By Richard Kent, Staff Reporter
NEW YORK — Many have circled Saturday’s match since the draw was announced more than a week ago. It seemed inevitable, but it is really happening.
It’s Coco Gauff vs. Naomi Osaka Saturday at 7 pm on ESPN2 at The US Open.
Tickets are going for $600 and up for this first week match on the secondary markets. That’s a big number for and unseeded player, but Coco Gauff is not your typical unseeded player.
She is already the no. 1 fan favorite on the women’s side.
Osaka is the no. 1 seed and the defending champion. Her match against Serena Williams in the final last year was a classic. She also won the Australian Open this past January.
No less than Roger Federer, whose agency, Team8 manages Gauff, talked about the match at his press conference yesterday after his easy win over Daniel Evans.
He was effusive in his praise of Gauff, but noted that the 21 year old Osaka, “is going to be the favorite.” That was an accurate statement.
No unseeded player, like Gauff has ever beaten the no. 1 seed and defending champion before in a Slam.
Gauff is highly poised and it would not appear that the moment will be too big for her. She has shown a unique ability to keep things in perspective, ever since her run at Wimbledon this summer.
Just nearly three hours before her match, Gauff has been seen warming up before adoring crowds that are standing 10 deep to catch every move of the sport’s newest rising star.
Osaka is powerful and has the ability to rattle Gauff on the forehand side with her booming shots. How she deals with a younger opponent will certainly be a factor.
We see Osaka winning in 3 tough sets before a sold out throng.