Coco Gauff achieved a personal best at the US Open on Sunday with a first-time trip to the quarter-finals after a 7-5, 7-5 defeat of China’s Zhang Shuai.
The 18-yea-rold Gauff, who prefers to jog solo – headphones on – between the locker room and the courts without bothering with a clumsy security escort , will face on-form French player Caroline Garcia in her next match.
The Cincinnati winner a fortnight ago knocked out American Alison Riske-Amritraj 6-4, 6-1.
Gauff thrilled fans under the closed roof of the Ashe stadium on the first day of rain this week as she advanced in just under two hours with five breaks of her 33-year-old opponent.
“It feels insane to hear everyone chanting my name,” the teenager said. “I was trying to stay in the moment at the last changeover, trying not to smile about it.
With the roof open for the first set but shut for the second Gauff said she felt the difference.
“It was a lot more humid when the roof was closed. Maybe closed is better for me. I’m from Florida, so the hotter the better.”
Due to the wet weather, Gauff said she would likely skip her habitual post-match training sessions.
Gauff’s win was her 34th of the season and gives her the chance to move into the Top 10 after the Open.
Garcia overcame losses in all three of her previous matches with Riske-Amritraj as she earned her win in 82 minutes, keeping up the momentum from Cincinnati.
The Frenchwoman who has lifted her ranking from 75 earlier this season to 17th, won her 12th match in a row as she reached her second quarter-final at a major after Roland Garros five years ago.
“I’m so excited to be in the quarters,” she said. “It’ been a couple of good weeks for me.
“I’m going for my shots even when I’m tight and am not really feeling my game.
“I enjoy playing like that, moving forward and attacking – I’m having fun.”
Garcia said she came to the court prepared: “I was ready for her game today, I tried to play aggressive. She’s a very tough fighter and a good mover.
“I managed my emotions well, the second set was really good.”
Main photo:- Coco Gauff celebrates victory in today’s quarter final – by Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd