- 22 Aug 2019
Coco Gauff built momentum ahead of the US Open by beating Ashleigh Barty in “the calm before the storm” on Wednesday.
Gauff, 15, surged into the limelight by becoming the youngest player in the Open era to advance through Wimbledon qualifying, before beating Venus Williams en route to reaching the fourth round in her first main-draw appearance at a major.
The teenager, who has been awarded a US Open wildcard, took on French Open champion and world number two Barty in an exhibition match during the ATP Tour’s Winston-Salem Open and triumphed 6-4 2-6 10-8.
Gauff won four straight games as she took the first set, but the Australian hit back by taking a 3-0 lead in the second that helped her level the contest.
The super tie-break saw Gauff emerge triumphant and she was pleased to have got a solid win under her belt ahead of a first main-draw appearance in her home grand slam at Flushing Meadows.
“It was super fun. It’s different to kinda play in an atmosphere like that and not be in a tournament. It was cool to play with Ash and hopefully we can do it again sometime,” said Gauff.
“I’m kind of sad to leave [Winston-Salem] because New York is busy but it was good to get the calm before the storm.”
Barty added: “It was a lot of fun. Coming here this week was the perfect way to prepare in a relaxing environment and have a little fun. The crowd was truly engaged and it was just the perfect way to get ready for the Open.”
Does the big photo of the day from @CheesesofEurope get any better than this!?
— Winston-Salem Open (@WSOpen) August 22, 2019