Saturday, June 10, 2023

Click here to sign up for our newsletter!

The premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and announcements in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Amanda Anisimova
May 22, 2018

Freehold Nets a Tennis Superstar 

By Felecia Stratton

Amanda Anisimova

Freehold, New Jersey, long known as Bruce Springsteen’s hometown, has produced another local hero: 17-year-old tennis sensation Amanda Anisimova.

It took Anisimova only about one hour to grab the attention of the tennis world after her stunning upset March 13, 2018, at the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), the global leader in women’s professional sports with more than 2,500 players representing nearly 100 nations competing for $146 million in prize money.

She entered the WTA tournament ranked No. 149 in the world, picked up two victories to reach the third round, then beat Wimbledon champion and No. 9-ranked Petra Kvitova 6-2, 6-4, ending Kvitova’s two-title, 14-match win streak.

Unbelievably, Anisimova had never before won a WTA match.

Amanda Anisimova

“This is the biggest stage I’ve ever played on, against the strongest person I’ve ever played in a tournament. It’s just crazy,” Anisimova told after her win.

Anisimova, who some have called “The Next Sharapova”, was born in Freehold on August 31, 2001, and moved to Miami when she was three. Her family is of Russian descent–her mother Olga and father Konstantin, who is also her coach, were both born and raised in Moscow.

Anisimova was only two years old when she started playing tennis with her mother, who also home-schooled her. She won her first International Tennis Federation (ITF) title at age 14. In August 2016, Anismiova played and won her first career professional-level match in the U.S. Open, qualifying against No. 124 Veronica Cepede Royg.

She was also the runner-up at the 2016 Junior French Open, making her the first American girl to reach the final at the event since 2002.

Anisimova’s star continues to rise. The Philadelphia Freedoms, a tennis team currently competing in World Team Tennis (WTT), recently selected her, along with former Georgia Tech standout Kevin King, for their roster ahead of the 2018 season.

Anisimova will make her WTT debut with the Freedoms this summer.

“I definitely have to sacrifice a lot, because I have to travel so much,” says Anisimova, who speaks both English and Russian. “But I enjoy traveling and playing all these tournaments.  I really don’t care that I don’t go to school or can’t be like a normal person, because this is what I enjoy doing.

Amanda Anisimova

“Other people might have a different perspective on this,” she adds. “But I really like my career and how it’s going.”

And so do the proud residents of Freehold, who hold bragging rights to this young, up-and-coming star athlete.