Those who were hoping for Coco Gauff to deliver another thriller in her match with Naomi Osaka were left disappointed, but they did witness the most touching moment of the US Open so far.
Defending champion and world number one Osaka proved too much for Gauff as she eased to a 6-3 6-0 win over the 15-year-old American in just 65 minutes on Saturday.
It was a hugely impressive performance from Osaka, but it was what she did after the match that earned her the most acclaim at Flushing Meadows.
Despite a tearful Gauff wanting to leave the court, Osaka persuaded the teenager to stay out there so they could do the on-court interview together.
Both were then reduced to tears as they spoke in front of the Arthur Ashe crowd, who treated them to a standing ovation.
Osaka will have won plenty more admirers with that sporting gesture and will next face Belinda Bencic, who received a walkover after Anett Kontaveit withdrew from their match due to illness, for a place in the last eight.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 1, 2019
TOWNSEND’S PHONE OVERWHELMED BY TEXTS
Taylor Townsend looked in danger of falling flat after her remarkable comeback against Simona Halep, going a break down in the first set in her match with another Romanian, Sorana Cirstea.
However, Townsend fought back to take the first set and, after skipping a rope at the change of ends, produced a dominant second.
Continuing her aggressive play from the win over fourth seed Halep, Townsend came to the net 75 times in securing a 7-5 6-2 victory.
Speaking to ESPN on court afterwards, Townsend told of the increased attention she has received since defeating Wimbledon champion Halep.
“I didn’t know that many people had my phone number,” Townsend said. “I got a lot of messages and my phone started dialling 911 by itself.”
The hardest part about dealing with two big wins?
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 31, 2019
ANDREESCU KEEPS ASHE EMOTIONS IN CHECK
Next up for Townsend will be rising star Bianca Andreescu, who kept up her outstanding run of form by beating two-time US Open runner-up Wozniacki 6-4 6-4.
Canadian Andreescu has not lost a completed match since March, having won the Rogers Cup on her return from an injury that kept her out of Wimbledon.
But she had no shortage of nerves playing on Ashe for the first time in her fledgling career.
“I was, like, Oh, my God, is this actually happening right now? It’s a dream come true, so I prepared myself really well,” Andreescu said. “I handled my emotions well today.”
AHN: “I’VE MADE IT”
Kristie Ahn had never gone beyond the first round of a slam before this week, now she can look forward to playing in the last 16 after a three-set win over Jelena Ostapenko.
Ahn survived an injury scare to beat former French Open champion Ostapenko 6-3 7-5 and was thrilled to finally be recognised by a passer-by at Flushing Meadows after initially being mistaken for Osaka.
Story time: Was walking back from my dubs match today and heard someone yell ‘It’s Naomi Osaka!’ Everyone started cheering and then someone goes, ‘No! That’s Kristie Ahn!’ Y’all…I’ve made it
— Kristie Ahn (@kristieahn) September 1, 2019
The 27-year-old posted on Twitter: “Story time: Was walking back from my dubs match today and heard someone yell ‘It’s Naomi Osaka!’ Everyone started cheering and then someone goes, ‘No! That’s Kristie Ahn!’ Y’all…I’ve made it.”
Standing in her way as she eyes the last eight is 25th seed Elise Mertens, who defeated Petra Kvitova’s conqueror Andrea Petkovic 6-3 6-3.
Seventh seed Kiki Bertens was unable to improve on her best performance in New York as she was comfortably beaten 6-2 6-3 by Julia Goerges.