Published: Tue, September 03, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Ash Barty reclaims World No.1 ranking in extraordinary US Open twist

Ash Barty reclaims World No.1 ranking in extraordinary US Open twist

McNally and Gauff had never lost in doubles together, winning the junior title at the U.S. Open previous year and taking their first WTA Tournament in Washington, D.C., last month.

Osaka and Bencic were born in 1997, but it is hard to think of two more different paths to this moment. "I have to figure out how the damage is, when that's over", Gauff said. "I don't want people to think that I'm trying to take this moment away from her, because she really deserves it".

"I was just trying to get a return in the court, she was serving wonderful, but I felt confident in the rallies".

"I was so excited to come on the court, the challenge can not be bigger - Naomi Osaka is a great player and won the US Open a year ago", said Bencic.

She did have a match point but netted a forehand and when a serve-volley went long, Vekic was back at 5-5. "It's maybe just a feeling inside me". Finally I said, 'OK, I'll do it.' Because I didn't know what to do.

Bencic, who is mainly coached by her dad, Ivan, also has been extensively coached by Melanie Molitor - the mom of Martina Hingis - and exhibits similar court craft to Hingis.

Mertens, whose only deeper Slam run was into last year's Australian Open semi-finals, will play for a berth in Thursday's semi-finals against the victor of a later match between 116th-ranked U.S. qualifier Taylor Townsend and 19-year-old Canadian 15th seed Bianca Andreescu. "Yeah, it was kind of unexpected", she added. "It's coming out this week and hopefully I can go much further than this". "She was aggressive", Osaka said. "Taking the serve early, trying to anticipate because she has so much power".

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Bencic, of Switzerland, outplayed Osaka at Arthur Ashe Stadium, winning 7-5, 7-6. Bencic had 29 winners, to 26 for Osaka.

Osaka's sportsmanship and empathy was widely lauded, and the 21-year-old, who saw her title defence and reign as world number one ended by Bencic, believes the tournament and the experience she shared with Gauff has had a transformative effect on her.

It's the first time all eight US Open quarter-finalists have been seeds since 2012 and a first at any Slam since the 2014 Australian Open. She scouted her next match, then quietly departed without a word on social media.

However, for now the two-time grand slam champion appears more content to reflect on the many positives from a tournament that has had a greater impact on her personal development than either of those two triumphs.

Bencic has always loved NY - the site of her maiden grand slam quarterfinal in 2014 - and that won't diminish now. She was looking to be youngest player to reach the fourth round at the US Open since Anna Kournikova in 1996.

They can take at least one positive from the drubbing: Team McCoco - 15-year-old Gauff and 17-year-old McNally - was one of the biggest crowd favorites of the US Open.

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