On Thursday, a 17-year-old tennis player became the youngest American woman to advance to the French Open semifinals since 1990. She defeated defending champion Simona Halep 6-2, 6-4 to make it into the final four, where she will be the youngest player in 12 years to participate in a Grand Slam semifinal. Here are some
facts about tennis player Amanda Anisimova as she continues to break records at the French Open.
Venus Williams was the youngest American woman to compete in the semifinals of a Grand Slam — she was the runner-up at the 1997 U.S. Open, per CNN. But at Roland Garros, where the French Open is held, Anisimova became the youngest American woman to make it into the semifinals since Jennifer Capriati in 1990. Now, Anisimova will go on to face Australian player Ashleigh Barty in the final four, USA Today reported.
"I just played the best
tennis of my life," Anisimova said after her quarterfinals victory over Halep, per Yahoo! Sports. "I don't know how, and I don't know how I did it, but it just happened."
This isn't the first time Anisimova has proven herself as a tennis star to watch, either. Below are seven things to know about Anisimova as she prepares for her next round of competition.
She Is The Daughter Of Russian Immigrants Adam Pretty/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Anisimova's parents — Konstanin and Olga —
moved to the U.S. from Russia in 1998 to give their older daughter Maria more opportunities in the world of tennis, according to The New York Times. Maria was 10 when they immigrated, and she later went on to play tennis at the University of Pennsylvania. Anisimova, however, began to train and play professionally, learning tennis from both of her parents before going on to work with coaches like Nick Saviano. Her Sister Wasn't The Only Maria To Inspire Her Clive Mason/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images She Hasn't Lost A Single Set This French Open Clive Mason/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Anisimova won two successive sets to defeat Halep, who previously advanced to the finals at Roland Garros on three separate occasions. According to Yahoo! Sports, Anisimova hasn't lost a single set so far during this year's French Open, meaning that she also
won her prior matches in straight sets. She Has Never Been To Russia Clive Mason/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Although Anisimova speaks Russian with her parents, she was born in New Jersey, lives in Florida, and
has never been to Russia, according to an interview she did with The New York Times in 2017. Although she does intend to visit eventually, she has no plans to represent Russia on the court.
“I never considered representing Russia,” Anisimova told
The New York Times. “I do plan on going, though. I really want to visit and see what it’s like and see the culture more.” She Could See Herself Working As A Surgeon Julian Finney/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
expressed an interest in becoming a surgeon if she ever stopped playing tennis.
“If I didn’t play tennis, I’d want to be a surgeon,” she said, per NBC News. “Actually what I want to do is go to online college while I’m in my pro career and then go to med school after I finish.”
She Is The Youngest Player In The WTA's Top 100 Clive Mason/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
The Women's Tennis Association indicates that Anisimova
has a singles ranking of 51, making her the youngest player in the WTA's Top 100. Being world no. 51 is also a career high for Anisimova. She Has Challenged The Gender Wage Gap Hannah Peters/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
In a recent interview with New Zealand site Miss FQ, Anisimova
discussed her passion for female empowerment, and called for an end to the gender pay gap.
"It is so great our society is so focused on female empowerment," she told Miss FQ. "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."
If Anisimova goes on to defeat Barty in the semifinals and ultimately wins the French Open title, she would become the youngest woman to win a Grand Slam title since Sharapova won the U.S. Open in 2006, per CNN.