Photo by Michael Bonfigli
Merely a week after winning a Junior Grand Slam, JTCC’s Usue Arconada was already playing in a stadium again — only this time she was under the lights and in front of a home crowd. Without showing any signs of jet-lag or fatigue, she rallied her way past Canada’s Francoise Abanda with a tough 7-6(3), 6-4 victory in the first round. Her Wimbledon title helped her secure a wildcard into the Citi Open, but her hard work is what earned her the win.
This win proves more than just Usue’s heart and grit. It proves her ability to compete against professional-level players when the spotlight is on her. Regardless of the crowd in her favor, people were still watching to see if she was more than just a successful junior player. Tennis fans wanted to know if she could be the next great American player, and she knew it. Usue took one look at those bright lights and saw it as an opportunity to shine.
Tonight, she has another chance to rise to the occasion when she faces Yulia Putintseva in the second round of the Citi Open. Putintseva is the 6th seed of the tournament and is currently ranked 45th in the world. Their match will be the last of the evening scheduled for Grandstand 2, and it will be sure to draw out many curious fans to see just who Usue Arconada is and why this American junior may be the next big name in tennis.