Teen Gauf Sets up 3rd Round Clash with Defending Champion Osaka

Coco Gauff is making her first appearance at the Australian Open


  • *Serena, Nadal, Djokovic cruise into 3rd Round

American teenager Coco Gauff recovered from a set down to set up a meeting with defending champion Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open last 32.

World number one Ashleigh Barty also reached the third round on Wednesday.

Japanese third seed Osaka put a “childish” outburst behind her to beat Saisai Zheng 6-2 6-4 before 15-year-old Gauff saw off Romania’s Sorana Cirstea.

The world number 67 was 3-0 down in the deciding set but fought back to win 4-6 6-3 7-5 in two hours and six minutes.

“It’s amazing,” said Gauff. “Honestly, I didn’t think I would get so much support in Australia. I was down 3-0 and you really made me believe.”

Osaka, 22, went through in straight sets but threw her racquet on the floor and kicked it after China’s Zheng broke her serve in the second.

“My racquet just magically flew out of my hand,” joked Osaka, who won in one hour and 20 minutes.

“I couldn’t control it, I think that’s how I dealt with my frustration.

“It was a bit childish. I just want to play one match without throwing my racquet or kicking it. That’s all I want.”

Still on the women’s singles, Serena Williams said she was frustrated by her own form as she overcame Slovenian Tamara Zidansek with a patchy performance to reach the third round.

The 38-year-old American, bidding for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, won 6-2 6-3 in 78 minutes.

However, Williams squandered 0-40 leads in successive Zidansek second-set service games before pulling clear.

“I made so many errors in a row and had to battle through my own internal problems,” said Williams.

In the men’s category, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic both enjoyed comfortable wins to reach the third round of the Australian Open.

Federer beat world number 41 Filip Krajinovic of Serbia 6-1 6-4 6-1 to maintain his bid to match Djokovic’s seven Australian Open titles.

The Swiss, 38, wrapped up victory in 92 minutes and will face Australia’s John Millman next.

Djokovic, the defending champion, dismissed Japanese wildcard Tatsuma Ito 6-1 6-4 6-2 in 95 minutes.