Published: Mon, September 02, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Tears flow, cheers follow as Naomi Osaka shows she's a class act

Tears flow, cheers follow as Naomi Osaka shows she's a class act

Gauff won two matches at the US Open before being eliminated by No. 1 seed Naomi Osaka 6-3, 6-0.

But it was the 21-year-old Japanese star's actions after the match which won her the most praise, as she consoled the defeated Gauff amid tearful scenes on court.

World number one Osaka, who backed up last year's NY triumph with a win at the Australian Open, simply overwhelmed her 15-year-old opponent in the marquee matchup under the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights.

Williams ended things by raising both arms after smacking an ace at 118 miles per hour, her fastest of the afternoon, punctuating an overpowering performance that included 38 winners to Martic's 11.

Russia's Andrey Rublev eliminated Australian 28th seed Nick Kyrgios to qualify for the US Open last 16 on Saturday with a 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 win.

Gauff struggled with her serve throughout the match, but Osaka also found some difficulty as neither player managed to hold serve from the fifth through the eighth games of the set.

"I'm happy to be in the fourth round for one more time". She fired her coach soon after her victory in Melbourne, and then lost in the third round at the French Open. The fifth game was a golden opportunity for a mark by Gauff when she reached 40-30 but was deuced. Encouraged by this gesture, Gauff obliged and expressed her gratitude.

After the match, however, both Osaka and Gauff embraced at the net and even did the post-match interview together.

A packed crowd witnessed the action at Arthur Ashe Stadium, as Gauff's run in her home grand slam was ended in the third round.

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"The thing with me, though, is I get better as the tournament goes on", Osaka said. "Finally I said, 'OK, I'll do it.' Because I didn't know what to do".

"I'm not necessarily looking forward to that, but I think it will be fun for you guys to watch".

Townsend, ranked 116th, followed up her shock win over reigning Wimbledon champion Simona Halep by beating another Romanian, Sorana Cirstea, 7-5, 6-2.

"I'm going to learn much from this match".

She will face world No. 12 Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in the fourth round.

In many ways, despite the completely different circumstances, it looked remarkably similar to when Osaka had been comforted by Serena Williams following the controversial US Open final on the same court just a year earlier.

From the start, Osaka played with confidence and ruthlessness, racing into a 3-0 lead.

"I wanted her to have her head high, not walk off the court sad", Osaka said of her decision. That includes her breakthrough in NY a year ago, when she outplayed Williams in a memorably chaotic final that ended with spectators booing and both women in tears after the 23-time major champion got into a lengthy dispute with the chair umpire.

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