Coco Gauff was back at the US Open with a smile on her face on Sunday, hours after her tearful singles exit at the hands of defending champion Naomi Osaka.
The 15-year-old American who made the fourth round at Wimbledon in July was routed 6-3, 6-0 by 21-year-old Japanese world No 1 Osaka on Saturday, her tears after the loss prompting Osaka to entice her to stay on court and speak to the crowd.
Gauff was back on Sunday in a jam-packed Louis Armstrong Stadium to join 17-year-old doubles partner Caty McNally in ousting American Nicole Melichar and Czech Kveta Peschke 6-3, 7-6 (11/9).
“I didn’t think all these people would be here,” Gauff said. “They were sold out and so supportive. I think that definitely helped us, especially when the pressure moments came.”
Gauff admitted she was still upset about the loss to Osaka in her hotel room Saturday night. “I was still a little bit mad at the match,” she said. “I was still crying.”
But she was bolstered by checking her messages on social media and finding unanimous solidarity and sympathy. “This is one of the few times it was 100 percent positive,” Gauff said. “It made me feel positive.”
Gauff and McNally, last year’s US Open junior champions who won their first WTA title last month in Washington, next face Australian Ashleigh Barty, half of last year’s US Open women’s doubles champions pairing, and new partner Victoria Azarenka.
“We’re just both mentally strong and positive on the court,” Gauff said of her chemistry with McNally. “We’re out there having fun and enjoying it.”