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Amanda Anisimova: The US teen sensation aiming to emulate idol Sharapova

Amanda Anisimova: The US teen sensation aiming to emulate idol Sharapova
Teenage US tennis sensation Amanda Anisimova has set the sport alight with her incredible French Open run, dumping out defending champion Simona Halep to reach the semifinals on Thursday.

The rising star has already posted a career best performance at Roland-Garros by entering the last four, but will she be able to achieve even more, and is she capable of repeating Maria Sharapova’s stunning success by winning a Grand Slam aged just 17?

READ MORE: US teen Anisimova dumps defending champ Halep out of French Open

Born to Russian parents who emigrated to the US in 1998, Anisimova started to play tennis when she was just three.

Two years later she had already debuted in kids competitions, beating competitors who were several years older.

According to her parents, Anisimova has always admired Russian tennis ace Sharapova – whom she dreams of facing on court in the future.

"She has always said she wants to resemble Maria Sharapova,” said the player’s mother, Olga, adding that she had wanted a poster with her tennis idol for Christmas when she was seven.

Following in the footsteps of her tennis icon, Anisimova has been catapulted to prominence at 17, just as Russian ace Sharapova was when she claimed the Wimbledon title in 2004 at the same age.

In 2017, Anisimova won the Junior US Open, signaling a bright future was ahead as she emerged as one of the most talented tennis players of her age.

At this year’s Australian Open, she reached the fourth round where she was stopped by two-time Wimbledon winner and eventual runner-up Petra Kvitova.

The immensely talented teen is eying her maiden Grand Slam triumph in Paris, where she is just two matches away from pulling off a sensational victory.

In the semifinal, the unseeded American will take on Australia’s Ashleigh Barty, who beat American 14th seed Madison Keys in her respective quarterfinal.