NEW YORK, NY, USA – Coco Gauff has revealed that of her three US Open main draw singles matches, the one she was least nervous about was her meeting with WTA World No.1 Naomi Osaka.
The Japanese proved a 6-3, 6-0 winner on Saturday, leaving the 15-year-old American in tears, but both have been hailed for the character they showed in conducting an on-court interview in the aftermath of the emotional encounter.
Back on court 24 hours later in the doubles competition alongside fellow teenager Catherine McNally, Gauff and her partner came through, 6-3, 7-6(9) against No.9 seeds Nicole Melichar and Kveta Peschke.
Speaking after that match, Gauff admitted she had put more pressure on herself for the doubles than her Osaka match up.
“I wasn’t really feeling pressure or nervous because I’m going against the No. 1 player in the world. Actually, that was the least of my pressure I felt in the past three matches,” she said. “Today, doubles, I came in with a little more pressure on myself than singles because I know I have someone else that I can’t let down.
“I think I came into both matches with the same mentality. I just think the difference between yesterday and today is that today we won and yesterday I lost. Yesterday I couldn’t control the point. Naomi was hitting the ball really hard, and today we played with super control and everything.”
Meanwhile, the doubles partners exchanged compliments with each other ahead of a last-16 match against Ashleigh Barty and Victoria Azarenka.
“What I like on court about Caty is she’s not afraid to take chances and risks,” Gauff said of the 17-year-old. “Obviously she has really good hands, so it’s good to know you have someone at the net and she gets some unreal shots back. That’s cool.
“I like the way her and her coach Kevin banter with each other. It’s pretty funny, and I dig into it as well. Caty is really funny and I really like her.”
On Gauff, McNally said: “Well, on court, like I said, I love the way Coco fights and competes and just leaves it all out there. She’s super fun to play with, always supporting me in doubles. We pick each other up when the other one is down.
“Off the court, she’s just very silly, laughing, always has a smile on her face and always puts a smile on my face and lightens the mood.”
The pair are slated to be back in action on Monday against the No.8 seeds.