US Open: Coco Gauff reaches fourth round after fighting back to beat Elise Mertens and keep alive her hopes of a first Grand Slam… as Jimmy Butler and Justin and Hailey Bieber watch on
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Coco Gauff produced a fine fightback to reach the US Open fourth round and keep alive her hopes of winning a first Grand Slam title.
Her shots were off. She was struggling to hold serve. She dropped a set. All the while, Gauff was talking to her coaches, Brad Gilbert and Pere Riba. Talking to herself. Slapping her thigh or putting her palm to her face.
And when the No. 6-seeded Gauff needed to lift her game, when she needed to get headed in the right direction before it was too late, she did just that. Did she ever.
Asking for more noise from the partisan fans at Arthur Ashe stadium – and, naturally, getting it – Gauff grabbed the last 10 games for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory over No. 32 Elise Mertens to reach the fourth round at Flushing Meadows.
Miami Heat superstar Jimmy Butler along with both Justin and Hailey Bieber were caught on camera with shocked expressions during Gauff’s comeback.
Coco Gauff celebrates her win against Belgium’s Elise Mertens during the US Open
Gauff came back after dropping the first set to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 in the third round match
Miami Heat superstar Jimmy Butler, Justin Bieber, and his wife Hailey Bieber watch on
‘The energy today definitely helped me. I felt you guys,’ said Gauff, a 19-year-old from Florida. ‘I played every point my hardest.’
The 2022 French Open runner-up heard plenty of loud support from the crowd as she turned things around and won for the 14th time in her past 15 matches, all on hard courts.
That stretch follows a first-round exit at Wimbledon in July and includes the two biggest titles of Gauff´s career.
This was also her second win this week after falling behind by a set.
‘The three-setters show everybody else that I’m not going down without a fight,’ said Gauff, who made it to the quarterfinals in New York a year ago.
To return to that round, she will need to beat Caroline Wozniacki, a 33-year-old who is playing in her third event since coming out of retirement.
Wozniacki won the 2018 Australian Open and twice was the runner-up at the U.S. Open before walking away from tennis 3 1/2 years ago to start a family.