New York, Aug 30 : The 15-year-old Coco Gauff of the United States outlasted qualifier Timea Babos of Hungary 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 to set up an intriguing US Open third-round meeting with world No. 1 and defending champion Naomi Osaka of Japan.
Playing as a wildcard, Gauff overcame a second set loss to defeat her opponent after two hours and 21 minutes of play on Thursday. With her victory, she becomes the youngest woman to reach the last 32 at Flushing Meadows since Anna Kournikova's run to the round of 16 in 1996.
"It was great," Gauff said of the match. "I thought that the first set, I definitely was in control. In the second set, Babos raised her level and I wasn't able to finish the set. It was a great match."
"Obviously Osaka is an amazing player," said Gauff. "She's defending champion, she's won two Slams. She's No1, and 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."
Osaka progressed to the third round after easing past Poland's Magda Linette 6-2, 6-4 in one hour and 10 minutes. The Japanese stormed to victory in the first set in just 31 minutes, but had to overturn a 0-3 deficit in the second.
"I feel like I had my moments where I played really well," said Osaka afterwards. "Of course, there were moments that I didn't play as well as I wanted to. But I think the main thing for me was that I was able to adjust whenever I figured out something was going wrong, so I think I'm heading in the right direction."
Elsewhere, American qualifier Taylor Townsend claimed the biggest win of her career to beat fourth seed Simona Halep of Romania, while Andrea Petkovic of Germany knocked out sixth seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic. 15th seed Bianca Andreescu of Canada and two-time runner-up Caroline Wozniacki from Denmark also progressed in the women's singles event.
Chinese No 1 Wang Qiang and compatriot Zhang Shuai both made the third round, but Peng Shuai, who had previously reached the final four at the U.S. Open, was defeated in the second round.
In the women's doubles, 12th seeds Zheng Saisai and Duan Yingying of China reached the second round. In the men's singles, three-time US Open champion Rafael Nadal advanced without striking a ball when Australia's Thanasi Kokkinakis pulled out of the event due to a right shoulder problem.
There were also second round wins for sixth seed Alexander Zverev of Germany and 2016 US Open champion Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland. (XINHUA)