In Latvia, sport plays a huge role in the way that this small nation performs. It’s the drumbeat of joy for many, whether that is soccer or tennis. In tennis, though, the sport can finally lay claim to having a genuine star on her way to the top of the table. Anastasija Sevastova is one of the most impressive players in the current WTA rankings, and has become one of the most impressive players from that side of the world.
Having exploded and grown into the public mind in 2016 when she defeated Gabine Muguruza as well as Johanna Konta to reach the Quarter Final round of the tournament, before falling to Caroline Wozniacki.
Currently under the tutelage of Ronald Schmidt, Sevastova has become a household name back in Latvia and across Europe. Arguably her main achievement so far in her career has been winning the 2010 Oeiras tournament. She was also a finalist in 2016 in both Mallorca and Bucharest.
A quality player who excels on hard surface, Sevastova tends to play her finest tennis on clay where she can utilize her outrageously powerful and accurate back-hand to some effect. She’s a very interesting player, too, with a very agile and versatile playstyle that makes her hard to read for her opponents.
Growing up idolising the likes of Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi, she’s got a very robust playstyle. Her optimism as a person and her incredible intelligence off the court also ensures that she showcases a calculated and tactical tennis brain. Never one to give up, Sevastova has made it clear that her aim is to be involved in her favourite tournaments; the Roland Garros and US Open.
Shockingly, Sevastova actually retired for a short period in 2013, before returning in 2015. Having suffered injuries nightmares with her back and constant set-backs, it looked like one of the most exciting careers in Latvian sport was about to be cruelly stopped.
Thankfully, she returned and has gone to become a key player on the European circle. Make no mistake: she has gone some way to making up for lost time after her retirement, reaching semi-finals and quarter-finals on a regular basis as well as winning various ITF Circuit tournaments since returning.
Definitely one to watch!