London: Amanda Anisimova made sure her first appearance on Centre Court was a memorable one with a come-from-behind victory over fellow American Coco Gauff to reach the last 16 at Wimbledon on Saturday.
After dropping the first set tiebreaker, the 20th-seeded Anisimova roared back to claim a 6-7(4) 6-2 6-1 victory to reach the fourth round for her third straight Grand Slam in front of a packed house.
“It was a super tough match today, but it was extremely special to get to play on Centre Court for the first time in my life,” Anisimova said.
“I was trying to soak in every moment that I had. It was extremely special.”
Anisimova, 20, said it was also special to face the 18-year-old Gauff in what is developing into a rivalry, and said the success of American men and woman at the tournament so far had given her a jolt of patriotic pride.
“It’s super exciting how many Americans are doing well and have advanced here so far,” she said.
“I think we have a ton of strong players. Even today playing against Coco, I think that’s extremely exciting and good for our country to play on Centre, both being American. I’m just proud of my country for having so many great players.”
Gauff held her head high after the loss and predicted big things for the in-form Anisimova.
“I think she has a good shot of going all the way to the final,” Gauff said.
“If she plays like she did those last two sets against me, I think that’s some top-notch tennis right there.”
Next up for Anisimova is a showdown with Frenchwoman Harmony Tan on Monday, July 4, the Independence Day holiday in the United States.