The two Americans met in a high-quality affair on center court, but it was Anisimova who performed better, winning 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-1.
“It’s the most special day of my career,” Anisimova said after her win. “It’s just a huge privilege to play on this court playing Coco.
“Winning is so special, especially in front of a full crowd – you were amazing.”
Gauff, 18, started better of the two and took the lead in the opening set before Anisimova began to settle – it was the first time she had played a match on the main court at Wimbledon.
At the end of the set, the pair had to be separated by a tie-break which Gauff managed to get the upper hand before the momentum quickly swung the other way.
Gauff’s first serve started to let her down in the second set and it gave her opponent all the opportunity she needed to force a deciding set.
Anisimova, ranked 25th in the world, did not slow down and continued to dominate from the baseline while reducing unforced errors.
The 20-year-old only got better as the match progressed and she was able to serve the match with ease to advance to the next round where she will face Harmony Tan on Monday.
“There are so many American players doing well and I’m proud of my country and what we’ve done,” Anisimova added.
“It was really exciting to have an all-American matchup on this court, so it was really special.”