A glimpse of future Grand Slam finals could possibly be on display in the third round of the US Open.
Coco Gauff, the 15-year-old who reached as far as the Round of 16 at Wimbledon earlier this year, will face No. 1 seed Naomi Osaka after dispatching Hungarian Tímea Babos in a hard-fought 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 match on Thursday.
Gauff is already the youngest player to reach the third round of the US Open since Anna Kournikova in 1996, nearly eight years before Gauff was born.
Just like at Wimbledon, Gauff’s continued rise caught the attention of a quite a few major sports figures.
Bruh watching Coco Gauff is low key like watching game 7 #NiceWin— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) July 5, 2019
Coco!................... Gauff— James Harden (@JHarden13) August 30, 2019
The match between Osaka, who is already a two-time Grand Slam champion and world No. 1 at the age of 21, and Gauff, who is already being hyped as the next great American tennis player, will take place on Saturday. It could be the first of many matches for Gauff at Flushing Meadows’ central Arthur Ashe Stadium.
A short preview of which way the crowd could sway came during Gauff’s post-match interview. The mere mention of the defending champion Osaka by the interviewer prompted a noticeable wave of boos from the crowd.
“I don’t have any thoughts on it right now,” Gauff said about the match. “I don’t even know what today is. Saturday I’ll think about the match.”
In the meantime, Gauff will begin her doubles draw alongside fellow American Caty McNally, who put a scare into Serena Williams on Wednesday at the age of 17. That might be a pairing to watch out for, now and well into the future.
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