Taylor Townsend Upsets Simona Halep, While CoCo Gauff Sets Up Third Round Showdown With No. 1 Naomi Osaka at the US Open
(August 29, 2019) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY -Young American women were the show at the US Open on Thursday as Taylor Townsend and CoCo Gauff pulled off big victories to advance to the third round on day four.
Twenty-three-year-old Taylor Townsend pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament, beating former No. 1 Simona Halep of Romania 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4).
Townsend came in as a qualifier, ranked 116th in the world. The southpaw Townsend served and volleyed her way to victory, saving a match point, charging the net a total 106 times during the match, like a player from a bygone era when everyone rushed the net and most majors were played on grass courts.
“I mean, this means a lot. It’s been a long journey. Just haven’t been able to get over the hump, Towsend said.” This was Townsend’s first win over a Top Ten player.
Townsend was once the top junior in the world. Back in 2012, she won both the singles and doubles junior titles at the Australian Open.
“It’s been a long road. A lot of haters. A lot of people who weren’t sure. I mean, I’ve heard it for a really long time that I was never going to make it, that I wasn’t going to be able to break through or do this or do that,” Townsend said. “This was a huge, monumental moment. It was a very defining moment for me to realize that I belong here.”
This was Townsend’s fourth straight comeback win going back to the qualifying tournament.
“It’s been, like, a really long journey,” Townsend said to media in her news conference. “You flood with emotions of the things you’ve been through, positive, negative.
“It’s just confirmation more for myself that I’m on the right path, doing the right things. You keep your head down and keep working and you see what happens.”
“I’ve played her three other times. It wasn’t like it was any mystery going into the match. Obviously she’s coming off a lot of confidence. She won Wimbledon. She’s very match-tough.
“I mean, honestly, like I said on court, I feel like a lot of the times when I was playing her, I played, like, not to lose. A player like that, she’s just way too solid, has had so much experience, that’s not going to fly. I mean, I was just, like, what do you have to lose? I’m just going to go for it, I’m going to do what I do best where I’m the most comfortable, which is at the net.
“I won a lot of points. I lost points. I lost big points. But I was rewarded in the end. That’s what was most satisfying.”
“I really think that she played great,” said Halep. “She was very inspired of every ball. She came a lot to the net and didn’t miss much. It’s unbelievable.
“Also my return was weak because I couldn’t feel the rhythm of a lefty. I don’t know, was not very strong the serve, but the ball was moving too much and I couldn’t have the feeling, the touch.
“Then I think I played a little bit wrong tactic. Maybe I should have hit more lobs when she was coming. She was very close to the net. I was not inspired at all today, but I fought. I thought when I came back that I will take it and I will win it. But sometimes it goes the other way.
“I’m a little bit upset because of the tactic and because of the way I played. But it’s not a drama. She played really well. She really deserved to win it because she gave everything and she didn’t think of losing. She went all the way with 100% belief.”
Fifteen-year-old CoCo Gauff had the home crowd behind her at Louis Armstrong Stadium during a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 win over Timea Babos of Hungary.
“For me it’s still wild. This is the first time — well, not the first time. The first round was the first time I actually had a chant, but today it was a lot louder and a little more consistent,” Gauff said in regard to the supportive crowd.
Her run to the Wimbledon fourth round was no accident, but a show of future promise and potential.
The young lady from Delray Beach is now the youngest player to reach the U.S. Open’s third round since 1996, when Anna Kournikova did it.
“I was thinking like maybe they feel like I’m Golden State in Game 7 or something. It’s different because you’re an individual player, so it’s weird, I guess. Most of the time you hear the chants, it’s for a whole team, not just for, like, me. So it was pretty cool.”
“I was tested a lot. I think we were both just testing each other,” Gauff said. “If I didn’t win that last point, maybe she would have won the match.”
“I thought that the first set, I definitely was in control. In the second set, she raised her level and I wasn’t able to finish the set.
“But she played amazing. I thought I played well, too. It was a great match.”
Next up for Gauff will be a meeting with No. 1 Naomi Osaka, who bested Magda Linette in straight sets.
“I practiced with her, I think I was 13, at Miami Open,” Gauff said. “That was super cool. I was able to keep the ball on the court. I was super nervous. She’s prepping for a tournament so I didn’t want to mess up her practice.
“But she’s a super sweet person. I mean, my dad and her dad have known each other for a long time. They always talk all the time. We’ve known each other for quite a few times now. She’s a great person. She’s nice. Her mom is one of the nicest people ever. She’s so amazing. Her whole family is just great.”
“Last year, US Open, she wasn’t really like a big contender. Obviously now this year she is. She had that amazing run, then the final. Honestly, I think she’s a big inspiration for everyone. She’s 21. She has two slams. She’s still thriving for more.”
“Off the court she seems like me,” said Osaka of Gauff. “Well, she seems a little bit more, like, she knows what she’s doing,” she said with a smile. “I just mean, like, I’m very quiet. I’ve gotten actually a bit talkative recently, though.
“But, yeah, I saw her in the locker room. She wasn’t really talking to anyone. I was, like, Oh, looks familiar. I’m just going to talk to her. I know she’s super young, and I know it’s sort of hard to transition.
“I wasn’t even a junior, but I can only imagine as a junior you play these tournaments with your friends, and then you come to the pros and you don’t know anyone. I just, like, Oh, she’s a really talented girl. I would love for her to come out of her shell a little bit. I just realize that’s probably what people say about me, too.”
“For me, when I hear people talking about someone, I want to have the opportunity to play them just to assess it for myself.”
Townsend’s victory was not the only upset on the women’s side of the draw on Thursday. Andrea Petkovic took out sixth seed Petra Kvitová 6-4, 6-4.
Caroline Wozniacki rebounded from a first set loss to stop Danielle Collins 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the third round.
“She got off to a good start,” Wozniacki said. “She plays very aggressive. I knew that was how the match was going to go. I just had to be ready for it.
“Again, in the second set, I stepped in a little bit more, I started changing up my serves a little bit more. Yeah, I think that was what made the difference.”
The former US Open finalist will play Canadian Bianca Andreescu next, I remember not really knowing who she was,” Wozniacki admitted. “I remember I thought I played pretty well in that match. She still beat me. It was the first tournament of the year, so I was kind of unsure whether I was really hitting my level or whether she was playing that well. Obviously she was playing very well.
“She’s had a great year. Has won some big tournaments. She’s definitely coming in here with some confidence. It’s important for me that I’m just going to go out there and take my chances.”
WOMEN’S RESULTS – AUGUST 29, 2019
Singles – Second Round
 N. Osaka (JPN) d. M. Linette (POL) 62 64
[Q] T. Townsend (USA) d.  S. Halep (ROU) 26 63 76(4) – saved one match point
A. Petkovic (GER) d.  P. Kvitova (CZE) 64 64
 K. Bertens (NED) d. A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 75 64
Y. Putintseva (KAZ) d.  A. Sabalenka (BLR) 63 76(3)
 A. Sevastova (LAT) d. I. Swiatek (POL) 36 61 63
 B. Bencic (SUI) d. A. Cornet (FRA) 64 16 62
 B. Andreescu (CAN) d. [LL] K. Flipkens (BEL) 63 75
 J. Konta (GBR) d. M. Gasparyan (RUS) 61 60
 Q. Wang (CHN) d. A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) 75 64
 C. Wozniacki (DEN) d. D. Collins (USA) 46 63 64
 S. Kenin (USA) d. L. Siegemund (GER) 76(4) 60
 A. Kontaveit (EST) d. A. Tomljanovic (AUS) 46 75 62
 P. Martic (CRO) d. [Q] A. Bogdan (ROU) 62 64
 D. Vekic (CRO) d. K. Kanepi (EST) 75 63
 E. Mertens (BEL) d. Kr. Pliskova (CZE) 62 62
 J. Goerges (GER) d. [WC] F. Di Lorenzo (USA) 75 60
K. Muchova (CZE) d.  S. Hsieh (TPE) 61 46 76(2)
 M. Sakkari (GRE) d. [Q] S. Peng (CHN) 67(5) 64 62
 D. Yastremska (UKR) d. R. Peterson (SWE) 64 61
 S. Zhang (CHN) d. E. Alexandrova (RUS) 76(5) 46 63
O. Jabeur (TUN) d. A. Sasnovich (BLR) 36 64 62
F. Ferro (FRA) d. K. Mladenovic (FRA) 64 67(3) 63
J. Ostapenko (LAT) d. A. Riske (USA) 64 63
S. Cirstea (ROU) d. A. Bolsova (ESP) 36 64 63
[WC] C. Gauff (USA) d. [Q] T. Babos (HUN) 62 46 64
[WC] K. Ahn (USA) d. [Q] A. Kalinskaya (RUS) 62 63
Doubles – First Round
 N. Melichar/K. Peschke (USA/CZE) d. N. Hibino/M. Kato (JPN/JPN) 76(4) 64
 Y. Duan/S. Zheng (CHN/CHN) d. L. Arruabarrena/K. Christian (ESP/USA) 64 61
N. Kichenok/A. Spears (UKR/USA) d. [WC] U. Arconada/H. Carter (USA/USA) 61 63
A. Guarachi/B. Pera (CHI/USA) d. E. Hozumi/M. Ninomiya (JPN/JPN) 61 67(4) 62
C. Dolehide/V. King (USA/USA) d. D. Krawczyk/J. Pegula (USA/USA) 57 64 62
V. Golubic/S. Sorribes Tormo (SUI/ESP) d. [WC] A. Forbes/A. Noel (USA/USA) 76(3) 62