History keeps repeating itself for Coco Gauff, as the 15-year-old tennis phenom will once again face off against Naomi Osaka in the third round of a Grand Slam, this time at the Australian Open.
Gauff survived a sloppy, back-and-forth encounter with Sorana Cirstea in Wednesday, ultimately pulling out the win 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Gauff, Osaka Face Off in US Open Rematch
Gauff had nine double faults in the match, and was down a break in the third set before rallying back to secure the win.
The Australian Open is turning into a case of déjà vu for Gauff. Just as in the US Open last year, she started with a match against Venus Williams, beating the veteran legend. Now, she’ll once again get a shot at Osaka – who is the defending champion at the Australian Open, just as she was in New York – in the third round.
That first meeting didn’t go well for Gauff, with Osaka playing a brilliant match to win 6-3, 6-0. Osaka is a clear favorite in the rematch as well: FanDuel Sportsbook has the former world No. 1 as a -480 pick to get the win, while Gauff can be backed at +360.
Those odds don’t faze Gauff, who feels like she’ll have a better handle on the situation heading into this match.
“I know what to expect,” Gauff said after her second-round win. “I’m excited for a good match.”
The Gauff vs. Osaka matchup will take place Friday in Melbourne, but thanks to the time difference, it will be a primetime showdown for Americans, with the match scheduled to start at about 7 pm Eastern in the United States.
Favorites Rolling in Australian Open
Most of the biggest names in the field continued to roll in the second round of the Australian Open. Serena Williams was dominant in a victory over Tamara Zidansek, getting past a few early hiccups in the second set to win 6-2, 6-3.
In the men’s draw, both Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer blew away their opponents on Wednesday. Djokovic beat wild card entry Tatsuma Ito 6-1, 6-4, 6-2, while Federer brushed aside Filip Krajinovic 6-1, 6-4, 6-1.
“I’m feeling really relaxed on court,” Federer said after winning the match in one hour, 32 minutes. “I’m happy. I’m still going, and looking forward to the next one, of course.”
Australian Open Odds (Key Thursday Matches)
- Rafael Nadal (-8000) vs. Federico Delbonis (+3600)
- Karolina Pliskova (-700) vs. Laura Siegemund (+520)
- Simona Halep (-1300) vs. Harriet Dart (+900)
- Daniil Medvedev (-8000) vs. Pedro Martinez (+4300)
- Elina Svitolina (-550) vs. Lauren Davis (+410)
- Dominic Thiem (-1300) vs. Alex Bolt (+940)
Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook
Women’s No. 1 seed Ashleigh Barty also moved safely through to the third round, beating Polona Hercog 6-1, 6-4. Barty was never in trouble during the match, though she said the elements definitely played a factor.
“The wind played a factor, particularly with the new balls,” Barty said afterwards. “It was about making as many balls as I could and, once I got my opportunity, I could take it.”
Wednesday’s play also saw the first top 10 player go down at the Australian Open. American Tennys Sandgren upset No. 8 seed Matteo Berrettini in a five-set thriller, winning 7-6 (9-7), 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 7-5. Berrettini was coming off of a semifinal run at the 2019 US Open in his last Grand Slam appearance.