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Gauff beat Zhang to advance to the quarterfinals

Tennis

Gauff beat Zhang to advance to the quarterfinals

Coco Gauff us open 2022

In a thrilling 7-5, 7-5 victory over Zhang Shuai of China, American youngster Coco Gauff used her superior speed to fight back from a set down and go to the US Open quarterfinals for the first time.

The Chinese player appeared more skilled at first, breaking for a 2-0 lead in the first set, in a matchup between the youngest player still in the draw, the 18-year-old Gauff, and the oldest, the 33-year-old Zhang.

But the 12th seed Gauff fought back, winning the first set with a two-handed backhand that enthralled the cheering audience.

Zhang, a human backboard happy to prolong rallies from the baseline, took the lead at 5-3 in the second set after breaking Gauff with a backhand winner of her own.

However, Gauff maintained composure, coming back to take a 6-5 lead and winning the game’s pivotal point with her incredible speed when she slid from corner to corner to force Zhang’s error.

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Zhang shielded her ears from the raucous applause of the audience while the Arthur Ashe Stadium roof was closed due to rain, amplifying the sound.

On Zhang’s error, Gauff ended the nearly two-hour match, and the two hugged at the net.

The Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, who earlier in the day defeated American Alison Riske-Amritraj 6-4, 6-1, is up next for Gauff.

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