The stage is set for Coco Gauff and Naomi Osaka to face off in the second round of the Silicon Valley Classic on Thursday night. They have met three more times in their careers, with Osaka winning two of those clashes.
Both tennis stars got the job done in their respective matches in Tuesday’s Round of 16 in San Jose, Calif. Osaka contested three rounds against Qinwen Zheng, eventually coming away with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 win. It was the first time she had returned to the tennis court since falling to Amanda Anisimova in the first round of the French Open in May.
Gauff is currently ranked No. 11 in the world, which is a career high for her. On Tuesday, the 18-year-old showed why she won the No. 6 seed in this week’s competition. She took care of business in 55 minutes with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Anhelina Kalinina. Coincidentally, Gauff had also just suffered a loss to Anisimova, which happened in the third round of Wimbledon.
During interview with tennis.comOsaka, 24, said she was impressed with Gauff’s career so far.
“What has always impressed me about Coco is her mentality,” Osaka said. “She’s been on the tour for a while, and I think people don’t know that because of how young she is, but she’s getting better every year, so there’s a lot she’s learning and it’s not is only a matter of time before she wins a Snap.”
Meanwhile, Gauff admitted Thursday is going to be a tough challenge, but she is looking forward to getting back to Osaka.
“I mean, I’ve played it a lot of times,” Gauff said during his on-court interview. “She’s obviously going to be a tough opponent. It’s not going to be an easy game. Our draw is probably the toughest in the tournament, for both of us. She’s such a champion on and off the pitch – those are the types people you want to play with, and I’m looking forward to playing those games.”
Historical results of Osaka vs Gauff:
- 2019 US Open 3rd round: Osaka defeated. Gauff 6-3, 6-0
- Australian Open 2020 3rd round: Gauff def. Osaka 6-3, 6-4
- Cincinnati 2021 Round 2: Osaka def. Gauff 4-6, 6-3, 6-4