Teen sensation Coco Gauff stalls fierce fightback from Naomi Osaka in San Jose

Reuters
Bangalore, India Updated: Aug 05, 2022, 07:56 PM(IST)

Coco Gauff stalls fierce fightback from Naomi Osaka fightback in San Jose Photograph:( AFP )

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It was the fourth meeting between Japan`s Osaka and Gauff, who finished runner-up in her maiden Grand Slam final at this year`s French Open, with the American levelling the head-to-head record at 2-2.

American 18-year-old Coco Gauff found the poise to stall a fierce fightback from four-time major winner Naomi Osaka on Thursday, defeating the former world number one 6-4 6-4 to reach the Silicon Valley Classic quarter-finals.

It was the fourth meeting between Japan`s Osaka and Gauff, who finished runner-up in her maiden Grand Slam final at this year`s French Open, with the American levelling the head-to-head record at 2-2.
Gauff did not allow a single opportunity on her serve in the opening set, with a sole break of Osaka`s delivery enough for the American to take it.

She dominated the twice Australian and U.S. Open champion in the second set to go 5-1, 40-0 up before the 24-year-old Osaka turned things around. Osaka saved four match points to hold serve and then broke Gauff, who committed two double faults, on her first opportunity in the eighth game.

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Osaka saved three more match points for her next service hold to narrow the deficit to 5-4 before Gauff converted her eighth match point with another big serve. "Even though I was up 5-1, 40-0 I knew I didn`t have the match in the bag yet and she proved that," Gauff said. "When you play Naomi she can play lights out tennis. I wasn`t too mad. I was just like, eventually it`ll calm down and if it doesn`t calm down then it`s probably not my day.

"The most proud was how I responded mentally. I could have easily folded in those couple of double-faults and match points that I lost. But I kept telling myself, `another point, another chance,` and then the music kind of helped on the bench. I was trying to sing along to the song to get me out of the match."

Next up for Gauff, who is third behind top-ranked Iga Swiatek and Wimbledon runner-up Ons Jabeur in the Race to the WTA Finals leaderboard, will be second-seeded Spaniard Paula Badosa. The WTA 500 tournament in San Jose, California lost its top seed on Thursday when world number three Maria Sakkari was beaten 6-1 6-3 by American Shelby Rogers.

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