Middle States

US Open Shines Light

on Young Talent

Sunidhi Srinivas performs at the 2019 US Open


Sunidhi Srinivas performs at the 2019 US Open

For a 14 year old, performing in front of a packed stadium could be seen as a nightmare. But for aspiring musician, Sunidhi Srinivas, it was a dream come true.

This past summer, the Phoenixville native was one of 350 singers, ages 14 and younger, to apply for a chance to perform at the 2019 US Open. 

What inspired her to do this? 

“One of my music idols (Taylor Swift) performed at the US Open,” Sunidhi said. “As soon as a family friend told us about some of last year’s performers, we kept an eye out for audition information.”

She was one of 350 to show interest in performing. Of that, just 60 were called to Flushing, N.Y. for an official audition, with 12 eventually being selected to perform. 

When Sunidhi heard the news, it was celebration time.

“My mom and I were jumping up and down and acting like we were 8 years old,” she said. 

Sunidhi performed “America the Beautiful” in front of a jam-packed, Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd, prior to No. ADVERTISEMENT 1-seeded Novak Djokovic defeating Denis Kudla in straight sets. 

For her family, which she describes as “hardcore” tennis fans and Djokovic supporters, performing before a Djokovic match was a dream come true.

“Walking onto the court was a magical, yet terrifying experience,” she said. “I tried not to stress too much. Once I had a grasp of how I wanted to sing, I just stuck with it.”

Sunidhi’s interest in music began when she was 3 years old. Back then, she would parade around the house and sing whatever melodies came to mind. She is active in her school’s music program, playing the flute in the school’s concert, marching, and jazz bands. But while she has plenty of experience performing, the US Open was a different situation. According to Sunidhi, it was the biggest audition of her musical career.

It’s hard to top the US Open. Sunidhi and her family are now looking into if she can perform at a football game or another major sporting event. Meanwhile, she continues with her musical training and looks for the next step. 

She continues to look back on the Open as an unforgettable experience.

“I cannot believe I remembered to wave, bow, and ultimately, try not to look intimidated,” she added. “Now, every time I see a match in Arthur Ashe, I can't help but think how I got to stand and perform on the actual court, where top international tennis players play. Many thanks to USTA and Overland Entertainment for making this happen.”

Past participants in the US Open Anthem Auditions, Frenie Acoba (“Matilda” on Broadway), Angelica Hale (“America's Got Talent” Season 12) and Brennley Brown (“The Voice” Season 12). You can watch Sunidhi’s performance here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNtUshWDOUE



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