The dramatic match between Coco Gauff and Anastasia Potapova was a dream come true for ESPN and the US Open. In the end, Gauff dug deep for the 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win, to advance to the second round.
The match didn’t start the way Coco Gauff, or her sponsor New Balance, might have hoped for in the first round of the US Open. The 72nd ranked Anastasia Potapova took the first set. An early break in the second set had Gauff’s growing fan base worrying that the critics were right. Maybe the hype and pressure had been too much to ask of the 15-year old Gauff.
But Gauff knew better. She had to win a contentious two-hour first round match to move on.
She handily took the second set, and had a 4-1 lead in the third when Potapova asked for a medical timeout. A composed Potapova came back and tied the third set 4-4. Gauff took the final two games to advance — seemingly out of sheer determination.
“I think I gave my mother a heart attack,” Gauff quipped after the match.
Next Up: Timea Babos
Little tested in her first round, Hungarian Timea Babos met a higher-ranked Carla Suarez Navarro for her first match. Navarro beat Babos in last year’s Australian Open. At this year’s US Open, however, Babos got her revenge. After taking the first set, 6-2, Navarro retired their match.
(Although a specific reason wasn’t given for this withdrawal, Navarro has retired previous matches due to a wrist injury.)
Babos may only be ranked 112 in women’s singles by the WTA, but she shouldn’t be underestimated. She has three singles and 21 doubles WTA titles under her belt. And while Gauff prevailed in her first match, it wasn’t a flawless performance. Gauff double-faulted 10 times in her first round match, with eight of those double faults occurring in the first two sets.
But Gauff will have the crowd on her side on Thursday when she faces Babos. And a supportive crowd could be a big advantage for the teenager. In fact, she gave full credit for her first round win to the raucous Flushing Meadows crowd.
“Honestly, it’s because of the crowd,” Gauff said. “You guys were amazing. No matter where I was on the court, I could hear somebody support me.”
Betting on Coco? Round Two Match Odds
Gauff advances to the next round as a favorite, but odds show bettors aren’t yet certain what to make of her. According to CaesarsCasino.com, Gauff’s a -155 to Babos’s +125 — nothing like the picks for more stalwart contenders Serena Williams and Ashleigh Barty
US Open Women’s Betting
Serena Williams -1700
Caty McNally +825
Ashleigh Barty -660
Lauren Davis +470
Coco Gauff -155
Timea Babos +125
Naomi Osaka -240
Magda Linette +190