Osaka dismantles Gauff, then issues an extraordinary invitation
New York Defending champion Naomi Osaka has dismantled Coco Gauff in their highly anticipated third-round showdown at the US Open before offering the tearful teenage sensation post-match consolation.
World No.1 Osaka, 21, was in command from the start in packed Arther Ashe Stadium and rolled to a 6-3, 6-0 win to make a big statement and set up a last 16 date with Swiss Belinda Bencic.
Double act: Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff are interviewed courtside after the match.Credit:Getty Images
The Japanese fired 24 winners while 15-year-old Gauff managed only seven and piled up 24 unforced errors.
At the end of the 65-minute match, Osaka approached an emotional Gauff at the side of the court, where the two embraced and spoke for a few minutes.
Osaka then encouraged the emotional Gauff to be part of an extraordinary double on-court interview.
"For me, I think this was the most focused I've been since Australia," Osaka said in an on-court interview, with Gauff standing beside her. "So, sorry for playing you with this type of mentality."
Gauff said Osaka "did amazing and I will learn a lot from this match. She is super sweet".
"She told me that I did amazing and good luck and then she asked if I could do the on-court interview with her and I said no because I knew I would cry the whole time but she encouraged me to do it," Gauff said.
The young American had burst onto the scene by reaching the Wimbledon fourth round as a qualifier in July, which prompted US Open officials to give her a wildcard.
Swiss 13th seed Belinda Bencic did not have to take to the court on Saturday after her Estonian opponent Anett Kontaveit before the match due to illness.
Emotional moment: Osaka consoles Gauff after the match.Credit:Getty Images
Earlier in the day, qualifier Taylor Townsend continued her remarkable run with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Romanian Sorana Cirstea.
The American world No.116, who stunned Wimbledon champion Simona Halep in the third round, is now one match away from a record-equalling quarter-final berth for a qualifier.
"I am here, we are going to ride this thing all the way," she pledged in an on-court interview.
"I will take it as far as I can."
Townsend next faces fancied Canadian 15th seed Bianca Andreescu who beat former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-4.
"I played great but so did Caroline. It was super fun," Andreescu said.
Germany's Julia Goerges also pulled off a surprise by knocking out Dutch seventh seed Kiki Bertens 6-2, 6-3 to advance to a meeting with Donna Vekic, who accounted for Yulia Putintseva 6-4, 6-1.
Belgian 25th seed Elise Mertens and American wildcard Kristie Ahn both won to set up a round-of-16 encounter.
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