NEW YORK—On her first match point of the US Open girls’ final, Amanda Anisimova danced around the baseline, slugging groundstrokes with Cori Gauff until she finally smacked a backhand into the net.
On her fourth match point, Animisova stabbed at a wide serve from Gauff but the ball caught her racquet frame and careened into a courtside fan, hitting him in the face. Animisova looked horrified, but the spectator quickly signaled that he was okay.
On her seventh match point, Animisova deflected a 106 m.p.h. serve but couldn’t keep the ball in play.
And on her ninth match point, Animisova hit a backhand wide, stomped her right foot in disgust and then walked behind the baseline, touching her racquet gently to the backdrop in order to re-focus.
Finally, after hitting a monster forehand return winner down the line to earn a 10th match point, Anisimova watched with delight as Gauff’s forehand sailed long—giving her a long overdue 6-0, 6-2 win, and her first victory in a junior Grand Slam final.
“That last game was crazy,” said Animisova, a 16-year-old from Aventura, FL, who played, and lost, in the first round of qualifying for the US Open main draw. “Possibly the longest game of my life.”