Melbourne - Teenager Amanda Anisimova played the match of her life to continue a
dream run to the last 16 at the Australian Open on Friday, inspired by idol
The American upset 11th seed Aryna Sabalenka 6-3, 6-2 in 65 minutes
to set-up a fourth-round meeting with either eighth seeded Czech Petra
Kvitova or Switzerland's Belinda Bencic, and she has her sights set
"It was probably one of the best matches of my life. I played really
well today. She's a really tough opponent, so I was just really
preparing myself for a really tough match," she said.
"I was putting it all out there. I was staying relaxed."
At 17 years and five months, Florida-based Anisimova, whose parents are Russian, is the youngest player left in the tournament.
She is making her debut appearance at Melbourne Park and her only
other two Grand Slam appearances at the French and US Opens have ended
in first-round exits.
"This is an unreal feeling, I can't believe that this is happening right now," she added.
"I was just so excited. I was going to be playing on a big court. I
was just trying to have fun out there, and I was really enjoying
Ranked 87 in the world, she reached the quarter-finals in Auckland
this month and said she modelled herself on Sharapova, who was the last
teenager to win a Grand Slam.
"I would want to be the (next) person to win a Slam as a teenager," she said.
"I have always looked up to her (Sharapova) and I was watching her when I was little. She's a great person to look up to.
"I always enjoyed watching her play and all of her interviews. She's a great person off the court."