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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday September 3, 2020

Amanda Anisimova was the heavy favorite during her Day 4 tussle with World No.637 American Katrina Scott. She was feeling the nerves and facing an upstart opponent that was riding the waves of emotion that have been rippling ever since she claimed her first Grand Slam win on Day 4.

Tennis Express

It’s not a normal position for a 19-year-old to be in, but Anisimova handled it with poise, and eventually escaped with a hard-fought 4-6 6-4 6-1 victory over her rising compatriot.

The victory was big in more ways than one, and it was emotional for Anisimova. Playing in the US Open main draw for just the second time, Anisimova was forced to miss the tournament during her best year as a pro in 2019 because of the sudden passing of her father and coach Konstantin, who was just 52 when he died of a heart attack.

Returning to the US Open and picking up her first main draw win on Day 2, Anisimova revealed that she is feeling her father’s presence with her.

"I'm really happy that I was able to not have a mental breakdown like I normally would have, and then lose a match," Anisimova said on court after the victory. "And I was just thinking about my dad the whole time. I didn't want to lose without putting up a fight, so I'm really happy about that."

Anisimova, who won the junior title at the US Open in 2017, defeating then 13-year-old Coco Gauff in the final, says the memories from those days have been flooding her mind this year at the Open.

"I'm getting a lot of memories from the juniors when my dad was with me—I had a match just like this and I was down," Anisimova told Louis Armstrong emcee Andrew Krazny on court. "And he was saying some encouraging words so that really helped me. I don't know, I was just thinking about him the whole time, and it was just giving me a lot of energy to pump me up and get myself going."

Anisimova, something of a stoic, usually keeps it pretty close to the vest and really doesn’t give the press a whole lot to chew on. It’s hard to tell if its shyness or just a reluctance to give strangers too much information.

To hear her open up like this speaks volumes about the difficulties she has had to face over the last year, without her father in her corner. It’s a testament to her courage that she was able to overcome a very difficult challenge today, and a testament to her bond with her father that he is still impacting her tennis and her life positively today.

The American will face Maria Sakkari of Greece in the third round.


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