SAN JOSE, USA - The best is yet to come for 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova. The American teen had a clay season to remember, winning her first WTA title in Bogota before a stunning run to the semifinals at Roland Garros, which saw her end Simona Halep's title defense in the quarterfinals before bowing out to eventual champion Ashleigh Barty in three sets.
Now rested and refreshed, Anisimova says she's primed to get back to her favorite surface for the summer hardcourts.
"I grew up playing on hardcourt so that's my No.1 surface," Anisimova said at All Access Hour at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, where she is the No.4 seed. "But surprisingly in juniors, I always did well on the clay court. In the South American tournaments I would win a lot of tournaments and my first final in a junior Slam was the French, actually."
On the back of her clay results, Anisimova has soared up the rankings to a career-high No.23, a far cry from her ranking of No.96 at the start of the season. Of the five teenagers in the Top 100 - along with Bianca Andreescu (19), Dayana Yastremska (18), Iga Swiatek (18), and Anastasia Potapova (18) - Anisimova is the youngest and the highest ranked of them all, edging out Indian Wells champion Andreescu, who is ranked No.26.
With Anisimova winning Bogota, a then 19-year-old Sofia Kenin winning Hobart, and Yastremska winning Kuala Lumpur and Strasbourg, teenagers have won four titles so far in 2019, the most since 2009. Along with 15-year-old Coco Gauff's star-making run at Wimbledon, and 17-year-old Hailey Baptiste's big win over Madison Keys in her WTA main draw debut at the Citi Open this week, the youth movement continues to grow stronger with every week.
"I think we're doing really well," Anisimova said. "A lot of the junior players around my age, they're coming up and definitely working hard.
"It's nice to see some fresh faces on the tour and to have a little bit of a mixture. To have Serena still playing and a lot of younger players, it's really cool to see."
While Anisimova has already scored big wins over Halep and Petra Kvitova, there's still one player she's dying to play: Serena Williams.
"I feel like everyone has already played her, but hopefully I'll get to play her," Anisimova said.
"Honestly, whenever I play a top player I always look up to them. So I still feel that a little bit and I have respect for any player I play.
"But the confidence I have in myself and I'm sure other players my age have that who have achieved their results. It's just having confidence.
"I look up to all the players I play. It's really cool to play the best in the world. For me, I enjoy it every day."
After her second-round loss at Wimbledon, Anisimova took 5 days off to refresh, but confesses she was already itching to get back on court after the third day.
"The last couple of weeks I've been training really hard and I'm pretty happy with it," she said. "I'm really excited to be back here because I really like this tournament."
Asked what she learned from her clay season that she can take into the hardcourt season, Anisimova said she just hopes to keep the status quo.
"Before those tournaments I liked how my training was going and how me and my team were working with each other," she said. "I knew that I would have a good result sometime this year.
"So I've just been doing the same thing pretty much, just changing to the hardcourt season. I really love playing on hard so I'm really hopeful for this season."
After receiving a bye into the second round, Anisimova will face either Andrea Petkovic or Madison Brengle.