After stealing the spotlight at Wimbledon by reach the fourth round, American teenager Coco Gauff proved that the success in London was no fluke by advancing to the third round of the US Open, booking a showdown with defending champion and reigning world number one Naomi Osaka.
To became the youngest woman to reach the last 32 at Flushing Meadows since Anna Kournikova’s run to the fourth round in 1996, Gauff battled past Hungary’s Timea Babos, ranked 112th in singles and seeded No.1 in doubles this fortnight. Gauff combined her powerful serve with drop shots, passing shots and superior court coverage to win her third three-setter in a row at this year’s US Open, on only her second main draw appearance at a Grand Slam.
Gauff fired nine aces and won 83% of points on her first serve, impressing the 26-year-old Babos, whose serve stats were also solid in Thursday’s night match on Louis Armstrong Stadium:
A 15-year-old girl with power on the serve like this — I wish I had that when I was younger. If she continues like this, it’s definitely a very bright future.
The world No.140 Gauff’s next obstacle is none other than the tournament’s biggest star — top-ranked Naomi Osaka who won her maiden major title last year in New York. It will be the first ever meeting of the young pair whose combined age is 36.