The Latest: Gauff, 15, loses to 2018 champ Osaka at US Open
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. Open tennis tournament (all times local):
American teenager Coco Gauff’s second Grand Slam tournament has ended with a 6-3, 6-0 loss to defending champion Naomi Osaka in the third round of the U.S. Open.
The 15-year-old Gauff has generated all sorts of attention already by making it to the second week at Wimbledon in July and becoming the youngest woman to win two matches at Flushing Meadows since 1996.
But in this much-hyped match under the lights in Arthur Ashe Stadium against the top-seeded Osaka, Gauff often looked exactly like what she is: an immensely talented player who is still learning her way at tennis’ top level.
She served at up to 119 mph but also double-faulted seven times.
She overcame a slow start to get within 4-3 in the opening set but also then lost the last eight games.
Osaka’s advantages in age — she’s 21 — and experience — she is a two-time major champion — played a role. As did her on-target power, which resulted in a 24-8 edge in winners.
No. 1 Naomi Osaka has taken the first set 6-3 in her much-anticipated third-round U.S. Open match with 15-year-old American Coco Gauff.
Osaka blasted 15 winners to Gauff’s four in a hard-hitting set that lasted 36 minutes.
Marin Cilic won a battle of big servers, with a key service break helping him beat American John Isner 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4 to advance to the U.S. Open’s round of 16.
Cilic, the No. 22 seed and 2014 champion at Flushing Meadows, earned the crucial break in the fourth set to get the advantage. The 14th-seeded Isner fought back a pair of match points before Cilic finally put it away on his serve to advance to a Grand Slam tournament fourth round for a 23rd time.
Isner finished the day with 40 aces and only four double faults. Cilic had 21 aces but 17 double faults. Both players converted on about 80 percent of their first-serve points, but Cilic saved 13 of 14 break point chances.
Next up for Cilic is No. 2 Rafael Nadal, who beat Hyeon Chung in straight sets.
Earlier on Louis Armstrong Stadium, No. 6-seeded Alexander Zverev beat Aljaz Bedene 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4), 6-3, 7-6 (3).
Rafael Nadal had no trouble downing qualifier Hyeon Chung 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the U.S. Open round of 16, the 13th straight time he’s gone at least that far in a Grand Slam event.
The No. 2-seeded Nadal has had a relatively easy journey at Flushing Meadows so far, receiving a walkover in the second round from Thanasi Kokkinakis due to an injury and not dropping a set in his other two matches. Against the 170th-ranked Chung, a 2018 Australian Open semifinalist who has battled injuries, Nadal played an aggressive game off the ground and on the serve, winning nearly 90 percent of his first-serve points.
Next up for the three-time U.S. Open champion is a matchup against the winner of the match underway between No. 14 John Isner and No. 22 Marin Cilic, himself a former Flushing Meadows champ.
Belinda Bencic has advanced to the U.S. Open fourth round with a walkover after Anett Kontaveit withdrew from singles play with an acute viral illness.
Kontaveit, the No. 21 seed from Estonia, will however remain in the doubles competition with partner Daria Kasatkina. They are scheduled to play a second-round match Sunday.
The No. 13-seeded Bencic next plays the winner of the much-anticipated night match in Arthur Ashe Stadium between No. 1 Naomi Osaka and 15-year-old American rising star Coco Gauff.
Kristie Ahn waited more than a decade to get back into the main draw at the U.S. Open and she’s made it count, beating former French Open champ Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 7-5 to advance to the fourth round.
Ahn, an American ranked 141st, took an injury timeout midway through the second set after landing awkwardly on her left knee. Returning to the court with the knee heavily taped, she came back from a 3-2 deficit to take the lead before closing out the match with an ace.
Ahn first qualified for the Open in 2008 at age 16 but didn’t collect her prize money so she could play at Stanford, where she helped the Cardinal win the 2013 championship.
Her parents agreed to support her tennis afterward, with the understanding she’d stop by the end of 2017 to pursue another career if she wasn’t advancing in tennis. Ahn didn’t and kept playing. Although she failed to qualify at Flushing Meadows the last three years, she finally made it back into the main draw this year by winning the U.S. Open wild card challenge.
Ahn next takes on 25th-seeded Elise Mertens, who earlier defeated Andrea Petkovic in straight sets.
Daniil Medvedev’s heel turn at the U.S. Open cost him $9,000 — raising his total for fines at the tournament to $19,000 after three matches.
The U.S. Tennis Association said the No. 5-seeded Russian was docked $5,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct for angrily snatching and throwing away a towel from a ballperson, and $4,000 for holding his middle finger against the side of his face during his third-round victory.
That behavior resulted in a steady stream of booing from the Louis Armstrong Stadium crowd throughout the match. The jeers reached a crescendo after Medvedev’s win was done, and he seemed to relish it and egged the spectators on.
Sarcastic as can be, he told them: “I want all of you to know, when you sleep tonight, I won because of you.”
Medvedev has been fined after each of his matches so far: $7,500 for verbal abuse in the first round, $2,500 for equipment abuse in the second.
He can afford the penalties, though: By reaching the fourth round, he’s guaranteed to take home at least $280,000
Bianca Andreescu used a steady baseline game to beat Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-4 and advance to the U.S. Open round of 16, the deepest the 19-year-old Canadian has ever gone in a Grand Slam event.
Andreescu, the 15th seed and winner of hardcourt titles this year in Toronto and Indian Wells, won by moving Wozniacki around the court, getting the better of her in long rallies and hitting 27 winners.
Wozniacki, the No. 19 seed and last year’s Australian Open champion, also appeared to be bothered by a right ankle that she had retaped courtside midway through the match.
Next up for Andreescu is a matchup with American qualifier Taylor Townsend, who earlier beat Sorana Cirstea 7-5, 6-2.
Taylor Townsend keeps coming to the next and keeps winning, beating Sorana Cirstea 7-5, 6-2 to advance to the U.S. Open round of 16 for the first time.
Townsend, an American qualifier ranked No. 116, advanced further than she’s ever gone before in a Grand Slam by doing what she does best: serve and volleying, chipping and charging, and coming forward. She came to the net 75 times, winning 47 of those points against the 106th-ranked Cirstea.
Townsend came to the net 106 times in her three-set, second-round upset of Wimbledon champion Simona Halep, the No. 4 seed.
Townsend advances to play either 15th-seeded Bianca Andreescu or No. 19 Caroline Wozniacki.
Elise Mertens has advanced to the U.S. Open round of 16 for the second year in a row, beating Andrea Petkovic 6-3, 6-3.
Mertens, the No. 25 seed from Belgium who was a semifinalist at last year’s Australian Open, used her consistent serve to control the match, hitting seven aces and winning more than 70 percent of her first-serve points. She also cracked 26 winners, twice that of Petkovic.
Mertens advances to play the winner of the match later Saturday between American Kristie Ahn and former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.
Coco Gauff is on another captivating run at a Grand Slam tournament. Now she has get through defending champion Naomi Osaka to continue it.
The 15-year-old Gauff and the top-ranked Osaka meet in the U.S. Open’s latest version of a Super Saturday, a third-round match that is the most anticipated of the tournament thus far.
Gauff reached the fourth round at Wimbledon and has come right back a month later by starting the U.S. Open with a pair of three-set victories in Louis Armstrong Stadium. Now she gets to move to the biggest stage, under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
That was the setting when Osaka beat Serena Williams last year for her first major title, which she’s at times looked capable of defending so far despite coming into the tournament following some recent left knee trouble.
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