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Gauff Beats Former World No. 1 Naomi Osaka in Straight Sets

Gauff Beats Former World No. 1 Naomi Osaka in Straight Sets

Friday, 5 August, 2022 - 05:45
Coco Gauff, of the United States, tosses the wldball for a serve to Naomi Osaka, of Japan, at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic tennis tournament in San Jose, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. (AP)

Coco Gauff held off four-time major champion Naomi Osaka 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday night to advance to the quarterfinals at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic.


Gauff, the No. 6 seed, held all of her serves in the opening set and finished the 45-minute session with three aces. Osaka had the first double-fault of the match early in the second set and Gauff took advantage for a 2-1 lead. Gauff quickly built a double-break lead at 5-1 and led 40-0 before Osaka saved four match points and used her first ace to make it 5-2.


Osaka then broke Gauff for the first time in the match and overcame another 40-0 deficit with five straight points for 5-4. But Gauff closed it out on her eighth match point with an unreturnable serve.


“The most proud was how I responded mentally,” Gauff said. “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.”


Gauff’s victory evened the series with Osaka at two wins apiece. Gauff will face No. 2 seed Paula Badosa on Friday.


Other winners in San Jose were Shelby Rogers and No. 4 seed Aryna Sabalenka.


Rogers beat top-seeded Maria Sakkari 6-1, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals for the third time this season. Coming off an opening-round win against 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, she beat Sakkari, a 2018 finalist and 2019 semifinalist in San Jose, for the third straight time.


Sabalenka came back from trailing 5-3 in the third set to edge Caroline Dolehide 5-7, 6-1, 7-5. Sabalenka overcame 20 double-faults in the match to advance to play No. 7 seed Daria Kasatkina of Russia.


The schedule for Friday in the hard-court US Open tune-up includes Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabeur, who will face Veronika Kudermetova.


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