Coco Gauff seems to be much better than her 67th world ranking and older than her age of 15 would suggest as she just defeated defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka 6-3, 6-4 in the tournament’s third round.
In the process of her win at Melbourne Park on Friday (January 24), Gauff became the youngest player in the professional era to eliminate the reigning women’s champion at the Australian Open.
After the match, and during her on-court interview, Gauff joked about wanting to take a selfie with Rod Laver, the 11-time major champion whom the stadium the open is played in is named after.
“Honestly, like, what is my life? Like, oh, my gosh!” she told the crowd. “Two years ago, I lost first round in juniors and now I'm here. This is crazy.”
Gauff is also the youngest player to bear a top-five opponent in a women’s tour-level match since Jennifer Capriati did it at age 15, 29 years ago.
Osaka also reacted the match’s result, claiming it was Gauff’s serve that made a huge difference. “Her serve is way better,” she said. "I feel like I wasn't really swinging freely, and she was."
Gauff and Osaka famously faced off in last year’s third round of the U.S. Open with Osaka claiming victory. The incredible occasion was capped off by Gauff’s eye-watering post game interview during which she embraced Osaka.
We note now what we did then: the future of women’s tennis is in great hands.