Cori Gauff speaks extremely highly of Naomi Osaka ahead of San Jose clash

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Cori Gauff speaks extremely highly of Naomi Osaka ahead of San Jose clash

Cori Gauff was pleased with her start to the American hard court swing as she destroyed Anhelina Kalinina in her first round match at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose. On Tuesday, home favorite Gauff crushed Kalinina 6-1 6-0 after clinching a total of five breaks during the match.

“Today’s match was great," Gauff said, per Tennis365. “I was glad to find out I was playing the night match. I love night sessions. This crowd was pretty energetic. It’s a small stadium, but the sound is really loud, so I enjoyed it”.

Gauff on playing Naomi Osaka next: She is a great champion

“I played her a lot of times and she’s obviously going to be a tough opponent,” Gauff said. “Either way, win or lose, I think that the match is going to be great.

She’s such a champion, on and off the court, so I guess those are the type of people that you want to play, and I look forward to playing those matches”. Gauff and Osaka will be going head-to-head for the fourth time in their respective careers when they meet in the San Jose last-16.

And for the fourth time, they will be playing on a hard court. In 2019, Osaka handed a 15-year-old Gauff a straight-set defeat when they met at the US Open. The following year, Gauff clinched her first victory over Osaka after beating the Japanese at the Australian Open.

Last year, Gauff and Osaka played against each other for the first time. At WTA 1000 event in Cincinnati, Osaka beat Gauff in three sets to improve to 2-1 against the American. Osaka is playing her first tournament in two months, but hard has always been her top surface and she doesn't need much time to start playing well on her favorite surface. It remains to be seen if Gauff can beat Osaka and tie their head-to-head to two wins apiece.