pennsylvania, Anisimova started playing the sport aged five.

In order to give Amanda and Maria more opportunity to train and find coaches, the Anisimova family moved from New Jersey to Florida.

This dedication paid off – Anisimova was ranked as high as number two in the world as a junior. She won the US Open girls’ singles title in 2017, defeating fellow American Coco Gauff in the final.

Anisimova won the girls' singles title at the 2017 US Open

Success on the senior stage

Despite still being a teenager, Anisimova was soon making a name for herself on the senior stage.

She began 2019 in style, reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open. Just 17-years-old at the time, Anisimova defeated Aryna Sabalenka during her impressive run, before losing to eventual finalist Petra Kvitová.

The young star earned her first WTA title in the same year, triumphing at the Copa Colsanitas in Colombia.

Anisimova closed out the clay-court season by becoming the youngest semifinalist at the French Open since 2006.

During the tournament, she overcame Sabalenka and the defending champion Simona Halep. She did not lose a set until she fell to eventual winner Ashleigh Barty in the semi-finals.

The world was Anisimova’s oyster. But just months later, tragedy hit, and the teenage talent was forced to withdraw from the 2019 US Open.

Amanda Anisimova became the youngest ever French Open semi-finalist in 2019

Tragic death of father

Throughout the entirety of her career, Anisimova had been coached by her father, Konstantin Anisimov.

Her world was turned upside down when Konstantin was found dead on the eve of the US Open in 2019. The 52-year-old had suddenly passed away due to a heart attack.

Anisimova returned to competition soon after, playing in two tournaments but only winning one match in total.

Nonetheless, she rose up to world number 21, and qualified for the WTA Elite Trophy. Anisimova decided to end her year early, however, rejecting the invitation.

For two years after her father’s death, Anisimova struggled to return to the brilliant form that had seen her become one of the most talented young players on the WTA Tour.

Amanda Anisimova struggled for form in 2020 and 2021

Turning it around in 2022

To the delight of tennis fans around the world, Anisimova seems to be at the top of her game once again.

She triumphed at one of the WTA 250 events held during the Melbourne Summer Set at the start of January, defeating Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the final.

Anisimova also overcame Sorana Cîrstea, Irina-Camelia Begu and Daria Kasatkina during the tournament.

It was always expected Anisimova would come up against tougher opposition at the Australian Open, but this has not seemed to have fazed the American.

She got past Olympic champion Belinda Bencic in the second round, before stunning Osaka today. Will she be able to continue her incredible form against Barty?

Amanda Anisimova defeated Naomi Osaka at the US Open
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