Amanda Anisimova erupted onto the scene at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden last year, a ponytailed Jersey girl with Moscow roots and both power and confidence to spare. Just 16, she had the tournament of her young life, stunning two-time Slam champ Petra Kvitova en route to the fourth round of the Premier Mandatory event. A year later, she’s one of five teens in the Top 100, part of a small but potent youth movement that’s making its collective presence known in a hurry. In January, she posted her best-ever performance at a major, reaching the Round of 16 in Melbourne. As fate would have it, she met Kvitova once again, this time coming out on the losing end. But as she prepares for her return to the BNP Paribas Open, she’s as confident as ever.
BNPParibasOpen.com presents Amanda Anisimova in her own words:
What a difference a year can make.
One year ago, I was standing across the net from Petra Kvitova. One of the best players in the world, on the biggest stage I had ever played on. I was so excited. Those are the matches you dream of, you know?
And then I won. That was the moment I realized that my dreams were coming true.
Indian Wells was a huge jumpstart to how I started to compete as a tennis player. It was my first taste of success, and it gave me a huge confidence boost. I learned that I could play at a top level. All my hard work was finally paying off.
For the whole year, I kept looking back at that tournament, looking at it as motivation. It was such an amazing memory. I ended up injuring my foot very soon after that. But that moment and that feeling of realizing that you’re capable of playing at the highest level – that’s what kept driving me even when it was really hard.
Fast forward nine months to Australia, and there she is again. At a Grand Slam. In the second week. My deepest run yet. I went out as if I had never played her before because I knew she was going to come out at a top level, as she always does. I was just preparing for another match, another day. She just ended up playing very well that day and I couldn’t really do anything. But it didn’t affect my confidence. I tell myself to be confident every single day. I’m my own person, my own hype man. There’s no one else around me that has to tell me that.
Being back in Indian Wells right now, I’m proud of how far I’ve come in a year. But I’m not done yet. I’m focused on becoming a better player every single day. I’m going to keep working hard. I’m going to make my dreams come true. Just watch.