NEW YORK – Crowd-pleaser Coco Gauff came through a tough battle with qualifier Timea Babos 6-2 4-6 6-4 on Thursday to set up a third-round clash at the U.S. Open against top seed and defending champion Naomi Osaka.
The 15-year-old American phenom was forced to dig deep to become the youngest player since Anna Kournikova in 1996 to reach the third round of the women's singles at Flushing Meadows.
“I was tested a lot. I think we both were just testing each other,” Gauff said. “It’s just that type of match where anyone could have won.”
Gauff rode into this year's tournament with enormous expectations after a dream run at Wimbledon where she beat five-time champion Venus Williams on her way to the fourth round.
On Thursday, the two players were evenly matched for most of the contest, with Gauff maintaining a slightly tighter performance and committing 34 unforced errors compared to 42 from Hungarian Babos.