Throughout the first two rounds of the US Open, Coco Gauff has been very impressive. She backed up her dominant first round win with a record-breaking performance in the second.
The 18-year-old beat Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-2, 7-6 to advance to the third round. Gauff’s confidence in her game was on full display as she dropped six aces and 22 unreturned serves, including a 128 mph bomb. The fastest serve of the tournament so far, and the third fastest ever hit by a woman at the US Open helped Coco go up 4-1 in the first set. Even she was shocked by her own speed, tweeting, “just found out I clocked a serve at 128mph today… yo WHAT?”
“I kind of looked at her after,” Gauff said in a post-match press conference. “I hit, like, a couple good serves that game, like in the 120s. She was laughing at her box. I was like, I don’t know what’s going on either.”
It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Coco, as she went down 5-3 in the second set. Ruse was up 40-15 while serving for the set when the French Open finalist began her comeback. Getting through a gutsy win like this will only boost Coco’s confidence going forward. With the field wide open, Gauff has to feel like she has a real chance at winning her first major.
The No. 12 seed now faces off against 2017 finalist Madison Keys. The No. 20 seed got a tough 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 win over Camila Giorgi. This will be a hard-hitting battle between two powerful Black women and I cannot wait to see it. While Keys has had an up and down year, hard court is her best surface and she’s been very good in the lead up to New York. The pair have only played each other once before, with Keys winning that match.
Coco, the No. 1 women’s doubles player in the world, and her partner Jessica Pegula are also set to face Leylah Fernandez and Daria Saville in women’s doubles on Wednesday.