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Coco Gauff Crushes Madison Keys, Charges Into US Open Fourth Round

Coco Gauff of the United States reacts to a point against Madison Keys of the United States during their US Open third-round match. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Arthur Ashe Stadium has long been a proving ground for Coco Gauff.

On the game’s biggest Grand Slam stage, a growing Gauff confirmed her status as a US Open title contender.

The 18-year-old Gauff dismissed 2017 US Open finalist Madison Keys 6-2, 6-3 to charge into the US Open fourth round for the first time. Gauff has not dropped a set in three tournament wins raising her 2022 record to 33-16.

n an all-American showed, Gauff avenged a 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 loss to Keys in the Adelaide semifinals last January by giving herself permission to go for it.

“I just told myself I’m gonna go down swinging becuase last time I got a little too passive and she was overpowering me,” Gauff told ESPN’s Mary Joe Fernandez afterward. “I knew eventually the shots would go my way because I’ve been practicing really hard on them.”

Indeed, Gauff converted five of nine break points and committed just 14 unforced errors in 17 games, eight fewer than Cincinnati semifinalist Keys.

It’s a milestone win for Gauff, who recalled the thrill of watching Venus Williams play a US Open match five years ago today from court-side seats.

Today, Gauff went one better winning on Arthur Ashe Stadium and moving into a fourth-round showdown vs. Zhang Shuai.

Facing one of the game’s biggest hitters, Gauff player higher-percentage tennis and showed her own jolting power pounding several serves faster than 115 mph.

“I was trying to impress to my friends that I got court-side seats,” Gauff said of her 2017 visit to Flushing Meadows as a fan. “Now I’m on the court.”

Gauff’s greater shot-tolerance level and her ability to extend points was on display early.

The big-hitting Keys ballooned a couple of forehands beyond the baseline as Gauff gained her second straight break for 3-1.

Bolting a 119 mph body serve into the hip, Gauff erased a break point then banged a 114 mph missile down the middle to back up the break for 4-1.

Fifty-four minutes into the match, Keys sailed another forehand beyond the baseline and Gauff grabbed the break and 3-1 lead.

Working the corners with her crosscourt drives, Gauff consolidated the break at 15 for 41.

Keys came right back zapping an ace to help her hold then encouraging errors from Gauff. Down break point, Gauff decelerated on a second serve hitting it into net. That double fault gave Keys the break and put her back on serve at 3-4.

Throughout the match, Gauff leaned on her two-hander crosscourt picking on Keys’ weaker wing. The teenager torched a backhand winner down the line and exploited a couple of Keys errors breaking back for 5-3.

An ace out wide brought Gauff match point. Keys missed a forehand reutrn as Gauff sealed her first trip to the US Open round of 16 in 72 minutes.