WHAT HAPPENED: Two of USA’s youngest talents took to Court 11 on Tuesday to vie for a spot in the second round, when world No. 73 Taylor Townsend dismissed 2017 US Open girl’s champion and wild card recipient Amanda Anisimova, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Coming into Tuesday’s match, Townsend had won only four of her previous 10 matches, while Anisimova dropped only four of her 10 previous matches, establishing Anisimova as a slight favorite.
After trading breaks, Anisimova lived up to her latest win stats and gained control of the first set. The New Jersey native beamed baseliners across the court, leaving Townsend lunging and chipping over backhand slices just to stay alive. At 3-all, Anisimova broke ahead, winning three consecutive games and taking the set, 6-3.
Townsend was not ready to bow out, and the southpaw stepped up in the second set. On the road to her victory, she won 67 percent on first serves and totaled 93 points won to Anisimova’s 90 to capture the match.
WHAT IT MEANS: Townsend’s win marks the 22-year-old’s deepest run at the US Open yet. In her two previous main draw appearances, she saw first-round dismissals from Top 10 players Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki.
However, Townsend has paid her dues. The Atlanta native is a former world junior No. 1, and a four-time junior Grand Slam champion. After grinding it out on the Pro Circuit for a few years, Townsend ascended to a career-high ranking of No. 61 in July. Her success is attributed to some deep runs on the courts of her home country.
Round 2 has Townsend facing another top competitor, as she’ll take on 2017 French Open champion and No. 10 seed Jelena Ostapenko. Townsend has been a big fish in the smaller-circuit pond. If she’s to stay in the tournament, she’s going to need to bring her A-game to Flushing.
MATCH POINT: It would seem that Townsend's serve is her weapon of choice. While she won 67 percent on first serve, she also won on an impressive 56 percent on second serve.