Coco Gauff, a youngster from the United States, utilised her better speed to overcome a deficit in the second set and pull off a dramatic 7-5 7-5 triumph against Zhang Shuai, a player from China, to advance to the quarterfinals of the US Open for the very first time.
Fans of American tennis are eager to see someone emerge to take Serena Williams’ place after her defeat on Friday night, which may have signalled the end of her illustrious career. Many of these fans have placed their hopes on Gauff, who is known for being friendly and having a powerful serve.
Gauff said in an on-court interview that she felt “crazy” after securing the victory, which set up a clash with the in-type Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia for the following day.
I mean, they were shouting my name in Ashe Stadium, and I was trying not to grin on the bench during the final changeover because I wanted to be there in the moment. Nevertheless, I found myself smiling in my brain.
In a matchup between the youngest player still in the draw, Gauff, who is just 18 years old, and the oldest player, Zhang, who is 33 years old, it was the Chinese player who seemed more sharp at the beginning, breaking for a 2-0 lead in the first set. Gauff ultimately lost the match.
However, the twelfth seed Gauff kept her composure and won the main set with a two-handed backhand winner, which electrified the audience that was cheering for her.
Zhang, who was happy to extend battles from the baseline and was acting as a human backboard, took a 5-3 lead in the second when she broke Gauff with a backhand winner of her own. Zhang was willing to expand the length of exchanges.
But Gauff once again shown maturity beyond her years by winning the next four games, the highlight of which was an exciting point in the last game in which she exploited her remarkable speed to glide from corner to corner to force a mistake from Zhang.
Zhang plugged her ears in an effort to drown out the applause that erupted from the audience when the goal was made. The loudness was exacerbated by the fact that the roof of Arthur Ashe Stadium was closed due to the rain.
Gauff put an end to the almost two-hour ordeal by capitalising on a mistake made by Zhang, and then the two of them shared a virtual bear embrace.
As a result of the victory, Gauff became the youngest player to get to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open since Melanie Oudin did it in 2009.
After her victory against Alison Riske-Amritraj (6-4, 6-1), she may expect that her fans will cheer for her again when she faces the red-hot seventeenth seed Garcia in the quarterfinals. Garcia is ranked scarlet scorching.