The following Maria Sharapova? Why Amanda Anisimova is the actual deal

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Max Eisenbud, the person chargeable for serving to the five-time main singles winner from Russia grow to be the top-paid feminine athlete for greater than a decade, thinks he has discovered one other participant with related potential: Amanda Anisimova.

Tall, blonde, of Russian descent and with a uncommon tennis expertise, Anisimova resembles Sharapova in additional methods than one.

“Obviously, there are similarities, it’s hard to go away from that,” Eisenbud, the top of IMG Tennis who has overseen the careers of gamers together with Sharapova and Li Na, China’s first grand slam singles champion, advised CNN Sport

“I am the agent, they’re both very attractive, they both have Russian roots, all that kind of stuff. There are those similarities that will always be there. But they are very different personalities.”

Amanda Anisimova's agent is Max Eisenbud, who was key to developing Maria Sharapova's profile.

A star is born

Born in Freehold, New Jersey, to Russian-born mother and father, Anisimova moved to Miami together with her household on the age of three. In 2017, she gained the US Open junior title, beating one other gifted teenager, fellow American Coco Gauff.

At Roland-Garros final 12 months, the then 17-year-old Anisimova dethroned defending champion Simona Halep of Romania to grow to be the primary participant born within the 2000s to succeed in a significant semifinal.

Though she would lose to the eventual champion, Ashleigh Barty of Australia, within the final 4, a star was born.

Anisimova’s run in Paris “really caught a lot of people’s attention,” mentioned Eisenbud, who prolonged her settlement with clothes big Nike in November.

In January, Anisimova joined Serena Williams as the one different tennis participant to endorse American sports activities beverage maker Gatorade. She additionally lately signed a multi-year partnership with Therabody, a Los Angeles-based tech wellness firm whose percussive therapeutic massage remedy system is extensively utilized by elite athletes the world over.

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With each Nike and Gatorade trying to enhance their feminine athlete roster, and Sharapova and Williams nearing the tip of their careers, the timing of Anisimova’s rise could not have come at a greater time, based on Eisenbud.

Though he dismissed media stories in October suggesting the Nike deal was value $100 million, Eisenbud mentioned it was “probably one of the biggest clothing deals out there.”

Anisimova reacts to defeating Halep in Paris.

‘Model Maria Sharapova’

Sharapova was born in Russia however moved to the US on the age of eight. Ten years later, she grew to become a worldwide star when she beat Williams for the 2004 Wimbledon title.

The previous world No. 1 give up the game in February, having earned a complete of $325 million in endorsements, prize cash and appearances, based on Forbes. That is second solely to her long-time adversary Williams, who has made greater than $350 million throughout her profession.

“Maria has been very successful,” Anisimova advised CNN Sport in March. “It’s really cool she has her own candy line and she has many exciting things for her now that she is retired, and she can go back to those things,” mentioned the younger American, whose tennis idols rising up have been Sharapova and Serena Williams.

ROME, ITALY - MAY 16:  Maria Sharapova of Russia in action against Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia during day four of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2018 tennis at Foro Italico on May 16, 2018 in Rome, Italy.

“I have my own brands that I have signed with and I am really excited to produce some things,” mentioned Anisimova, including she all the time runs enterprise selections previous her older sister, Maria Egee, a former tennis participant who has grow to be a profitable Wall Avenue banker. “Maybe I’ll create my own lines or something I am interested in. But I have my own thing going on,” she added.

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Creating “Brand Maria Sharapova” is not a blueprint for advertising and marketing future stars corresponding to Anisimova, Eisenbud mentioned.

“Certainly, I think there is not a cookie cutter; I don’t think maybe necessarily what worked for Maria or Li Na will work for Amanda,” he mentioned.

“When Maria won in 2004, there was no social media, and now there is. That’s a big difference … The brands want different things. It’s all about what we’re doing on social.”

Social media offers a big opportunity to develop Anisimova's profile, according to Eisenbud.

Social media

Anisimova’s presence on social media was one of many causes Therabody was eager to start out working with the 18-year-old.

“She is an up-and-comer, and we want to be able to support her,” Dr. Jason Wersland, founder and chief wellness officer of Therabody, advised CNN Sport. “She’s got a big upside in tennis. And that’s not the only reason that we chose to work with her; it was this well-rounded approach to things.”

Looking for a means to assist him cope with debilitating ache following a motorbike accident in 2008, Wersland invented a percussive therapeutic massage remedy device known as Theragun, which makes use of frequency to alleviate sore muscle tissue.

The partnership is all about educating folks in regards to the product and selling the model, which Anisimova, who has been utilizing Theragun for years, will do by her social media channels.

Wersland has been struck by Anisimova’s poise and maturity at such a younger age. “She’s got such a cool energy about her … She’s got charisma. I really enjoy her perspective.”

“She is just really down to earth,” added Eisenbud. “That personality trait can be attractive to a lot of brands … but I think in the end, she is going to be a real big winner, and brands want to be associated with that.”

Serena Williams' coach Patrick Mouratoglou has been impressed by Anisimova.


Anisimova’s stand up the rankings was halted by tragedy in August, when she withdrew from the US Open shortly earlier than the beginning of the occasion following the sudden loss of life of her father and coach, Konstantin.

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“It took a little bit of time for me to enjoy the game again,” mentioned Anisimova, who did not play once more till January. “But I am now finally getting back into it. I am doing it for myself and also for my dad.”

Though all skilled tennis has been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, the game is about to renew in August.

Anisimova, who performed 4 occasions earlier than the pandemic struck, took just a few weeks off in the beginning of lockdown earlier than resuming her coaching. She is scheduled to play an invitational charity occasion in Charleston, South Carolina, on the finish of this month.

"She's pretty tough, and very driven and very professional," says Eisenbud of Anisimova.

‘Actual deal’

Tennis insiders have little doubt the American teenager is the actual deal.

“She has incredible timing and every time she hits the ball, she hurts her opponent,” Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena Williams’ long-time coach, advised CNN Sport throughout final 12 months’s French Open.

“She can improve a lot in her movement and I’m sure she will. She is working hard; she has good people around so she’ll be very dangerous.”

Though Eisenbud held off on signing large company offers till Sharapova had gained a significant, he did not accomplish that with Anisimova. But he is not involved in regards to the further strain the endorsements might deliver.

“She’s got Russian blood, so I am not too worried about that. She’s pretty tough, and very driven and very professional,” he mentioned.