DELRAY BEACH(CBSMiami) – The dream year for 15-year-old Delray Beach resident Cori “Coco” Gauff continued Thursday as she upset defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka to advance to the Round of 16.
Gauff took the match in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4 becoming the youngest player in the professional era to eliminate the reigning women’s champion at the Australian Open according to ESPN.
After the match, Gauff was understandably stunned by her own accomplishment, remarking in the on-court interview that just two years ago she had lost in the first round of juniors at the event.
“Honestly, like, what is my life? Like, oh, my gosh!” Gauff said. “Two years ago, I lost first round in juniors and now I’m here. This is crazy.”
With the victory, Gauff is also the youngest player to beat an opponent ranked in the top five in a women’s tournament-level match since Jennifer Capriati in 1991.
As happy as she was with the win, Gauff was similarly happy to get an extension on her homework. She attends school online due to her tennis career and said in her interview that she would have to get to her homework tomorrow because she wanted to get some sleep after the match.
“My teachers, they’re giving me some time because, considering the circumstances, they’re letting me submit some assignments late,” said Gauff drawing some laughs from the crowd in attendance.
Gauff seems to be truly enjoying herself at the tournament, saying after the match that she loves the atmosphere at Rod Laver Arena. She then proposed setting up a meeting with the legend for whom the arena is named.
“I walked past him a couple of times in the hallways but I never really said hi because I’m a little bit nervous,” said Gauff. “But, if he sees this, just tell him we can set up a meet up sometime. I need a selfie for Instagram.”
Gauff now moves on to the Round of 16 where she will face fellow American and Floridian, Sofia Kenin, who advanced past China’s Shuai Zhang in straight sets 7-5, 7-6. That match is set for Saturday night, January 25th at 7 p.m. EST.