Tuesday night must-see: Jessica Pegula and Amanda Anisimova face off at Charleston Open

A happy and healthy Anisimova showed her clay court prowess with a decisive first-round win over Alize Cornet

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22-year-old American Amanda Anisimova showed off her excellent clay court skills in a decisive first-round win over Alize Cornet in Monday's first round of the Charleston Open. Both players are former Charleston Open semifinalists. However, Anisimova had her game in high gear to earn a 6-3, 6-0 win, including a dazzling over-the-shoulder shot that resulted in a winner.

Anisimova will face fellow American Jessica Pegula in the second round on Tuesday at 6:00 PM EDT. Anisimova is still working her way back from a self-imposed break from the game in 2023 that allowed her to live a normal life and focus on her mental health.

World No. 5 Pegula will have a hefty challenge on her hands to beat Anisimova who is currently ranked 254th but achieved a career high of World No. 21 in October 2019. The two played once previously on the hardcourts in Cincinnati in 2020. Pegula won in straight sets 7-5, 6-2. Anismova is a former 2019 French Open semifinalist so this would not be a shock if she prevails over Pegula.

Anisimova returns happeir and healthier

More important than wins and losses is the fact that Anismova returns to the WTA Tour happier and healthier. She told Tennis Channel's Steve Weissman that she needed to focus on her outside interests and slow down her life from the chaos of tennis that focuses on the measurables of wins, losses, and money.

Anisimova attended in-person college classes and delved into her interest in art. She confesses that there is less time for art now that she is back on the WTA Tour, but she continues to take online college courses.

She is wise beyond her years and speaks intelligently about the importance of mental health which is refreshing. Anisimova also understands that whatever she shares on social media will not please everyone but seems at peace with that realization.

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