“After the US Open, I actually wanted to take a break from tennis” – Gasanova turns it around in Chennai

Gasanova upset top seed Alison Riske-Amritraj in the first round of the WTA Chennai Open on Tuesday

Anastasia Gasanova in Lyon in 2022 Anastasia Gasanova in Lyon in 2022 Image Credit: Sandrine Thesillat / Panoramic

The wheel of fortune turns rather quickly in tennis. A tournament champion one week could be an early loser the next week. But there is also the very real chance that an early loser in one week could turn their fortunes around the very next week.

And that’s exactly what happened this week with Anastasia Gasanova. Terribly disappointed after a first-round loss in the qualifying event of the US Open, the 23-year-old Russian wanted to take a break from the sport for a few weeks but later changed her mind and decided to travel across the globe to Chennai.

“To be honest, after the US Open, I actually wanted to take a break because I had been waiting for the US Open for so long,” Gasanova said. “Last year, I couldn’t go to the United States because I did not have a visa. And this time it was a terrible loss and I was so sad, so I wanted to take a break. After that I saw a tournament in India and I said let’s try, let’s go there and just try my best.”

And she was surely glad she did change her mind. Gasanova, ranked No 147 in the world, played impressive tennis on Tuesday evening to upset the No 1 seed and world No 23 Alison Riske-Amritraj in straight sets and move into the second round of the WTA Chennai Open.

“Today was a good match for me and a good day. I just put everything I had today and I tried my best. Hopefully it was a good fight and good match to watch.”

“I really look up to Serena Williams. She is so stylish on court and off court” – Gasanova

Serena Williams at the MET Gala in 2021
Serena Williams at the MET Gala in 2021; Image Credit – AI / Reuters / Panoramic

A fan of tennis legend Serena Williams, Gasanova says she looks up to the American icon for her attitude on and off the court. “I really look up to Serena Williams. She is so stylish on court and off court. I really like her attitude as well.”

And Gasanova has been following the footsteps of her style icon, spending some of her free time custom designing t-shirts through her line TennisCustom. “It’s an off-court hobby. I usually do casual clothes. I found that for myself last year. I was always drawing and I saw a MasterClass online and then I designed my first t-shirt and then I kept going. I really enjoy doing it.”

On Thursday, Gasanova will face fellow 23-year-old Katie Swan, a player she has been familar with for many years. “I know Katie since we were juniors. We have never played and I am really excited about the match. I know she has a good serve.”

Whatever happens in her next match, Gasanova’s turnaround this week is proof that persistence and not giving up always pays off.

(This article was originally published on the WTA Chennai Open website)

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