Teenager Coco Gauff recovered from a slow start, to win in three sets and set up a mouth-watering encounter against Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open third round.
The 15-year-old had already knocked out Venus Williams for the second time in major competitions on Monday and once again had the full support of the Melbourne crowd.
Gauff had been just three games away from defeat, after trailing 0-3 in the final set but fought back to win in just over two hours 4-6 6-3 7-5.
“Honestly I didn’t think I would get so much support in Australia,” she said.
“The same thing happened at the US Open and Wimbledon. The crowd can really change a match. I didn’t get their names but I did give them wristbands and towels and everything. They were really nice and cheering really loudly.”
The teenager will play world number three Naomi Osaka in the third round in a repeat of their U.S Open battle at the same stage last year.
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Osaka progressed in straight sets against China’s Saisai Zheng 6-2 6-4, but not without controversy. The two time Grand Slam champion threw her racquet down in frustration after being broken in the second set but recovered to come through the match with ease.
Osaka won the meeting between the two last time out, but Gauff said she is looking forward to the re-match.
“She’s a great competitor so I think it’s going to be a good match,” Gauff said.
Speaking after the two last met, Osaka said she would love Gauff to come out of her shell a bit more.
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