Coco Gauff dominated fellow American Madison Keys to win 6-2 6-3 on Friday and reach the U.S. Open fourth round for the first time.
The 18-year-old Gauff, who was once again called on to warm up Arthur Ashe Stadium court for Serena Williams ahead of her compatriot’s highly-anticipated night match, has now made the second week of all four Grand Slams.
Gauff began tentatively and was broken in the first game but quickly regrouped, breaking back and firing an ace up the tee for a 4-1 lead she would not relinquish.
The 12th seed maintained her level in the second set as she redirected former finalist Keys’ powerful groundstrokes and sealed the win on her opponent’s 22nd unforced error.
The French Open finalist, who improved to 11-3 at Grand Slams this year, said she was honoured to open up for Williams at the tournament for the third time and would be again glued to her idol’s match.
”It’s been amazing. I haven’t missed it,” Gauff said.
”Even the day when I watched it on TV I had to order room service. I know she’s on my side of the draw and I don’t know when I might face her but that’s the goal.”
Gauff will be the favourite when she takes on China’s Zhang Shuai on Sunday.
Serena Williams crashed out in the third round of the US Open after her defeat to Ajla Tomljanovic in what could be the American’s last tournament.