New York — Coco Guff Reached the US Open quarter-finals for the first time by returning in each group to win Shuai Chang of China 7-5, 7-5 in front of a partisan crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday.
The 18-year-old Floridian, a June French Open runner-up, trailed 5-4 in the opening set, then 5-3 in the second, which was a point she lost.
But it was backed by onlookers who cheered for her at every point, chanting “Let’s go, Coco!” As the end neared and Zhang pushed to cover her ears with her hands, Gauff improved to 4-0 in Ashe this year. He won a match on the largest arena in a Grand Slam tennis.
“It feels crazy. I mean, Ash Stadium chanting my name?” Gauff, who has yet to drop a set in the tournament, said during her on-court interview. “I was trying not to smile on the bench at the change. I was trying to stay in the moment.”
Gauff is the youngest American woman to have been a US Open quarter-finalist since then Melanie Odin He was 17 in 2009.
Gauff was also the youngest player from any country in the women’s fourth round at Flushing Meadows this year. Zhang, 33, was the oldest of them all.
They both competed mostly from the baseline, and traded powerful ground strikes, especially on the backside, which is what both players prefer. And the longer the exchanges took, the more success Gauff found: She got 45 points that lasted five or more hits, while Chang won 26 of them.
Now 12th seed Gauff will go to face No. 17 Caroline Garcia From France, who plays like everyone else at the moment, ditched a tough stadium title in Cincinnati before starting play in New York.
Garcia eliminate number 29 Alison Riske Amritraj From the US 6-4, 6-1, like Gauff, she earned her first US Open quarter-final appearance.
In fact, none of the eight women running Sunday had made it past the fourth round at Flushing Meadows before; Only two have competed in the semi-finals of any of the Grand Slam tournaments: Gove and No. 5 Anas Jaberonce each.
Jaber, who reached the final at Wimbledon in July, was scheduled to meet with 18 Veronika Kudermitova At night.
Gauff continued to create chances with her best shot, a backhand in the line. This forced Zhang’s error to hand a break to lead the American 6-5. This produced a winner to close out the first set.
The hum of the retractable Ashe roof accompanied the start of the second set due to the shower starting soon after, and it took a while for the artificial lights to reach their full power. The match continued, although it was rather dark – and somewhat damp – inside.
“The first two matches were tough,” Gauff said.
Zhang started to get a bit better curling back and forth midway through the second set, and when she hit a backhand on her own, she broke to lead 5-3.
The Grand Slam doubles champion worked to force a third set there, and was one point away from getting there, but Gough strengthened herself and stood on the ground.
This setpoint vanished as Zhang sent out a long backhand. Then he slapped Jove – what next? -Winning a backhand down the bottom line for her third break point in that match, then made a fine return to the corner that pulled a long backhand into 5-4 and start a four-game round and close match.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.