Sweet 16: Teen tennis sensation Anisimova making waves in Miami
Sixteen-year-old wild card Anisimova, whose parents are both from Russia, bested world no.53 Qiang (6-3, 1-6, 6-2) in Miami despite sitting 77 places below her opponent at no.130. Her victory set up a second round clash with Spanish third seed Garbine Muguruza.
Anisimova broke Qiang five times during a 98-minute match in which she committed six double faults to meet Wimbledon champion Muguruza in a tough clash for her next match on Thursday at Key Biscayne.
The youngster initially grabbed headlines by knocking out two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova at Indian Wells at the beginning of March, to which she was also given wild card.
“I was so excited, I just threw my racket and I was just like: ‘oh my God, did this just really happen?’ So it was just crazy, I couldn’t believe it and I was shaking for like 20 minutes after that,” she said of her win over Kvitova.
The New Jersey native, who has a US Open junior title to her name, had never won a WTA main-draw match until Indian Wells, where she reached the fourth round.
That tournament was also notable for another giant killing, as 20-year-old Russian Daria Kasatkina reached the final by dispatching four top-20 opponents before coming up just short against Japan’s Naomi Osaka.
“Dasha is a giant killer: One gets the feeling we’re going to be seeing a whole lot of Daria Kasatkina in the coming years,” Richard Osborn wrote on the tournament’s official website. Kasatkina’s success meant she has beaten all four grand slam holders since September.