Max Eisenbud, the person liable for serving to the five-time main singles winner from Russia develop into the top-paid feminine athlete for greater than a decade, thinks he has discovered one other participant with comparable potential: Amanda Anisimova.
Tall, blonde, of Russian descent and with a uncommon tennis expertise, Anisimova resembles Sharapova in additional methods than one.
“Clearly, there are similarities, it is arduous to go away from that,” Eisenbud, the pinnacle of IMG Tennis who has overseen the careers of gamers together with Sharapova and Li Na, China’s first grand slam singles champion, informed CNN Sport
“I’m the agent, they’re each very enticing, they each have Russian roots, all that type of stuff. There are these similarities that can at all times be there. However they’re very completely different personalities.”
A star is born
Born in Freehold, New Jersey, to Russian-born mother and father, Anisimova moved to Miami along with her household on the age of three. In 2017, she received 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 develop into the primary participant born within the 2000s to achieve a serious 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 “actually caught lots of people’s consideration,” stated 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 gadget is extensively utilized by elite athletes the world over.
With each Nike and Gatorade trying to increase 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, in line with Eisenbud.
Though he dismissed media stories in October suggesting the Nike deal was value $100 million, Eisenbud stated it was “in all probability one of many greatest clothes offers on the market.”
‘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 stop the game in February, having earned a complete of $325 million in endorsements, prize cash and appearances, in line with 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 profitable,” Anisimova informed CNN Sport in March. “It is actually cool she has her personal sweet line and she or he has many thrilling issues for her now that she is retired, and she will return to these issues,” stated the younger American, whose tennis idols rising up had been Sharapova and Serena Williams.
“I’ve my very own manufacturers that I’ve signed with and I’m actually excited to provide some issues,” stated Anisimova, including she at all times runs enterprise choices previous her older sister, Maria Egee, a former tennis participant who has develop into a profitable Wall Avenue banker. “Possibly I am going to create my very own strains or one thing I’m thinking about. However I’ve my very own factor occurring,” she added.
Creating “Model Maria Sharapova” is not a blueprint for advertising future stars similar to Anisimova, Eisenbud stated.
“Definitely, I believe there may be not a cookie cutter; I do not assume perhaps essentially what labored for Maria or Li Na will work for Amanda,” he stated.
“When Maria received in 2004, there was no social media, and now there may be. That is a giant distinction … The manufacturers need various things. It is all about what we’re doing on social.”
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 would like to have the ability to help her,” Dr. Jason Wersland, founder and chief wellness officer of Therabody, informed CNN Sport. “She’s acquired a giant upside in tennis. And that is not the one motive that we selected to work along with her; it was this well-rounded method to issues.”
Trying to find a means to assist him take care of debilitating ache following a bike accident in 2008, Wersland invented a percussive therapeutic massage remedy software known as Theragun, which makes use of frequency to alleviate sore muscle mass.
The partnership is all about educating individuals in regards to the product and selling the model, which Anisimova, who has been utilizing Theragun for years, will do via her social media channels.
Wersland has been struck by Anisimova’s poise and maturity at such a younger age. “She’s acquired such a cool power about her … She’s acquired charisma. I actually get pleasure from her perspective.”
“She is simply actually right down to earth,” added Eisenbud. “That persona trait could be enticing to a whole lot of manufacturers … however I believe ultimately, she goes to be an actual large winner, and types need to be related to that.”
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.
“It took a bit of little bit of time for me to benefit from the recreation once more,” stated Anisimova, who did not play once more till January. “However I’m now lastly getting again into it. I’m doing it for myself and in addition 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 at first 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.
Tennis insiders have little question the American teenager is the actual deal.
“She has unimaginable timing and each time she hits the ball, she hurts her opponent,” Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena Williams’ long-time coach, informed CNN Sport throughout final 12 months’s French Open.
“She will be able to enhance so much in her motion and I am positive she’s going to. She is working arduous; she has good individuals round so she’ll be very harmful.”
Though Eisenbud held off on signing large company offers till Sharapova had received a serious, he did not accomplish that with Anisimova. But he is not involved in regards to the additional stress the endorsements might carry.
“She’s acquired Russian blood, so I’m not too nervous about that. She’s fairly robust, and really pushed and really skilled,” he stated.