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Saturday night's alright: can Gauff take her biggest stride vs. Osaka?

Saturday night's alright: can Gauff take her biggest stride vs. Osaka?

The 15-year-old wild card will face off against the world No。 1 and reigning champion in her Arthur Ashe Stadium debut at the US Open。

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When the draw came out, it was a dream match-up. Now, it’s a reality: Naomi Osaka and Cori “Coco” Gauff will square off in a third-round blockbuster on Arthur Ashe Stadium Saturday night.

“Obviously she’s an amazing player,” Gauff said of Osaka after a gutsy 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 win over Timea Babos in her second-round match on Thursday evening.

极速赛车双面盘“She’s defending champion. She’s won two Slams. She’s No. 1. She’s only 21. We’re both pretty young, but I’m a little bit newer to the game. So I’m just curious to see how my game matches up against her. Obviously I want to win. I just want to enjoy it, have fun, enjoy the battle. We’ll see how it goes.”

极速赛车双面盘Osaka beat Poland’s Magda Linette earlier in the day, 6-2 6-4, to extend her winning streak at the hard-court majors to 16 matches in a row—seven matches to win the 2018 US Open, another seven matches to win the 2019 Australian Open and two more wins so far here.

She’s looking forward to her first meeting against Gauff。

“She’s super sweet and I would love to play her, of course,” Osaka said. “For me, when I hear people talking about someone, I want to have the opportunity to play them, just to assess it for myself.”

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At 15, Gauff is the youngest woman to reach the third round of the US Open since 1996, when Anna Kournikova—a younger 15—made it to the fourth round (falling to then-No.1 Steffi Graf). She’s also trying to become the youngest woman to beat a world No. 1 since the final of the WTA event in San Diego in 1991, when Jennifer Capriati—also a younger 15—beat then-No.1 Monica Seles.

And at No。 140, Gauff could become the third-lowest-ranked woman ever to beat a current No。1, after China’s Zhang Shuai, who was No。 226 when she beat Dinara Safina at Beijing in 2009, and Frenchwoman Julie Coin, who was No。 188 when she beat Ana Ivanovic at the 2008 US Open。

Gauff will be playing a reigning No. 1 and Osaka for the first time.

极速赛车双面盘“I’m pretty sure we’re going to be on Arthur Ashe or Armstrong, definitely one of those two courts,” she said after her win over Babos。 “Honestly, I don’t care what time I play。 I like playing in the heat, but I also like the energy of the night sessions。 Whatever they give me, I’m going to be cool with it。”

If Gauff manages to beat Osaka, there will be big implications for their rankings.

Gauff, who’s already projected to rise from No. 140 to about No. 105 by reaching the third round, will break the Top 100 for the first time if she beats the Japanese and reaches the fourth round. Being in the Top 100 would be an incredible achievement given she’s the youngest woman in the Top 1000.

Osaka also needs to win the title to have any chance of keeping the No. 1 ranking, so a loss to Gauff would mean No. 2 Ashleigh Barty or No. 3 Karolina Pliskova would take over after the US Open.


Wake up every morning with Tennis Channel Live at the US Open, starting at 8 a.m. ET. For three hours leading up to the start of play, Tennis Channel's team will break down upcoming matches, review tournament storylines and focus on everything Flushing Meadows.

Tennis Channel's encore, all-night match coverage will begin every evening at 11 p.m. ET, with the exception of earlier starts on Saturday and Sunday of championship weekend.

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