Tennis Prose



Struggles Continue For Nike’s $100m Woman

The former WTA prodigy Amanda Anisimova lost today to Liudmila Samsonova 62 61, another crushing loss for the American on the comeback trail after almost a year out of competition.

The 22 year old resumed her career in January but hasn’t won anything of note, yet. The former Roland Garros semifinalist in 2019 is ranked 231 now and coached by Marc Lucero. Her formidable power game won titles in 2022 (Melbourne) and 2019 (Bogota) but has struggled since to earn a championship trophy. After Madrid last year in April (1R loss to Arantxa Rus 57 26), Anisimova decided it was time for a long break from tennis, a hiatus which extended for eight months. During the time off she pursued her interest in art, philanthropy, travel and just normal young adult life without the pressures of winning WTA matches.

Anisimova returned in January and so far has posted a 6-6 match record on the year. She reached the R16 at Australian Open, beating Paula Badosa 76 64 but lost to Aryna Sabalenka 36 26.

This week in Paris, Anisimova won her first round match vs Sramkova 76 64 before today’s defeat to 17 seed Samsonova.

Perhaps Nike signing Anisimova to a $100,000,000 long term contract in 2019 – when she was just eighteen – has contributed to her losing that fraction of fire and drive to be the best.

There is no doubt Anisimova has the arsenal and firepower to become an elite player again, like Ash Barty, Thomas Muster, Andre Agassi, Monica Seles… and one of the intriguing stories in tennis is to watch how her journey evolves.

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