Naomi Osaka cruise past Gauff at US Open

Naomi Osaka cruise past Gauff at US Open
Naomi Osaka, of Japan, speaks with Coco Gauff after winning the third round of US Open in New York.
New York, Sep 1 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 9/1/2019 11:29:19 AM IST

Defending champion Naomi Osaka dominated rising star Coco Gauff 6-3, 6-0 to reach the last 16 of the US Open.

Gauff, the 15-year-old who became a household name for her exploits at Wimbledon earlier this year, was making her first appearance on court in the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

But 21-year-old Osaka, back at the scene of her dramatic triumph against Serena Williams 12 months ago, handled the occasion far better.

A Gauff double fault in her first service game gave her opponent a break and set the tone for a display peppered with too many unforced errors.

A pair of aces eventually saw the younger player hold, and she then broke back before further breaks of serve were exchanged, Osaka finally holding to take the set.

At the start of the second, audible groans went around Ashe when Gauff’s double fault brought up 0-30, and a second handed another break to Osaka.

Three break points in the next game briefly raised hopes of a revival, but they were quickly snuffed out by Osaka’s booming groundstrokes.

It was all over when a Gauff forehand went long, and Osaka rushed to console the tearful teenager as she tumbled out of her debut US Open in the third round.

Gauff was persuaded by her opponent to stay for the courtside interview, and said, “She told me I did amazing.”

“She said would I do the interview, I said ‘no I’m going to cry’, but she encouraged me to do it. It was amazing, I’m going to learn a lot from this match. She’s been so sweet to me.”

Osaka took it upon herself to speak to Gauff in the locker room earlier in the week. But she said, “I don’t think I’m a mentor.” She added, “I think this is the most focused I’ve been since the Australian Open. It was super fun. The energy was crazy, even if it really wasn’t for me.”

Nadal advances to 4th round
Spanish ace Rafael Nadal advanced to the US Open’s fourth round after an effortless victory over South Korean Hyeon Chung by 6-3, 6-4 and 6-2.
Nadal, who has won the tournament on three occasions and is the second seed this year, was in good physical form after a walkover in the second round at the Flushing Meadows here on Saturday as his opponent, Thanasi Kokkinakis, forfeited due to a shoulder injury, Efe news reports.
Chung, on the other hand, was still reeling from a tough five-set duel against Spaniard Fernando Verdasco that lasted over three hours and 20 minutes.
In Saturday’s face-off, Nadal won the first set in 41 minutes.
The 23-year-old Korean player, world No. 170 in the ATP rankings, improved his play during the second set, though the Spaniard ended up snagging it as well aided by Chung’s many unforced errors, which reached a total of 37 throughout the match.
Chung, who stopped playing between February and July due to a back injury, was overwhelmed in the third set by Nadal’s powerful serves and surgical precision.
Nadal is next set to face Croat Marin Cilic.

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