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Is Amanda Anisimova's Australian Open participation in danger?

Amanda Anisimova at the 2020 French Open
Amanda Anisimova at the 2020 French Open
Harry R
Modified 10 Jan 2021, 09:00 IST

Amanda Anisimova's Australian Open participation is in serious doubt, as several reports suggest she has tested positive for COVID-19.

Anisimova was in Abu Dhabi for this week's WTA 500 event, but she pulled out of the tournament shortly after the draw was made. While the nature of the illness wasn't specified by either her or the organizers, the American seemingly confirmed everyone's worst fears through a comment on Instagram.

When a fan asked why she had withdrawn from the Abu Dhabi event, another fan replied "I think she tested positive". Anisimova then posted a reply herself, simply saying 'yup'.

The comment by the 19-year-old appears to have been deleted since then.

The post by Amanda Anisimova itself added further fuel to the reports that she was COVID-positive. The American had uploaded a picture of her serving on the court, with the caption 'I wanna play' accompanied by a crying emoji.

Players who are in Abu Dhabi need to fly out of the city on one of the chartered planes arranged by Tennis Australia, and reach Melbourne by 15 or 16 January. It goes without saying that all participants have to ensure they are negative for COVID-19 prior to boarding the flight, and also upon landing in Australia.

There is also the possibility of a person who has once tested positive for COVID-19 testing negative after recovering, and then testing positive at a later date due to traces of the virus remaining in their system. That was what happened with French player Benoit Paire during the European swing of events a few months ago.

Given all the current circumstances and past precedents, Amanda Anisimova's participation at the upcoming Australian Open seems highly doubtful. The American is in a race against time, to not only recover from her illness, but to also ensure that she tests negative for the virus at every stage.


Amanda Anisimova's brush with misfortune isn't showing any signs of ending

Amanda Anisimova
Amanda Anisimova

This is just the latest in a series of career setbacks for Amanda Anisimova, who has reportedly bagged a multi-million dollar deal with Nike.

In 2019, the then 17-year-old American won her first WTA title in Colombia. She subsequently became the youngest semifinalist at the French Open in more than a decade, beating defending champion Simona Halep along the way.

However, a back injury interrupted Anisimova's preparations for the summer hardcourt events. Then tragedy struck just before the US Open, as her father - who was also her long-time coach and a very influential figure in her life - passed away suddenly.

Amanda Anisimova withdrew from the final Slam of the year and played only two events after that in 2019, winning just one match. A partnership with Justine Henin's former coach Carlos Rodriguez did not last long either.


Through the pandemic-affected 2020 season, the American managed to retain her position in the top 30. She posted a 11-10 record highlighted by a semifinal appearance in Auckland, but was largely disappointing at the big events.

Now working with former Latvian player Andis Juska, Amanda Anisimova is still some time away from fulfilling her potential. Her fans would be hoping the young American can put this latest setback behind her and return to the courts at the earliest.

Published 10 Jan 2021, 01:53 IST
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