Will turn 22 on

  • 3/30/2023

What she’s done since last summer

  • Reached the third round of the Australian Open
  • Made first WTA 1000 quarterfinals in Dubai
  • Scored wins over Belinda Bencic and Madison Keys

Key Stat

  • Potapova earned her first Top 5 win at the 2019 French Open over Angelique Kerber

If the 21 and Unders had their own clubhouse, Anastasia Potapova would absolutely be on the activities committee. The Russian spent her pre-season in Dubai, and successfully corralled fellow youngsters Bianca Andreescu and Marta Kostyuk into all kinds of shenanigans.

“We had an idea that was just, ‘Pre-season, but make it fun,’” she told TENNIS.com in Australia. “We would have a day off every Sunday, and so we went to a water park, did some jet skiing, visited the Burj Khalifa. We did all we could to mix up our training with some fun moments because otherwise all of the work would have driven us both crazy!”

Potapova’s pre-season bubble was a far cry from her quarantine, which went from bad to worse when a trip down the stairs caused a catastrophic ankle injury. The torn ligament not only required surgery but also kept her from returning to action until 2021.


The time off did give the former junior Wimbledon champion the rare opportunity to live a (relatively) normal life, and she took full advantage.

“It just helped me to deal with some problems off the court, and put my mind in such a good place,” she said in February. “For me, I’m a different person now. I may have had to lose some points and freeze my ranking, but on the other hand, I gained a lot.”

Potapova made up for lost time in a big way, making her first Australian Open third round, where she played an entertaining two-setter with 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams.

She built on that result in the Middle East, reaching the biggest quarterfinal of her young career at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships—with the help of back-to-back Top 20 wins against Madison Keys and Belinda Bencic—and showed promise on grass with a maiden quarterfinal in Birmingham.

“I don’t want to set ranking goals,” she said. “I just want to play quality matches, where I’m not giving away too many cheap points. I want to fight for every point I play, because if I do that, I think that will put me in a great position, not only in the rankings, but also on tour.”