A year after stooping Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka now put an end to the run of teen sensation Coco Gauff 6-3, 6-0. Gauff hung in early with the far more powerful defending champ, but once the 15-year-old began spraying errors, Osaka reeled off eight straight games for the comfortable.
After the match, Osaka comforted the tear-eyed teen and asked her to join her for a poignant on-court interview.
“During the match I think she played amazing,” Gauff said. “It was hard for me to take control of the points. Obviously, I think she had way more winners than I did. It was hard to kind of control the rallies.
“But I think I’ll learn a lot from this match. She’s the No. 1 player in the world right now, so I know what I need to do to get to that level.
“After the match, I think she just proved that she’s a true athlete. For me the definition of an athlete is someone who on the court treats you like your worst enemy but off the court can be your best friend. I think that’s what she did tonight.”
Osaka proved too powerful for the fleet-footed Floridian. She’s now won 10 straight matches at the US Open.
“I haven’t played a night match on Ashe since last year,” said Osaka. “I felt the atmosphere was, of course, going to be very different. I think the day crowds and the night crowds are very different here. I mean, everyone was very into this match, I think. For me, I just wanted to see how she played. I think that was the biggest thing.
“”It’s crazy to me to see how far she’s come in such a little amount of time.”
While Coco is still in doubles, Osaka moves into the fourth round to face Belinda Bencic who advanced via walkover after Anett Kontaveit withdrew due to a virus.
Earlier, Bianca Andreescu kept her roll going beating 2-time finalist Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-4. En route to her first Grand Slam fourth round, the 19-year-old Andreescu hasn’t dropped a set.
“I felt really good. I started off the match pretty well, and then the second set, as well. I was up 3-0 but then as expected she found a way and she changed a couple of things,” Andreescu said.
“I felt like I relaxed a little bit. But then I put things together, and then I managed to pull through in the end.”
She’ll now take on former junior No. 1 Taylor Townsend. Townsend backed up big Simona Halep upset by dispatching her second straight Romanian Sorana Cirstea 7-5, 6-2. And she did it again by coming forward often and more often.
“It definitely showed against Halep that it works,” Townsend said. “I played my first round and I definitely didn’t come in as much, but I was doing it and I was trying to be a little more cognizant of it. Once I saw that it worked and, you know, the effect that I had, I tried to implement it as much as I could.”
Kristie Ahn made her first Slam fourth round stunning French champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 7-5. The 27-year-old Ahn had never won a match in a Slam.
Next for Ahn is former Australian Open semifinalist Elise Mertens.
In a mild upset, Julia Goerges beat No. 7 seed Kiki Bertens 6-2, 6-3. The German now faces Donna Vekic.
The fourth round begins tomorrow with Serena Williams battles French Open quarterfinalist Petra Martic. Madison Keys will face Elina Svitolina in the evening and Karolina Pliskova takes on Johanna Konta.
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