Anna Kalinskaya: The Indian Wells qualifier taking the tournament by storm

Russian tennis player Anna Kalinskaya has been one of the standout stars at Indian Wells so far

Russian tennis player Anna Kalinskaya has been one of the standout stars at Indian Wells so far.

The 22-year-old won both of her qualifying matches to reach the main draw of the tournament, before earning three more victories to secure a place in the round of 16.

She will take on Ons Jabeur tomorrow in a bid to progress to the quarter-finals.

Who is Anna Kalinskaya?

Kalinskaya, born in Moscow, hails from a sporty family. Both her parents are former professional badminton players, while her brother plays football in Russia.

She took up tennis at five years old, having spent a summer at her grandmother’s house watching her cousin play.

Kalinskaya made her WTA debut in 2015 when she was given a wildcard for the Kremlin Cup. She had reached the girls’ final at the French Open earlier in the year, losing in straight sets to Paula Badosa.

The youngster also enjoyed success on the ITF circuit at the start of her career, earning seven singles and nine doubles titles.

By 2017, Kalinskaya began to play at more WTA tournaments, making her first Grand Slam appearance at the Australian Open that year. She was defeated by Stefanie Vögele in the first round of qualifying, however.

Her Grand Slam breakthrough finally came in 2019, when she overcame home favourite Sloane Stephens in the first round of the US Open. She cites this as one of the best moments of her career so far.

But Kalinskaya could progress no further in the tournament, falling to wildcard Kristie Ahn in her next match.

She enjoyed a career-high singles ranking of world number 96 in October 2019, but has now slipped to 151st.

Anna Kalinskaya defeated Sloane Stephens in the first round of the 2019 US Open

Doubles success

Up until now, Kalinskaya has enjoyed more success in doubles than singles. Indeed, she is currently number 93 in the world doubles rankings.

Partnered with Tereza Mihalíková, Kalinskaya won the girls' doubles event at the 2016 Australian Open.

She then triumphed at a senior level in 2019, reaching the final of the St. Petersburg Trophy with Viktória Kužmová. The pair subsequently lifted their first WTA title together at the Prague Open.

Anna Kalinskaya has achieved doubles success with Viktória Kužmová

Kalinskaya’s journey at Indian Wells so far

Prior to Indian Wells, Kalinskaya had failed to beat a top 50 player since the Miami Open in March. She has now defeated two in one week – Sara Sorribes Tormo and Viktorija Golubic.

Kalinskaya first overcame Asia Muhammad in qualifying, easing past the American 6-1, 6-2. She then overcame Australia’s Priscilla Hon 6-4, 7-5 to reach the main draw.

A 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 victory against Claire Liu of the US was next, followed by a hotly-contested 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 win against Sorribes Tormo.

Kalinskaya then came back from one set down to triumph 1-6, 6-1, 6-3 against Golubic.

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