Australian Open: Coco Gauff stuns defending champion Naomi Osaka
The shock factor of the Australian Open continued on Friday as women's defending champion Naomi Osaka of Japan was handed a defeat. She lost to USA's Coco Gauff 3-6, 4-6 in the third round. She became the third-seeded player among the top 10 to fall in a single day after USA's Serena Williams and Madison Keys. Here is more on this.
How did the match pan out?
The match started on a positive note for both. However, just a couple of games after, Osaka seemed to commit quite a few errors. On the same note, Gauff refused to be complacent, as she took good advantage of Osaka's errors and capitalized on it. Besides managing to hold her serve strong, she also won three of her four break points to seal it.
Gauff in shock following Osaka ouster
Following the win, Gauff was both delighted and shock after what transpired. She recalled her juniors first-round loss two years ago, while she termed this win of hers as 'crazy'. "I was just telling myself one point at a time and keep fighting because you never know what happens on this court. I'm on Rod Laver Arena, I can't believe this," she said.
Gauff had faced Osaka once before on a losing occasion
Prior to this tie, Gauff had faced Osaka just once, during the US Open last year, where the latter had won 6-3, 6-0. While Gauff is currently ranked 67th, Osaka is ranked fourth.
Osaka has been inconsistent since 2019 AO win
Considering Osaka's performance since the 2019 AO win, she has been highly inconsistent. She could not go beyond the pre-quarters in the Slams which followed thereafter. Besides the Slams, she played a total of nine WTA tournaments, where she managed to win just two. Overall, of the 17 tournaments, she played last year, she had a win percentage of 78.
Serena and Keys ousted in third round as well
Among the other upsets, ninth seed Serena's bid for her record 24th Slam came to an end, after she was beaten 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 5-7 by China's Wang Qiang, who was seeded 27th. Serena has failed to win a single Slam since the 2017 Australian Open. Meanwhile, 10th seed Keys lost to Greece's Maria Sakkari 4-6, 4-6.