Coco Gauff stuns defending champion Naomi Osaka to reach Australian Open fourth round

Christine Brennan talks to Don Riddell about the rising star of Cori "Coco" Gauff in tennis and the immortal greatness of gymnast Simone Biles.

Posted: Jan 24, 2020 8:20 AM
Updated: Jan 24, 2020 8:20 AM

Teenager Coco Gauff stunned defending champion Naomi Osaka with a 6-3 6-4 victory to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.

The 15-year-old American needed just 67 minutes to beat the No. 3 seed and set up a meeting with either China's Zhang Shaui or compatriot Sofia Kenin.

Gauff was totally dominant for large periods of the match and perhaps even surprised herself with the ease of her victory.

"I don't even know," she replied when asked how she had pulled off that performance. "From the crowd, I guess. Honestly, what is my life, like, oh my gosh, two years ago I lost in the first round in juniors and now I'm here -- it's crazy.

"Honestly, I was just telling myself, 'One point at a time and keep fighting because you never know what happens on this court.'

"I love it down here, oh my gosh, like, honestly, thank you guys from the bottom of my heart, like, oh my gosh, I'm on the Rod Laver Arena -- I can't believe this."

READ: Serena Williams stunned by Qiang Wang at the Australian Open

READ: Nick Kyrgios and Gilles Simon mock Rafael Nadal routine at Australian Open

On the same day that Serena Williams was shocked in the third round by Wang Qiang, this Friday at the Australian Open perhaps now marks a changing of the guard in women's tennis.

Gauff had already beaten Venus Williams -- who she also beat in the first round at Wimbledon -- and the experienced Sorana Cîrstea to reach this stage and now adds Osaka to an ever-growing list of big-name scalps.

Her performance at this year's Australian Open is all the more incredible when taking into account she is also continuing to study, though she says her teachers are giving her some special dispensation.

"Probably tomorrow," she laughed when asked when she would next be doing homework. "Because I want to go to sleep tonight.

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READ: Raining dirt sees Australian Open suspended

"My teachers are giving me some time considering the circumstances -- they're letting me submit late."

Last season, Gauff backed up her stunning grand slam debut at Wimbledon -- where she became the youngest player since 1991 to reach the fourth round -- with a third round appearance at the US Open, where she lost to Osaka.

How things have changed.

That day, Gauff won just three games in a one-sided match that ended with Osaka having to console the beaten teenager.

In October, she became the youngest WTA title winner for 15 years after beating 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in Linz, Austria.

Despite her disbelief at being there, Gauff looks very much at home on the Rod Laver Arena and says her next goal is to finally meet the man it's named after, one of tennis' all-time greats.

"I walked past him a couple of times in the hallway but I never said 'hi' because I'm too nervous," she said. "If he's watching, let's set up a meet up some time, I need a photo for Instagram."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314710

Reported Deaths: 7254
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21646260
Hinds20369416
Harrison17949309
Rankin13643278
Jackson13450246
Madison10113217
Lee9986174
Jones8384163
Forrest7689152
Lauderdale7198240
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Lamar623686
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Washington5341134
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Warren4393121
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Monroe4115133
Union411176
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3969110
Hancock379586
Leflore3498125
Sunflower336290
Tate334784
Pike3327105
Scott316274
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311770
Itawamba300577
Copiah297465
Coahoma295579
Simpson295388
Tippah288768
Adams286982
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Leake268473
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George248148
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Jasper221148
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Holmes189174
Clay185554
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178941
Clarke178080
Calhoun170932
Yalobusha164638
Smith162534
Walthall134245
Greene130633
Lawrence128724
Montgomery127142
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton100025
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83923
Quitman81116
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67531
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 537813

Reported Deaths: 11024
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson791691529
Mobile41177808
Madison35002507
Tuscaloosa25871454
Shelby25076249
Montgomery24549591
Baldwin21290309
Lee15946171
Calhoun14556319
Morgan14364280
Etowah13890353
Marshall12262223
Houston10602282
Elmore10115206
Limestone10031151
St. Clair9890245
Cullman9730194
Lauderdale9449243
DeKalb8853188
Talladega8325176
Walker7259277
Autauga6971108
Jackson6830112
Blount6750139
Colbert6317134
Coffee5546119
Dale4869113
Russell444338
Chilton4343113
Franklin426282
Covington4138118
Tallapoosa4040152
Escambia394577
Chambers3581123
Dallas3564153
Clarke351361
Marion3137101
Pike311977
Lawrence302298
Winston275673
Bibb263064
Geneva252577
Marengo249664
Pickens234862
Barbour231956
Hale223677
Butler217869
Fayette212462
Henry189644
Cherokee184345
Randolph182042
Monroe178140
Washington167639
Macon160750
Clay156957
Crenshaw153357
Cleburne149241
Lamar143035
Lowndes139653
Wilcox127430
Bullock123041
Conecuh110629
Coosa108928
Perry107826
Sumter104932
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Choctaw61024
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