There have been highs and lows as the 2019 US Open carries on. First Cori “Coco” Gauff, a 15-year-old tennis player, made history by becoming the youngest to reach the US Open’s third round since 1991. She quickly became a favorite. Post second round match the crowd cheered for her, chanting, “Let’s Go, Coco!” Gauff addressed that crowd saying, “It’s so great that you guys really believe in me and you carried me through the first two matches. I hope you can help me Saturday and in my doubles [Friday].’’
Gauff later shared, “I was thinking like maybe they feel like I’m Golden State in Game 7.’’
Next up would be the highly anticipated match between Gauff and the number 1 ranked defending champion Naomi Osaka.
Osaka dominated, winning straight sets 6-3, 6-0. It wasn’t that long ago that we saw Osaka at the US Open a year ago when she defeated Serena Williams. A moment that should have been one of the greatest of her young life was marred by complications. Osaka was aware that the crowd was there to witness Williams defeat her and continue her streak of greatness. So when the crowd began to boo the outcome of her victory, it had to have been a tough pill to swallow. Even so, Osaka remained gracious as a victor on and off the court. She carried that same energy with her into this year’s highly anticipated match against Gauff.
Osaka knew coming in that Gauff was the favorite, yet she still played to the best of her ability and that resulted in a victory. Osaka, knowing what it means to be a young person at the center of a lot of expectations took it upon herself to encourage Gauff to see the moment through to the end.
After the customary handshake at the net, Gauff waved to the crowd and retreated to her belongings in preparation of leaving. Osaka, recognizing what was happening, went over to Gauff and encouraged her to remain on the court for the post-game interview. Gauff explained that she would cry during the interview and Osaka reassured her that it was okay. Osaka even reminded her that the crowd was here for her.
Gauff tearfully responded to questions during the interview, praising Osaka. Osaka gave her a hug when she finished and proceeded to talk about the memories she had of seeing Gauff and her parents at practice facilities growing up.
“For me, the fact that both of us made it, and we’re both still working as hard as we can, I think it’s incredible,” Osaka shared. “And I think you guys are amazing. Coco, you’re amazing.”
Wow. Not enough can be said about Naomi Osaka. Twice, she’s been rooted against and twice, she’s prevailed with kindness.
Osaka’s US Open run came to an end in the 4th round against Belinda Becic, 7-5, 6-4. All is well as the moment that Osaka and Gauff shared on the court will go down in history as one of the greatest sports moments ever.