Instead of preparing for the junior Australian Open like her coevals, the 15-year-old Cori Gauff dreams big on the biggest tennis stage, dethroning Naomi Osaka to reach the fourth round at her debut at Melbourne Park! A teenage sensation took down the 3rd seed 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and seven minutes, never putting a foot wrong and serving revenge for that third-round loss at the US Open last September.
With these points, Gauff should find herself in the top-50 when the new ranking list comes out, staying on the title course and breaking more age records on her incredible trail so far among the professionals. Osaka claimed the title here last year but was nowhere near that level tonight at Rod Laver Arena, hitting 17 winners but also 30 unforced errors, unable to find the range from the start until finish and suffering three breaks to propel Cori through.
On the other hand, the youngster showed no sign of nerves, facing only two break chances in the entire clash and staying focused all the time to deliver one of her greatest victories and advance into the last 16. With five rock-solid holds under her belt in the first set, Cori kept the pressure on the other side of the court and earning a break in the eighth game when Osaka netted a backhand.
Serving for the set, Gauff held at love with a service winner to take the opener 6-3 in swift 31 minutes, gathering momentum ahead of set number two and forcing Naomi to raise her level if she wanted to fight for the win.
They traded breaks at the beginning of the second set and it was Cori who controlled the pace behind the initial shot after that with four straight holds without any problems, challenging Osaka to repeat that to stay on the positive side of the scoreboard.
That wasn't possible, though, suffering a break at 15 in game seven when her backhand found the net and allowing Gauff to seal the deal with three service winners in the tenth game. Cori will now face Sofia Kenin or Shuai Zhang, hoping for a similar performance and a chance to fight for the place in her first Major quarter-final at such a young age.