Amanda Anisimova returns a shot to Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania during Day 4 of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic at Spartan Tennis Complex on August 2, 2018 in San Jose, California.
Ask any Aucklander what the region is like during the peak of summer and they’ll tell you two things: that it’s quiet because most people leave, and secondly how relaxing it is to kick back and watch the tennis. That is unless of course, you’re 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova from New Jersey gearing up for some gruelling competition.
Now based in Miami, Florida, the rising star joined the ranks among other former world number ones such as Venus Williams, Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka, to name a few, at Auckland’s ASB Classic tournament before continuing on to compete in the Australian Open (January 7 – 27, 2019).
But success like this doesn’t come without a few key ingredients in the mix, which is why Miss FQ decided to quiz the tall blonde ahead of her time on New Zealand soil on her tennis career to date and basically find out what makes her tick.
From female empowerment to life-changing books, there’s plenty of intel below from this girl you need to know:
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Tell us your story so far – how did you get to where you are today in your career?
I picked up on tennis at a super young age. My sister – who is a lot older – played tennis and I would tag along. My parents have been there for me every step of the way. I’ve always had a great support system.
When did you know you wanted to be a tennis player?
I always enjoyed the sport and preferred it over anything else. When I played my first junior slam [US Open] in 2015 I knew I wanted to turn it into a career.
Who do you admire most in sport (or life) and why?
Since I was a little kid, I always looked up to Maria Sharapova. She is the definition of fearless, and impossible to break. I always try to be a better version of myself, so I pick up things I admire in people.
How important is female empowerment to you and why?
It is so great our society is so focused on female empowerment. Everyone should be treated equally; female or male we should be paid the same if we have the same job. I am very glad how far we have come with acknowledging it all and making changes.
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As I get ready for 2019, I want to take a second to look back on this year. It was a rollercoaster. I had the biggest ups of my life, and the biggest downs. I’ve grown so much this year with everything I went through. I want to thank the special people in my life (you know who you are) for all they have done and keep doing for me. I am more motivated than ever to get to where I want to be. 2019 can’t come sooner 🤩
What has been your greatest accomplishment or milestone to date?
Results wise, my run at Indian Wells was a great achievement for me. I very often become motivated when I think about that tournament. If I don’t feel like going to practice, I think about that winning feeling I had there and that will change my whole mood.
What are some challenges you’ve faced or had to overcome?
Even though I accomplished a couple of things, it has been a very tough year. Mentally and physically it was tough to deal with an injury especially after doing so well. I’ve dealt with a lot of changes this year, but that has only made me even stronger and I am thankful for all the challenges I am faced with.
What motivates you?
Honestly, it is not an easy career and staying strong is very important. Pushing through is something I’ve learned to love, it makes me feel powerful. My mother and sister are the strongest people I know, and every day I try to be like them.
Any life-changing books, podcasts, or websites you recommend?
Unstoppable by Maria Sharapova is a very interesting, open, and motivating book!
Pushing through is something I’ve learned to love, it makes me feel powerful.
What are some of your favourite beauty products and how do you beat the heat out there on the court?
It gets very hot at times throughout the year, being moisturised is just as important as being hydrated! I use Mario Badescu moisturiser always – it’s super light, and Burt’s Bees lip balm, I love the tinted ones.
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How do keep yourself in shape mentally and physically to cope with the pressures of the game?
When I do a lot of training on the court and in the gym, I get a huge boost of confidence and feeling strong. This definitely carries over to the mental side. I do my best to stay in good shape all year round.
How do you prioritise your health?
I love training hard and pushing limits, but I’ve started to prioritise not overdoing it as it can often do more damage than good. Being busy almost all the time is tough. Recovery is super important, and just taking days for myself to clear my head is a must every once in a while.
When did you last act fearlessly?
There have been moments where people have tried to put me down with their opinions recently, which happens to everyone! I am confident in myself, no matter what others say and if things aren’t going well, they will get better eventually – especially if you keep believing and working hard.
What do you hope to tick off while you’re in New Zealand?
I really want to visit the Sky Tower, and maybe go bungee jumping for the first time! Nature there looks incredible though, I’m sure I’ll want to visit all the spots!
After the ASB Classic, what’s next for you?
Super excited to play the Australian Open for the first time. Going to Auckland first is a great decision, and I cannot wait for this whole trip!