US teen Gauff shakes off nerves to advance at US Open

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Coco Gauff (Getty Images)
Coco Gauff (Getty Images)

New York - Wimbledon teen sensation Coco Gauff shook off nerves and rallied on Tuesday to reach the second round of the US Open, defeating Russia's Anastasia Potapova 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.

The 15-year-old American, who ousted idol Venus Williams on her way to the fourth round at Wimbledon, drew energy from a cheering crowd at Louis Armstrong Stadium to advance.

"It was because of the crowd," Gauff said.

"No matter where I was on the court, I could always hear somebody supporting me and I'm grateful for that."

It was an atmosphere that forced Gauff to soak in the moment and accept the nervousness that followed.

"It was crazy," she said. "I was nervous going out on the court, such a big court, and my home Slam, I wanted to do well. It was a great atmosphere to play in and a great experience for me."

Potapova, an 18-year-old also making her US Open main draw debut, jumped ahead 3-0 and took the first set.

"I was like, 'I have to reset, stop thinking about what would happen after the match, just think about what I need to do to win the second set,'" Gauff said.

She rolled to a 4-1 edge in the final set before Potapova fought back.

"I wanted to win and I was trying to calm myself down," Gauff said.

"It was the crowd that helped me because I was down and I was almost out."

Gauff faces Hungarian qualifier Timea Babos on Thursday with a possible showdown against top-ranked defending champion Naomi Osaka of Japan in the third round.

"I first met Naomi (when) I hit with her at the Miami Open maybe three years ago," Gauff said. "Our dads always knew each other. When I talked to her, we do have similarities.

"She's doing amazing, obviously. Hopefully I can get to her level. I mean, she's amazing. She's a nice person. I can't even say anything bad about her, her family, because they've always been super nice, even since I was 12."

Gauff forgot she has a rest day between matches and admitted, "I really don't remember the match too well because everything is still a blur."

Gauff sees mostly benefits to her new-found fame, the most meaning when she can inspire others.

"The amount of people, and kids especially, that come up to me saying I inspire them is better than any match I could win, just to know that I inspire another kid maybe to pick up a racquet or go through something they're facing at school," Gauff said.

"I just hope I can continue to inspire. What I do on court is great, but what really matters is what happens off court, the people who you affect."

Results from Tuesday's second day of the US Open tennis championships: (x denotes seed):

Men

First round

Andrey Rublev (RUS) bt Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x8) 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (9/7), 7-5

Gilles Simon (FRA) bt Bjorn Fratangelo (USA) 5-7, 7-5, 7-5, 7-5

Matteo Berrettini (ITA x24) bt Richard Gasquet (FRA) 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2

Jordan Thompson (AUS) bt Joao Sousa (POR) 6-3, 6-2, 6-4

Alexei Popyrin (AUS) bt Federico Del Bonis (ARG) 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 (7/5)

Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) bt Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP x10) 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

Gael Monfils (FRA x13) bt Albert Ramos (ESP) 7-6 (7/2), 6-4, 6-3

Marius Copil (ROU) bt Ugo Humbert (FRA) 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (13/11), 4-6, 6-1

Denis Shapovalov (CAN) bt Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN x18) 6-1, 6-1, 6-4

Pablo Andujar (ESP) bt Kyle Edmund (GBR x30) 3-6, 7-6 (7/1), 7-5, 5-7, 6-2

Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) bt Marcel Granollers (ESP) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

Alexander Bublik (KAZ) bt Santiago Giraldo (COL) 2-6, 6-0, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4

Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) bt Dominic Thiem (AUT x4) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2

Alexander Zverev (GER x6) bt Radu Albot (MDA) 6-1, 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2

Frances Tiafoe (USA) bt Ivo Karlovic (CRO) 6-2, 6-3, 1-2, retired

Aljaz Bedene (SLO) bt Jozef Kovalík (SVK) 6-3, 6-4, 7-5

Benoît Paire (FRA x29) bt Brayden Schnur (CAN) 6-2, 6-4, 6-4

Diego Schwartzman (ARG x20) bt Robin Haase (NED) 6-3, 7-6 (8/6), 6-0

Egor Gerasimov (BLR) bt Lloyd Harris (RSA) 7-5, 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/3)

Tennys Sandgren (USA) bt Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 1-6, 6-7 (2/7), 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 7-5

Vasek Pospisil (CAN) bt Karen Khachanov (RUS x9) 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3

John Isner (USA x14) bt Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) bt Casper Ruud (NOR) 6-4, 6-4, 6-2

Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (GER) bt Filip Krajinovic (SRB) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (8/6)

Marin Cilic (CRO x22) bt Martin Klizan (SVK) 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (8/6)

Fernando Verdasco (ESP x32) bt Tobias Kamke (GER) 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2

Chung Hyeon (KOR) bt Ernesto Escobedo (USA) 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-2

Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) bt Ilya Ivashka (BLR) 6-3, 7-6 (10/8), 6-7 (4/7), 6-2

Rafael Nadal (ESP x2) bt John Millman (AUS) 6-3, 6-2, 6-2

Antoine Hoang (FRA) bt Leonardo Mayer (ARG) 3-6, 6-2, 6-7 (6/8), 6-1, 6-3

Henri Laaksonen (SUI) bt Marco Cecchinato (ITA) 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (8/6), 2-6, 3-6, 7-6 (7/2)

Nick Kyrgios (AUS x28) bt Steve Johnson (USA) 6-3, 7-6 (7/1), 6-4

Women

First round

Naomi Osaka (JPN x1) bt Anna Blinkova (RUS) 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2

Magda Linette (POL) bt Astra Sharma (AUS) 6-3, 6-4

Cori Gauff (USA) bt Anastasia Potapova (RUS) 3-6, 6-2, 6-4

Timea Babos (HUN) bt Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP x28) 6-2, 0-0, retired

Anett Kontaveit (EST x21) bt Sara Sorribes (ESP) 6-1, 6-1

Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) bt Marie Bouzková (CZE) 1-6, 7-5, 6-1

Alize Cornet (FRA) bt Jessica Pegula (USA) 6-2, 6-3

Belinda Bencic (SUI x13) bt Mandy Minella (LUX) 6-3, 6-2

Kaia Kanepi (EST) bt Tatjana Maria (GER) 5-7, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3

Julia Görges (GER x26) bt Natalia Vikhlyantseva (RUS) 1-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/1)

Francesca Di Lorenzo (USA) bt Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) 7-6 (7/4), 6-2

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) bt Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 6-1, 7-6 (7/2)

Kiki Bertens (NED x7) bt Paula Badosa (ESP) 6-4, 6-2

Simona Halep (ROU x4) bt Nicole Gibbs (USA) 6-3, 3-6, 6-2

Taylor Townsend (USA) bt Kateryna Kozlova (UKR) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2

Sorana Cirstea (ROU) bt Katerina Siniakova (CZE) 7-5, 6-2

Aliona Bolsova (ESP) bt Barbora Strycova (CZE x31) 6-3, 0-6, 6-1

Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x19) bt Wang Yafan (CHN) 1-6, 7-5, 6-3

Danielle Collins (USA) bt Polona Hercog (SLO) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4

Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) bt Wang Xiyu (CHN) 3-6, 6-2, 6-2

Bianca Andreescu (CAN x15) bt Katie Volynets (USA) 6-2, 6-4

Kristie Ahn (USA) bt Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 7-5, 6-2

Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) bt Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) 6-3, 7-6 (9/7)

Alison Riske (USA) bt Garbine Muguruza (ESP x24) 2-6, 6-1, 6-3

Elise Mertens (BEL x25) bt Jil Teichmann (SUI) 6-2, 6-2

Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) bt Diane Parry (FRA) 6-4, 6-3

Andrea Petkovic (GER) bt Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROU) 6-3, 6-4

Petra Kvitova (CZE x6) bt Denisa Allertova (CZE) 6-2, 6-4

Donna Vekic (CRO x23) bt Richel Hogenkamp (NED) 7-6 (7/4), 6-3

Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) bt Madison Brengle (USA) 6-3, 6-3

Aryna Sabalenka (BLR x9) bt Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4

Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) bt Sloane Stephens (USA x11) 6-3, 6-4

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