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5. Anisimova credits an improved mental strength with her rapid rise.

Standing at just under six feet tall, the American has by far the most balanced game of her generation, striking each shot with textbook technique and effortless power. Able to hit just about every shot, Anisimova experienced a heightened court awareness in 2018, feeling more confident in her shot selection as the season progressed.

“I think I’m using my mind more when I play. I’m playing smarter, and having longer points. I feel like I would rush more a couple years ago, and now I really take my time and go for my shots when I really want to.”

On the other side of a tough injury, she also credits a better perspective with helping achieve success.

“To me, having fun on court means being loose, you know, not focusing on the result, because I used to do that, I used to focus on winning and losing. So, I think just learning how to forget about that, and just being in the moment.”

Aiming for stronger results at the major tournaments, Anisimova will hit the ground running at the ASB Classic in Auckland, where she is currently entered in qualifying.

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