American teen Amanda Anisimova – the youngest player in the draw at 17 – stuns 11th-seed Aryna Sabalenka to reach Australian Open last-16
- Seventeen-year-old Amanda Anisimova overcame 11th seed Aryna Sabalenka
- The American teen beat Sabalenka 6-3, 6-2 to reach the Australian Open last-16
- Anisimova has never previously gone this far in a Grand Slam tournament
- No teenager has won a Grand Slam since Maria Sharapova’s US Open in 2006
American teenager Amanda Anisimova upstaged 11th seed Aryna Sabalenka 6-3, 6-2, hitting her way into the fourth round of the Australian Open on Friday.
The fearless 17-year-old bullied her much higher ranked opponent who looked shell-shocked by the power being generated at the other end of the court.
It was Anisimova’s third consecutive straight sets win, which included a 6-0 6-2 destruction of 24th seed Lesia Tsurenko, signalling the arrival of a genuine new talent in the women’s game.
American teenager Amanda Anisimova pulled off a shock in the Margaret Court Arena
Anisimova produced an impressive straight-sets win to beat 11th seed Aryna Sabalenka
The Belarus competitor was bitterly disappointed having retained ambitions of pushing on
Anisimova, the youngest competitor in the draw, will play the winner of Petra Kvitova and Belinda Bencic in the fourth round.
In an emotional interview with Eurosport on court, the teenager said: ‘It’s an unreal feeling. I cannot believe this is happening right now.
‘I was expecting a really tough match, she’s a great player, so I really can’t believe I got through this round.
‘I’m feeling great out here and I am really playing some good tennis.’
Anisimova unleashed a dominant serve and absorbed the energy from a buoyant support
Pundits and experts had high hopes for Sabalenka but she had no answers on Friday afternoon
Anisimova’s win means she is now the youngest American to reach the fourth round of a major since Serena Williams in 1998, and the youngest in Melbourne since Jennifer Capriati back in 1993.
But no teenager has gone on to win a Slam since Maria Sharapova in 2006 at the US Open. The Russian was 19 when she lifted the trophy in New York.
Sharapova was in action later in the schedule as she took on defending champion Caroline Wozniacki but whether she progresses or not, the Russian remains a constant source of inspiration for the American teen.
‘Maria is someone I have looked up to so much,’ Anisimova added.
‘I still look up to her this day. She’s an amazing athlete and she’s a great person to. She’s definitely someone I look up to and I would like to be the second teenager to win a Slam!’
Anisimova is aiming to become just the first teenager since 2006 to win a Grand Slam title
In the end it was major frustration for Sabalenka having lost to a player ranked world No 87