Coco Gauff is working her magic in New York.
"A win is a win... After I lost the first set I told myself 'there's a lot of game left and match to play,'" Gauff said after her victory. "That's why tennis is two out of three sets."
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The No. 6 seed Gauff, who is one of the favorites to win the whole tournament, dropped the first set in an awfully convincing fashion to No. 32 seed Mertens.
Much credit to the 27-year-old Mertens for playing extremely consistently and picking the right shots to strike down the line. Gauff, however, was contributing many unforced errors.
After a tight first six games of the second set, Gauff broke through to give herself a 4-3 lead and close out the set. The confidence in the teenager who had won two U.S. Open warm up events (Washington D.C., Cincinnati) had finally shined through.
Gauff cleaned up her shakey forehand misses and serve to capture the third set and close out the match handily.
Gauff will play for a spot in the quarterfinals against Caroline Wozniacki on Sunday. This is the first meeting between the two.
“A match up I never thought I’d have to play," Gauff said. "When she retired I remember I might’ve said ‘I wish I would’ve played her’ so that wish came true.”
Gauff is also still in women's doubles with her other half, Jessica Pegula. The two are the No. 3 seed and play their second round on Saturday. Gauff fell in mixed doubles play on Thursday with partner American Jack Sock.