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Coco Gauff seals her first trip to the US Open quarterfinals after defeating Zhang Shuai

Excited Coco Gauff seals her maiden trip to the US Open quarterfinals after beating China’s Zhang Shuai in a dramatic outright win

  • Coco Gauff defeated China’s Zhang Shuai 7-5, 7-5 at the US Open on Sunday
  • The 18-year-old had to dig deep after trailing Zhang 5-3 in the second set
  • The starlet booked a place in the quarter-finals of the Grand Slam for the first time

American starlet Coco Gauff secured her place in the American open quarterfinals with a straight set victory over China’s Zhang Shuai.

The 18-year-old wagged her finger, demonstrating the prowess that made her a US Open championship contender in a 7-5, 7-5 win over Zhang Shuai.

Gauff had to dig deep to score a win over Zhang in a match-up of the youngest and oldest players left in women’s singles.

American star Coco Gauff secured her place in the American open quarterfinals with a straight set victory

American star Coco Gauff secured her place in the American open quarterfinals with a straight set victory

The 18-year-old became a US Open contender in a 7-5, 7-5 win over Zhang Shuai (pictured)

The 18-year-old became a US Open contender in a 7-5, 7-5 win over Zhang Shuai (pictured)

Gauff wagged her finger like Dikembe Mutombo's signature move as she led the second set

Gauff wagged her finger like Dikembe Mutombo’s signature move as she led the second set

The twelfth-seeded American trailed Zhang, 5-3 in the second set, which she lost a point to, but broke her 33-year-old opponent twice en route to four straight games to take the win.

Cheered on by onlookers cheering her on every point, they chanted “Let’s go, Coco!” as the end drew near and prompted Zhang to cover her ears with her hands, Gauff improved to 4-0 in Ashe this year. She had never before won a match in the largest arena in Grand Slam tennis.

Gauff had the New York crowd firmly on her side and fans burst into the third set when she wagged her finger in Dikembe Mutombo’s signature move after coming out 6-5 in the second set.

The number 12 seed tail followed Zhang, 5-3 in the second set, but broke her 33-year-old opponent twice

The number 12 seed tail followed Zhang, 5-3 in the second set, but broke her 33-year-old opponent twice

Zhang her ears out because of the noise from the home crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium

Zhang her ears out because of the noise from the home crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium

“It feels crazy. I mean, Ashe Stadium chanting my name?’ Gauff, who hasn’t dropped a set in the tournament yet, said on the court during her interview. “I tried not to smile on the couch during the changeover. I tried to stay in the moment.

The 18-year-old Gauff is in the quarterfinals of the US Open for the first time in her career and will face France’s Caroline Garcia. Gauff is the youngest American woman to reach the quarterfinals of the US Open since Melanie Oudin was 17 in 2009.

Both Gauff and Zhang battled mainly from the baseline, exchanging powerful groundstrokes, especially on the backhand, which both players prefer.

Both Gauff and Zhang battled mainly from the baseline and traded strong foundations

Both Gauff and Zhang battled mainly from the baseline and traded strong foundations

And the longer the exchanges, the more success Gauff found: She claimed 45 points that lasted five or more tricks, while Zhang won 26 of them.

Now twelfth-seeded Gauff will face No. 17 Caroline Garcia of France, who plays as well as anyone right now, who came off a hard-court title in Cincinnati just before the start of the game in New York.

Garcia knocked out 29th Alison Riske-Amritraj 6-4, 6-1 to earn her debut spot in the quarterfinals of the US Open, like Gauff.

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