Amanda Anisimova made her pro debut at the US Open a truly memorable one.
The fourteen-year-old wild card won her opening-round match against No. 17 seed Veronica Cepede Royg on Day 1 of US Open qualifying. Anisimova controlled most of the baseline rallies against the World No. 124 and showed an impressive level of composure throughout the match. A forehand sent long on match point by Cepede Royg brought a smile from Anisimova and the crowd to their feet as she advanced to the second round, 6-3, 6-4.
“The US Open is my favorite tournament, so it's an amazing feeling to win your first match at your favorite Grand Slam, especially at my age," said Anisimova. "I'm really going to try and get through the qualifying now.”
The American is no stranger to the world’s biggest stages at the junior level. She reached No. 2 in the ITF Junior rankings this June after an impressive start to the year that included reaching the girls’ singles final at Roland Garros. But without a similar point of reference point at the pro level, Anisimova had to fully trust her game to get through the final stages of the match.
"There were a little bit of nerves at the end," she admitted. "But my coach told me to stay calm and just play by point, so that's what I tried to do."
Anisimova is also scheduled to play the US Open junior events less than two weeks from now, but the teenager is perfectly happy to have an extended stay in New York.
"Everything is so great here,” she said. “The people who work at this tournament are great and it's obviously nice to be an American playing here. I can feel the crowd supporting me the whole time."