American tennis player Amanda Anisimova upset two seeded players in her first three Australian Open women’s singles matches to advance to the fourth round of the Melbourne tournament, where she’ll compete with 15 others for a coveted spot in the quarterfinals.
The 17-year-old beat Romania’s Monica Niculescu in the first round, Lesia Tsurenko, the No. 24 seed from Ukraine, in the second round and No. 11 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus on Friday in the third round, winning 6-3, 6-2. Anisimova has yet to lose a set in the Grand Slam tournament, also notably taking down Tsurenko, 6-0, 6-2.
Here are eight things to know about Anisimova as she continues her run in the Australian Open, facing No. 8 seed Czech player Petra Kvitova — the two-time Wimbledon champion who’s ranked No. 6 in the world.
1. She is the first player born in the 2000s to reach a Grand Slam round of 16
Born in 2001, Anisimova turned 17 on August 31, and even though the final lineup for the round of 16 has not yet been determined, she is the youngest remaining women’s singles player.
And she hadn’t won a Grand Slam match in her career until this week.
2. She’s the youngest American to advance this far in a Grand Slam since…
…Serena Williams, of course, in the 1998 French Open when then-16-year-old Williams lost in the fourth round. Anisimova is also the youngest American player to get to the round of 16 in the Australian Open since Jennifer Capriati in 1993.
If she wins what would obviously be her first major tournament, she could be the first teenager since Maria Sharapova to win a Grand Slam tournament. Sharapova won the 2006 U.S. Open when she was 19.
3. She’s the youngest player in the WTA’s top 100
Although Anisimova is not seeded in the Australian Open, she is ranked No. 87 in the world by the WTA.
4. She’s bilingual
While she was born in New Jersey and lives in Florida, both of her parents were born and raised in Moscow, and she speaks English and Russian, according to her WTA bio.
5. She describes her style of play as…
Aggressive, but she says she likes to remain calm on the court.
6. She likes to practice at night
Which is easy to do when you live in a warm climate all year round.
7. She has staring contests with her dog
8. Surprise: She’s playing to win the Aussie Open
Via the Australian Open:
“I want to win this tournament right now,” said the ambitious teenager with a smirk. “Honestly, I loved playing out there today. I think I have never had that much fun in a match before, and the crowd was just amazing, supporting me all the time.
“I had a lot of confidence going into the tournament, like anything is possible, but I was taking it one match at a time, first-round win would be amazing and I just kept winning. Hopefully I can win my next round, but this is a great accomplishment already.”
She is the first player born in the 2000s to get this far in a Grand Slam tournament.