Cori Gauff, the 15-year-old American who breezed into the Wimbledon last 16 earlier this month, returned Saturday with a qualifying victory at the WTA Washington Open.
Gauff defeated compatriot Maegan Manasse 6-4, 6-2 in 68 minutes to advance within one match of making the main draw of next week’s US Open hardcourt tuneup in the US capital.
Next up for 143rd-ranked Gauff will be a match to decide one of four available qualifier berths in the main draw. She will face either Japan’s Hiroko Kuwata or American Maria Sanchez.
Gauff electrified Wimbledon after her qualifying run there by defeating idol Venus Williams in her opening match and rolled into the fourth round before losing to eventual champion Simona Halep.
Gauff, who made her WTA main draw debut in March at the Miami Open, ousted 44th-ranked Williams in round one at Wimbledon, then dispatched Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova and saved two match points in defeating Slovenia’s 60th-ranked Polona Hercog.
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