In a matchup that could be an insight into the future of women’s tennis, Coco Gauff overcame Mirra Andreeva in straight sets to advance into the third round of the US Open.
In the battle of the teenagers, 19-year-old Gauff beat 16-year-old Andreeva 6-3 6-2 and never looked out of control as her extra experience and skill showed.
Gauff is among the favorites in a wide-open women’s field at Flushing Meadows and this convincing win would have laid down a warning to the rest of the field.
The American has been on brilliant form coming into the last grand slam of the season and won her third title of the year – and biggest of her career – at the Western & Southern Open in her last outing before the US Open.
“I think that I’m capable of winning when I’m not playing my best, even in the first round I wasn’t playing my best and I was able to get through that one and today I played much cleaner tennis,” Gauff said during her on-court interview.
The teenager has continued her rapid development this year and Gauff said that one of the reasons for her improvement is her increasingly enjoying her tennis.
“I have to enjoy this if I want to maintain a long career, I have to really have fun on the court and I think I’m having fun with the wins and losses,” added Gauff.
Gauff certainly looked like she was having fun and seized control of the match early in the first set.
The fast-paced nature of the court suited Gauff and allowed her power to shine.
The second-round match was also played under sweltering sunlight on Arthur Ashe Stadium and Gauff said that these conditions were similar to what she is used to back home in South Florida.
“I’m just used to the heat; I’m used to sweating. I’m soaked, I had to go to the towel a lot to just wipe my hands off,” said Gauff.
Despite losing in convincing fashion to Gauff, at just 16 this is clearly just the beginning for Andreeva.
The Russian is one of tennis’ rising stars and Gauff was able to offer words of wisdom to her opponent after the matchup.
“I think when I was younger, I used to think every match was life or death and when you realize some of your competitors on tour are in their 30s, it puts in perspective you still have to allow yourself time to make mistakes and the losses,” Gauff said post-match.
“As long as you learn from them, they’re okay.”
Gauff will take on Elise Mertens in the next round after the Belgian defeated America’s Danielle Collins in round two.
Elsewhere, American Taylor Townsend continued her run with a second-round victory against Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia.
Townsend, ranked No. 132 in the world, overcame the 19th seed in straight sets with a 7-6 7-5 win.
The 27-year-old will face either Karolína Muchová or Magdalena Fręch in the third round with the pair playing on Wednesday.