Teenager Gauff ends Osaka’s title defence in Melbourne

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Teenage sensation Coco Gauff celebrates victory over Venus Williams at Australian Open

Coco Gauff continued her dream run at the Australian Open on Friday when the 15-year-old knocked out defending champion Naomi Osaka 6-3 6-4 in a stunning upset to reach the fourth round.

Osaka was the third former women’s champion to bow out at Melbourne Park on Friday after her immediate predecessors Caroline Wozniacki and Serena Williams lost their respective matches earlier in the day.

Gauff, on her Australian Open debut, beat seven-times Grand Slam champion Venus Williams in the first round and will next face either China’s Zhang Shuai or American 14th seed Sofia Kenin for a place in the quarter-finals.

Gauff had lost to Osaka 6-3 6-0 at the U.S. Open last year but easily avoided a repeat as a string of backhand errors off the Japanese third seed’s racket gave the 15-year-old the break midway through the opening set.

The pattern repeated itself in the second set, as a lacklustre Osaka continued to misfire and Gauff served out the victory after just 67 minutes on court.