American rising star Coco Gauff will lock horns with World No.2 Naomi Osaka for a third-round spot at the Western and Southern Open 2021. Ahead of the massive anticipating clash, the 17-year-old revealed that she learned a lot from the previous matches against the four-time Grand Slam champion.
In the opening encounter in Cincinnati, World No.23 outlasted Taiwanese Hsieh Su-Wei in straight sets(6-1, 6-2). Most notably, American fired back-to-back ten aces and twenty winners on the hardcourt.
“I think I did well just focusing on my side of the court. She hits a crazy shot and tries not to let that get into my head because she’s talented, and she will hit great shots,” Gauff said in the post-match interview.
“I Learned That I Can Perform Well Under Pressure”, says Gauff
Coco Gauff and Naomi Osaka are equal(1-1) in their head-to-head series. In the first meeting, the Japanese defeated the American in straight sets(6-3, 6-0) at the US Open 2019.
Afterwards, Gauff powered past defending champion Osaka during the 2020 Australian Open third round without dropping a set(6-3, 6-4).
“I definitely did learn a lot from both matches (against Osaka), actually”, Coco Gauff confessed ahead of the Osaka clash.
“In the second match, I learned that I can perform well under pressure and that I do have a lot more fun on the court when I try not to focus on the expectations of other people and myself, whereas I didn’t really find that, I guess, to balance until that Australian Open match,” the two-time WTA tour-level title winner added.
“Before it was hard for me to find that balance between the whole US Open and Australia, those months, which is trying to find the balance of, you know, trying to do what other people expect of me, but instead realising I just have to focus on myself,” Gauff concluded.