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Queens Village singer debuts at US Open

By Joseph Staszewski

Madison Zamor realized a different type of US Open dream.

Thousands of kids flock to Flushing every summer, each of them envisioning him or herself as a champion like Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova or Rafael Nadal. During the Queens Village resident’s trip there last year, she saw herself in a different role—performing in front of the capacity crowd.

“My mom actually mentioned it to me while we were watching the match,” the 12-year-old Zamor said. “She was like, ‘Oh, would you ever want to sing the national anthem or ‘America the Beautiful’ on center court like that?’”

She had to think about it for moment before answering: “Totally.”

That dream came true when Zamor sang “America the Beautiful” before Novak Djokovic’s match against Andreas Haider-Maurer at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sept. 2. She was one of a dozen kids selected from auditions to perform at the US Open. Her opportunity also came on the day the 100-year anniversary of the event was celebrated in Queens.

“The smile on her face said it all,” Madison mother’s, Sara, said. “She was just thrilled to pieces.”

It was the biggest crowd Zamor had ever been in front of and her first time really going it alone. The veteran performer, who got into the business at the age of 9, held the role of Kayla in the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular for three years. She has also appeared on the HBO series “The Leftovers” and NBC’s “Law & Order SVU.” She is currently the voice of Kira on Nick Jr.’s “Zack and Quack.”

That Wednesday night at Arthur Ashe Stadium was unlike anything she’d every experienced. There was no fellow performer to pick you up, no second take. It is just you, the crowd and your voice.

“In a situation like this, when you have 20,000-plus people and just you, it is all on you to deliver,” Sara Zamor said. “She was nervous a little bit, but when she walked out you weren’t able to tell.”

Zamor, who attends Our Lady of Lourdes grammar school, skipped watching Venus Williams’ match earlier in the night to keep herself focused on her performance. Once she stepped out there she fed off the crowd’s energy and then blocked the people out before delivering a rendition of “America The Beautiful” that earned her cheers and plenty of compliments afterward.

“I don’t think I have ever had an experience like that,” Madison Zamor said.

It’s one that she’s worked and sacrificed for. Like a kid who dedicated themselves to sports, you miss some time with your friends, some trips to the beach or a day at movies. It’s tough sometimes, Madison Zamor admits, but meeting new people can be just as fun.

So can new experiences. That Wednesday night at the Open is one Madison would love to do again. Her mother called it “magical” and wished she could relive it live without having to hold up her iPhone to record for future days.

A dream that started in the seats of the US Open became real on its biggest stage, one Madison handled well.

“It felt amazing,” Madison Zamor said. “I can’t think of any other word to describe it.”

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