New York - US teen sensation Coco Gauff and top-ranked defending champion Naomi Osaka will meet in a third round showdown on Saturday at the US Open, each curious to test her game against the other.
Japanese 21-year-old Osaka dispatched Poland's Magda Linette 6-2, 6-4 while 15-year-old American Gauff outlasted Hungarian qualifier Timea Babos 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.
"We're both pretty young but I'm a little bit newer to the game," Gauff said.
"So I'm just curious to see how my game matches up against her.
"Obviously I want to win. I just want to enjoy it, have fun, enjoy the battle. We'll see how it goes."
Osaka, also the reigning Australian Open champion, wants a first-hand look at the teen sensation who beat Venus Williams in her Grand Slam debut on her way to the fourth round last month at Wimbledon before losing to eventual champion Simona Halep.
"When I hear people talking about someone, I want to have the opportunity to play them just to assess it for myself," Osaka said.
Gauff, the youngest woman in the US Open's last 32 since Russia's Anna Kournikova in 1996, says her doubles match with teen partner Caty McNally on Friday will help her prepare to face Osaka.
"For me, doubles isn't a problem. Almost every tournament if I can get into doubles, I'm playing it. To me it helps because it's a different game," Gauff said.
"You get to work on volleys, you get to work on your returns a lot in doubles. I think that's actually going to prepare me for Naomi, because doubles to me is more faster paced than singles. Naomi actually hits the ball pretty hard. I think it will prepare me well for Saturday's match."
McNally and Gauff won the Washington WTA doubles title earlier this month.
Gauff, ranked 140th, worked out with Osaka at the Miami Open two years ago.
"That was super cool," Gauff said. "I was able to keep the ball on the court. I was super nervous. She was prepping for a tournament so I didn't want to mess up her practice."
These days, Gauff appreciates Osaka's success while still so young.
"She's an amazing player," Gauff said. "She just made it possible. Last year, US Open, she wasn't really like a big contender. Obviously now this year she is. She had that amazing run, then the final.
"I think she's a big inspiration for everyone. She's 21. She has two Slams. She's still thriving for more. She's just a super sweet person on and off the court. She competes great out there. I think she shows us how to compete and the way to be off the court too."
Osaka saw something of herself in Gauff when she saw a young girl quietly enjoying herself in the locker room with whatever was playing on her headphones.
"Off the court she seems like me. Well, she seems a little bit more, like she knows what she's doing," Osaka said with a smile.
"But yeah, I saw her in the locker room. She wasn't really talking to anyone. I was, like, 'Oh, looks familiar. I'm just going to talk to her.' I know she's super young, and I know it's sort of hard to transition."
"I just (thought), 'Oh, she's a really talented girl. I would love for her to come out of her shell a little bit.'"
That's when Osaka had a realisation.
"I just realized," she said.
"That's probably what people say about me, too."
US Open results on Thursday (x denotes seeding):
Denis Kudla (USA) bt Dusan Lajovic (SRB x27) 7-5, 7-5, 0-6, 6-3
Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI x23) bt Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (3/7), 6-3
Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) bt Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) 7-6 (13/11), 6-7 (2/7), 7-6 (7/2), 3-6, 6-3
Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO x17) bt Jenson Brooksby (USA) 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 7-5, 6-2
Feliciano Lopez (ESP) bt Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) 6-7 (7/9), 6-0, 6-4, 6-4
Daniil Medvedev (RUS x5) bt Hugo Dellien (BOL) 6-3, 7-5, 5-7, 6-3
Daniel Evans (GBR) bt Lucas Pouille (FRA x25) 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 6-4
Pablo Carreno-Busta (ESP) bt Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 6-0
David Goffin (BEL x15) bt Gregoire Barrere (FRA) 6-2, 6-2, 6-2
Kamil Majchrzak (POL) bt Pablo Cuevas (URU) 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1
Alex De Minaur (AUS) bt Christian Garin (CHI x31) 6-3, 7-5, 6-3
Andrey Rublev (RUS) bt Gilles Simon (FRA) 6-2, retired
Nick Kyrgios (AUS x28) bt Antoine Hoang (FRA) 6-4, 6-2, 6-4
Matteo Berrettini (ITA x24) bt Jordan Thompson (AUS) 7-5, 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-1
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) bt Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 2-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-2
Gael Monfils (FRA x13) bt Marius Copil (ROU) 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
Denis Shapovalov (CAN) bt Henri Laaksonen (SUI) 6-4, 7-6 (7/2), 6-2
Pablo Andujar (ESP) bt Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 6-2, 6-4, 6-2
Alexander Bublik (KAZ) bt Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) 6-7 (3/7), 5-7, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3
Alexander Zverev (GER x6) bt Frances Tiafoe (USA) 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
Aljaz Bedene (SLO) bt Benoit Paire (FRA x29) 4-6, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 7-5, 7-6 (7/4)
Diego Schwartzman (ARG x20) bt Egor Gerasimov (BLR) 6-4, 6-2, 6-0
Tennys Sandgren (USA) bt Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 6-4
John Isner (USA x14) bt Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/5)
Marin Cilic (CRO x22) bt Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (GER) 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-3
Chung Hyeon (KOR) bt Fernando Verdasco (ESP x32) 1-6, 2-6, 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3)
Rafael Nadal (ESP x2) bt Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) walkover
Naomi Osaka (JPN x1) bt Magda Linette (POL) 6-2, 6-4
Coco Gauff (USA) bt Timea Babos (HUN) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
Anett Kontaveit (EST x21) bt Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 4-6, 7-5, 6-2
Belinda Bencic (SUI x13) bt Alize Cornet (FRA) 6-4, 1-6, 6-2
Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) bt Aryna Sabalenka (BLR x9) 6-3, 7-6 (7/3)
Donna Vekic (CRO x23) bt Kaia Kanepi (EST) 7-5, 6-3
Julia Goerges (GER x26) bt Francesca Di Lorenzo (USA) 7-5, 6-0
Kiki Bertens (NED x7) bt Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 7-5, 6-4
Taylor Townsend (USA) bt Simona Halep (ROU x4) 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4)
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) bt Aliona Bolsova (ESP) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x19) bt Danielle Collins (USA) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
Bianca Andreescu (CAN x15) bt Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 6-3, 7-5
Kristie Ahn (USA) bt Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) 6-2, 6-3
Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) bt Alison Riske (USA) 6-4, 6-3
Elise Mertens (BEL x25) bt Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 6-2, 6-2
Andrea Petkovic (GER) bt Petra Kvitova (CZE x6) 6-4, 6-4
Dayana Yastremska (UKR x32) bt Rebecca Peterson (SWE) 6-4, 6-1
Sofia Kenin (USA x20) bt Laura Siegemund (GER) 7-6 (7/4), 6-0
Johanna Konta (GBR x16) bt Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) 6-1, 6-0
Zhang Shuai (CHN x33) bt Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-3
Ons Jabeur (TUN) bt Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
Karolina Muchova (CZE) bt Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE x29) 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2)
Petra Martic (CRO x22) bt Ana Bogdan (ROU) 6-2, 6-4
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT x12) bt Iga Swiatek (POL) 3-6, 6-1, 6-3
Fiona Ferro (FRA) bt Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 6-3
Wang Qiang (CHN x18) bt Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) 7-5, 6-4
Maria Sakkari (GRE x30) bt Peng Shuai (CHN) 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-2