Coco Gauff recorded a gutsy 6-3 3-6 6-1 victory over two-time finalist Caroline Wozniacki to return to the quarterfinals of the US Open.
The 19-year-old Gauff never imagined that she would have an opportunity to play the former world No.1 Wozniacki, as the Dane retired in January 2020, just as the American teenager started making a name for herself. To put things in perspective, Wozniacki made her Tour-level debut at 2005 Cincinnati, at the time Gauff was just over one year and four months old.
Resuming her illustrious career after giving birth to two children, Wozniacki pulled off a remarkable comeback run that included victories over two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and 2021 Australian Open runner-up Jennifer Brady en route to the fourth round.
It was Wozniacki who established herself as a stronger force at the very start of her first meeting with Gauff, establishing a 2-0 lead. However, the sixth seed managed to recover from a jittery beginning, equalizing the score at 2-2. She later secured a crucial break to lead 5-3 and successfully served out the first set on her third set point.
Despite warding off five break points during the second set, a frustrated Gauff eventually relinquished her serve, falling behind 5-3 and enabling Wozniacki to push the match to a deciding set.
At the onset of the third set, the young player once more found herself facing a break deficit and vented her frustration towards her coaching team, loudly urging them to refrain from communicating with her. She then took complete control of the match and won all the remaining games.
A quarterfinalist at last year’s US Open, Gauff has now become the first American teenager to reach back-to-back quarterfinals at the Grand Slam since Serena Williams (1999-2001). Since her opening round loss at Wimbledon, Gauff has won 15 of her last 16 matches. With two titles this summer swing – Washington DC and Cincinnati – Gauff has won five titles, the most by a teenager since Wozniacki (2008-09).