Amanda Anisimova is the latest player to succumb to mental health issues and is taking a break from the WTA Tour, she announced a few days ago.
At this point my priority is my mental well-being and taking a break for some time. I’ve worked as hard as I could to push through it. I will miss being out there, and I appreciate all the continuous support. Amanda Anisimova
The American, who currently is ranked 46, had a difficult start to the 2023 season, having finished last year on a high note when the 21-year old won 33 of the 47 matches she played, and ended up as the World No 23.
Since then, though, the former Roland Garros semi-finalist has won only 3 of her 8 matches this season, and has now revealed that she has been experiencing mental health challenges, saying that the demands of professional tennis have taken their toll on her well-being.
“Hey guys. I thought I’d make a post explaining what’s been going on and my plans,” she posted on social media. “I’ve really been struggling with my mental health and burnout since the summer of 2022. It’s become unbearable being at tennis tournaments.
“At this point my priority is my mental well-being and taking a break for some time. I’ve worked as hard as I could to push through it. I will miss being out there, and I appreciate all the continuous support.”
The announcement comes shortly after Anisimova revealed she had received a private message on Instagram after sharing a mirror selfie of herself, that read: “The most unathletic body ever! Narrow shoulders and giant boobs.”
The young American responded to the message by simply saying: “Thank you,” with a kissing emoji.
She then shared a screenshot of the exchange on her Instagram story, with a message which seemed to suggest that this is not the first time she has faced criticism about her body.
“The amount of people who comment on my body every day on social media… will never understand what the hyper fixation is about.”
She went on to write: “Idk what to think? Lol.”
The American later posted another Instagram story, which featured a selfie of her blowing a kiss at the camera: “But enjoy your life, I’ll go enjoy mine. Thanks for all the input.”
A champion at the junior US Open in 2017, Anisimova broke through on the Hologic WTA Tour with aplomb at Roland Garros 4 years ago, where she dethroned reigning champion Simona Halep to reach the semi-finals at the age of 17, the youngest woman to get that far at a major since 2006.
Later that year, though, just prior to the US Open, she suffered the loss of her father and longtime coach Konstantin, who tragically passed away of a heart attack, aged 52.
“This is obviously the hardest thing I’ve had to go through, and the hardest thing that’s ever happened to me, and I don’t really talk about it with anyone,” she told the New York Times in 2020. “The only thing that has helped me is just playing tennis and being on the court.
“That’s what makes me happy, and I know it would make him happy, so that’s the way it is.”
Anisimova reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon 12 months ago, upsetting Coco Gauff on Centre Court on the way, while she also reached the 4th round of the Australian Open twice, taking out the defending champion Naomi Osaka in Melbourne last year.
A winner of 2 WTA singles titles, Anisimova gave no timetable for her return on her post, but thanked fans for their support.