Coco Gauff beat Caroline Wozniacki 6-3 3-6 6-1 to book her place in the fourth round of the US Open.
The 19-year-old is 14 years younger than her Danish opponent and she managed to stay focused despite Hollywood director Spike Lee watching the field.
Wozniacki fell behind early on as the American won the first set 6-3, before the Dane equalized by the same score, with Gauff unable to avoid a crucial unforced error, meaning the match would go the distance.
With the score 5-3 in Wozniacki’s favor, Gauff told coach Brad GIlbert to “Please stop,” while offering advice to help turn the tide.
Wozniacki then broke early in the third set, meaning Gauff had lost four straight games, leaving his chances in jeopardy, leading Gauff to direct more criticism at Gilbert.
Gauff then asserted herself in the deciding third set as she raced to a 6-1 winning margin after that swing, and with the match over, her five aces against Wozniacki’s demonstrated her superior power at the end.
After her win, Gauff said it was an “honor” to play Wozniacki and discussed her father’s nerves while she was playing, revealing: “My dad’s not in the box anymore because he’s getting too nervous.
“He’s in one of the suites somewhere and he’s apparently been doing laps around the stadium. I don’t know if he can hear me right now, but I felt his good energy.”
Speaking at his press conference, Wozniacki explained how his approach to tennis has changed since his return.
She said: “It’s different. I’ve had two children. I want to be a good role model for them. I obviously want to be a good role model for the children.
“But I’m also a competitor. I’m just here to fight the best I can. I think I’ve always done that. I try to do that in relation to my opponent and everything else. I wear many hats .But I just try to do my best wherever I am.
Muchova works hard to win
Muchova beat Xinyu Wang 6-3 5-7 6-1 as the No. 10 seed remained on course for a second 2023 Grand Slam final.
Muchova lost last year in New York in the first round after suffering injuries, but she now appears close to her best.
The 27-year-old Czech became a surprise contender for the tournament this month and was a losing finalist to Iga Swiatek at the French Open in Paris in June.
“I’m really happy to be done and it’s over,” Muchova said on court after her victory. “In the third set I came back to my game, to slice it more and change the rhythm – that was the key, actually.”
She will face world No. 30 Sorana Cirstea in the quarter-finals on Tuesday after beating Belinda Bencic 6-3 6-3.