Coco Gauff is set to face Naomi Osaka again, after the two tennis stars shared a tear-jerking moment together at the U.S. Open last August.
Gauff, 15, and Osaka, 22, will play each other in the third round of the women’s singles competition at the Australian Open around 3 a.m. EST on Friday.
Osaka memorably embraced an emotional Gauff after defeating her in the third round of the U.S. Open in Queens, New York, on Aug. 31. Osaka, who was defending her title, invited Gauff to join her in the post-match interview.
Fighting to hold back tears at the time, Gauff told ESPN that it was “amazing” to play Osaka, who has “been so sweet to me.”
“Once again, thank you, Naomi. I don’t want people to think that I’m trying to take this moment away from her, because she really deserves it,” Gauff continued. “So thank you.”
Osaka responded by celebrating the fact that both she and Gauff had “made it,” adding that the teenager player was “amazing.”
Class. Act. 👏
After defeating Coco Gauff in straight sets, Naomi Osaka asked the 15-year-old to join her for the encore interview. pic.twitter.com/kcat7fRggr
— espnW (@espnW) September 1, 2019
The moment was widely celebrated, with many people on social media cheering on the display of sisterhood and solidarity between two Black tennis players.
That what just happened right there 😭😭😭I love you two so much @Naomi_Osaka_ @CocoGauff 😭😭😭honesty humility respect support sisterhood LOVE
— Janelle Monáe, Cindi (@JanelleMonae) September 1, 2019
I ❤️ this sisterhood @Naomi_Osaka_ @CocoGauff Champion to champion. ⭐️Bravo to the parents of these gracious young women ! You raised them right. https://t.co/WihNUtnK47
— Reese Witherspoon (@ReeseW) September 3, 2019
Naomi Osaka & Coco Gauff got me over here in my feelings.
When @Naomi_Osaka_ said, “the fact that we both made it is amazing,” I just started crying.
Ugh! Black women & black girls are so special. I’m so grateful to be alive to bare witness to this tender joy.
— Golden (@mylessgolden) September 1, 2019
Gauff, who made history last year when she became the youngest tennis player in the Open era to qualify for Wimbledon’s main event, told The New York Times that she thinks she’ll be “less nervous” playing Osaka this time around.
“I think U.S. Open, I was nervous,” she said in the article published Thursday. “It was my first time on Ashe [Arthur Ashe Stadium]. We’re both familiar with each other’s games. She plays really aggressive. This time coming in, I’m going to be more aggressive.”
In Melbourne, Osaka will again be defending her title.
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