by Associated Press
By Howard Fendrich
AP Tennis Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Coco Gauff became the first American teenager since Serena Williams more than two decades ago to reach the U.S. Open quarterfinals in consecutive years, getting that far this time by beating Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 on Sept. 3.
Gauff asked one of her coaches, Brad Gilbert, to stop talking to her as the second set slipped away. But she wound up winning the last six games.
Gauff is 19. Wozniacki, the 2018 Australian Open champion and twice the runner-up at Flushing Meadows, is a 33-year-old mother of two and was playing in just her third tournament since coming out of retirement last month.
It was the hottest day of the event so far, with the temperature reaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius).
Gauff kept missing the mark in the second set, to the tune of 22 unforced errors, but she cleaned that up considerably down the stretch, with just eight miscues in the last set.
Gauff, whose best showing at a major was reaching the final at the 2022 French Open, has now won 15 of her past 16 matches. That run comes right after a first-round exit at Wimbledon in July; it also includes the two biggest titles of her career, at the DC Open and in Cincinnati.
She lost to Caroline Garcia in the quarterfinals a year ago in New York; this time, the opponent will be defending champion and No. 1-ranked Iga Swiatek or No. 20 Jelena Ostapenko.