Naomi Osaka has split from coach Jermaine Jenkins following her unsuccessful US Open defence.

Jenkins and Osaka teamed up in February after the Japanese parted ways with Sascha Bajin in the wake of her Australian Open success.

The two-time major champion has not won another title since her triumph at Melbourne Park and a fourth-round loss to Belinda Bencic at the US Open represented her next best performance at a grand slam this year.

"I'm super grateful for the time we spent together and the things I learned on and off court but I feel like now is a[n] appropriate time for a change," Osaka wrote on Twitter.

"[I] appreciate you, forever warmed by you … thank you for everything, it was a blast."

The 21-year-old Osaka will return to action at the Pan Pacific Open in Osaka next week.

Things are getting serious at the US Open.

The women's semi-finals took place on day 11, with the focus firmly on Serena Williams' pursuit of history.

Williams is now a win away from tying Margaret Court's record for grand slam singles titles with her 24th major, the modern-day queen of the court wowing royalty in the stands with a dominant performance against Elina Svitolina.

Omnisport's man on the ground, Nicholas McGee, provides the details in our daily diary from New York.

 

A ROYAL OCCASION ON ASHE

Wimbledon is often graced by the presence of the British royal family, and there was one queen in attendance at Arthur Ashe Stadium to watch Williams rule over the court yet again.

Queen Latifah was a particularly interested spectator during Williams' rout of Svitolina, while Hollywood royalty also looked on.

Oscar-winning filmmaker Spike Lee was in attendance and received a huge cheer from the crowd when the Brooklyn-raised star was shown on the big screen.

BARTY & AZARENKA RACE THROUGH

Ashleigh Barty and Victoria Azarenka have six grand slam titles between them across singles and doubles, but that number could be about to increase.

The experienced pairing reached the women's doubles final by hammering Viktoria Kuzmova and Aliaksandra Sasnovich at Louis Armstrong Stadium. 

Barty and Azarenka lost just one game in the match, which they needed only 56 minutes wrap up in a display that should serve as an ominous sign for Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka and Caroline Dolehide and Vania King, who will meet in the second semi-final.

 

OSAKA GETS WOMEN'S SPORTSMANSHIP GONG

After Diego Schwartzman was presented with the men's sportsmanship award on Wednesday, the US Open confirmed the women's prize had gone to dethroned champion Naomi Osaka.

There could be no more deserving winner, with Osaka's actions following her win over 15-year-old Coco Gauff in the third round winning her plaudits around the world.

OMNISPORT REPORTER ENJOYS SOME PARK LIFE

The lighter schedule that comes with the latter part of the tournament presents the opportunity for some down time.

Our man in New York made the journey from Queens to Manhattan to explore the Big Apple.

Stomping the sidewalks can be tiring, but thankfully New York has plenty of places to take the weight off your feet, with Union Square Park one such laid-back spot.

Statues of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln feature prominently in the park and, though her achievements are of a very different nature, there is a strong chance Williams could join them in being bronzed once she finally hangs up the racquet.

Naomi Osaka saw her US Open title defence ended on Monday, as defeats for two home hopes left Serena Williams as the last remaining American.

Osaka had looked in tremendous form in her third-round win over Coco Gauff, when few would have bet against her in the fourth round against Belinda Bencic at Flushing Meadows.

However, the Japanese star – who will be deposed as world number one by Ashleigh Barty following the grand slam – was beaten by Bencic for the third time this year.

Meanwhile, the incredible runs of Taylor Townsend and Kristie Ahn were stopped by Bianca Andreescu and Elise Mertens respectively, with Williams the sole hope for home singles glory as she chases a record-equalling 24th major.

 

BENCIC SCORES OSAKA HAT-TRICK

Bencic went into her match with Osaka having defeated her at Indian Wells and Madrid, and completed the hat-trick with a 7-5 6-4 victory on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Prior to going on court, Swiss 13th seed Bencic did not appreciate the difference in the significance of the occasion, but conceded it hit her after the match.

"Before the match, I didn't think it was different [to her two previous wins over Osaka]. After the match, it definitely felt different," she told a media conference. 

"I just came with the same mentality like I played her before and just really focused on the game and not about the hype or the occasion, the stadium and the round.

"After the match, it feels definitely different. It feels like this was the most important one."

 

GOERGES NO MATCH FOR VEKIC MOMENTUM

Donna Vekic was match point down against Julia Goerges but produced a remarkable fightback to reach her first grand slam quarter-final.

The Croatian 23rd seed came through 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 6-3 in two hours, 43 minutes and knew she had the edge after saving the match.

"I think I definitely had the momentum on my side after second set," she said. "I knew she was going to be thinking about her match point.

"I'm happy that I could break her and then serve it out."


ANDREESCU SILENCES HOME CROWD

Townsend's career has been revitalised by her performance in New York, coming through qualifying before beating Wimbledon champion Simona Halep en route to the fourth round.

However, Townsend finally ran out of steam against Andreescu – the 19-year-old willing her way to a 6-1 4-6 6-2 victory to extend her best performance at a major into the last eight.

Andreescu did so in front of a vociferous home crowd that was predictably pro-Townsend, and admitted it was difficult to tune out the supporters who stayed around late into the New York night.

"It wasn't easy but I heard some Canadian fans, which is nice in tougher moments," said Andreescu. "I tried not to pay attention to that but it's hard when it's everyone. I'm glad with how I managed to keep my cool.

Ahn, who defeated former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the third round, hit 25 unforced errors in slumping to a 6-1 6-1 loss to 25th seed Mertens.

The wildcard will break into the top 100 on the back of her exploits, though, and said of her ascension: "It's crazy. It's not like all encompassing euphoric as you think it will be.

"Maybe it's because in years past I've hyped it up so much. Right now, like, it feels good. At the same time it's like I want more versus I think in 2017 I would have, like, thrown a party for making top 100."

Belinda Bencic's previous experience as a top-10 player gave her belief she could ascend the rankings of the sport again after seeing her career derailed by injury.

Bencic reached the last eight of the US Open on Monday as he produced a magnificent display to beat defending champion Naomi Osaka 7-5 6-4.

The Swiss was ranked seventh in the world in 2016, but a succession of injury problems saw her drop to 312th by the time she returned in September 2017.

However, Bencic has worked her way back into the world's top 20 and now plays good friend Donna Vekic for a place in the semi-finals.

Asked about her experiences between her previous Flushing Meadows quarter-final in 2014 and her straight-sets defeat of Osaka, Bencic told a media conference: "Yeah, it's been a long way since then [2014], for sure.

"People always think I'm a little bit older than I actually am, because I've been here since 16, 17. I think definitely it was a good time. I learned so many things. I think everyone expected [me] to go just up. That's not how tennis goes.

"I think all true athletes have to overcome obstacles, injuries, just tough times. I think it made me a stronger person, better player.

"Of course, there were times when you're injured you wonder if you can play at this level again. Then I also believed if I'm going to get back and healthy, I can play on this level, because I proved it so many times. It was just about being consistent and if it was going to be enough.

"I think it helps when the belief is there, when you know you can be top 10. So when you have been there, you know that your way is working. So I think that helped me a lot through these injuries."

Asked about her improvement in New York, Bencic added: "I think just generally I think the mental part is just really important.

"In these top-50 players, everyone can play very good tennis, so it's not about who can hit a better backhand or who can hit a better forehand.

"I think it's definitely about the mentality, how you go to the court, how you approach, if you have fear or if you're playing freely."

In Vekic, Bencic will be playing an opponent who has endured similar struggles, having won her first WTA title at the age of 17 but then finding grand slam success difficult to come by.

"I think it means a lot, because she was also very good [at] 16, 17 won her first WTA title," Bencic said of Vekic. "Then it was, you know, the pressure and some injuries, some difficult times.

"Now we're both back. It feels very nice. I'm very happy for her. But definitely I want to win. But still I think it will be great that one of us will be in semi-final."

Naomi Osaka has not always dealt with defeat as well as she did at the US Open on Monday.

Her post-match news conferences following losses at Roland Garros and Wimbledon were much different affairs to the laid back discussion she had with the media after her fourth-round straight-sets loss to Belinda Bencic.

"In Wimbledon I walked out on you guys," Osaka joked. "In Roland Garros, I came straight from the match, so I was all gross and I just wanted to get out of there."

The reason for Osaka's change in reaction to being beaten stems from the events of Saturday in New York, when she won the hearts of sports fans around the world by convincing a tearful Coco Gauff to do a joint on-court interview with her after their third-round clash at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Osaka's sportsmanship and empathy was widely lauded, and the 21-year-old, who saw her title defence and reign as world number one ended by Bencic, believes the tournament and the experience she shared with Gauff has had a transformative effect on her.

"For me, right now I have this feeling of sadness, but I also feel like I have learned so much during this tournament. Honestly, of course I wanted to defend this tournament," she said.

"I feel like the steps that I have taken as a person have been much greater than, like, I would imagine at this point. So I hope that I can keep growing. I know that if I keep working hard, then of course I'll have better results.

"I feel like I'm more chill now. I feel like I grew. I don't feel like I put so much weight on one single match."

Osaka conceded to being surprised by the level of reaction on social media to her touching moment with Gauff, and by the extra support it earned her in the Bencic match.

However, the added backing could not help her overcome her opponent, with Osaka refusing to blame a knee problem for which she took a painkiller after going down a break in the second set.

"It was kind of weird. Yeah, I definitely felt like people were cheering for me more, which I appreciate. Yeah, it was kind of unexpected," she added.

"I hurt my knee in Cincinnati, but it's getting better. I don't want to say that that's the reason that I lost, because I obviously had played, like, three matches before this.

"The knee was a little bit annoying in the movement aspect, but I think that that's something I should have overcome in a way that I either should have started playing more aggressively or just, like, tried to, like, hit at a higher length.

Osaka, who also revealed she has not practiced serving due to being unable to land on her left leg, will have plenty of time to dissect what went wrong against Bencic as she prepares for the Asia swing and the fight for the year-end number one ranking.

However, for now the two-time grand slam champion appears more content to reflect on the many positives from a tournament that has had a greater impact on her personal development than either of those two triumphs.

Belinda Bencic produced a stunning performance to end Naomi Osaka's title defence at the US Open in the fourth round and bring her stint at the top of the world rankings to a close. 

Osaka won plaudits for her class on and off the court in the third round, persuading an emotional Coco Gauff to do a joint interview in front of the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd after her straight-sets win over the 15-year-old American.

As a result she had plenty of backing under the roof of the same arena, but that did not inspire her to victory in the face of a magnificent showing from Bencic.

The Swiss had won her two previous meetings with Osaka, defeating her in Indian Wells and Madrid. Having had the benefit of Anett Kontaveit's withdrawal from her third-round tie, Bencic continued her hoodoo over the Japanese in fine style.

She completed a 7-5 6-4 triumph in one hour and 27 minutes, reaching only her second grand slam quarter-final with a win that ensures Ashleigh Barty will replace Osaka at the top of the WTA rankings.

Bencic quickly hit the ground running and opened up a 2-0 lead in the first set, only for Osaka to reel off three straight games.

Any thought that normal service had been resumed proved misguided, however, and Bencic struck again as she nailed a passing shot to break before wrapping up the set when Osaka returned a serve out wide into the net.

The world number 12 did a tremendous job of extending the rallies and brought up triple break point in the fifth game of the second with another astonishing pass at the end of a remarkable rally.

Osaka subsequently sent down a double fault and then called for the trainer. She carried on but was unable to make the inroads needed to restore parity as Bencic secured arguably the biggest win of her career, celebrating arms aloft as her opponent directed a tame off-balance forehand into the net.

Bencic will next face Donna Vekic, who overcame Julia Goerges in three sets, in a match between two players looking to reach the semi-final of a slam for the first time.

Competing at the scene of her traumatic maiden grand slam triumph in front of a crowd predictably and passionately backing a star American opponent, it would have been easy for Naomi Osaka to crumble in the third round of the US Open.

The defending champion and world number one had all the pressure on her shoulders in Saturday's blockbuster clash with 15-year-old Coco Gauff, who comparatively had nothing to lose after again capturing the sporting world's imagination with two thrilling wins.

Rather than wilting at the venue where she had been left in tears 12 months ago, Osaka rose to the occasion in stunning style, delivering a show of class on and off the court that should secure her place as a favourite in the hearts and minds of fans, as well as a frontrunner for the title.

From the start, Osaka played with confidence and ruthlessness, racing into a 3-0 lead. Rather than being overawed by the stage, she rose to it with the enthusiasm of a player with two major titles to her name.

Gauff threatened a comeback as the teenager found her footing, but she was never able to locate the consistency needed to restore parity against a player operating at Osaka's level.

After clinching the opening set, Osaka was relentless, refusing to let up as she condemned Gauff to a bagel in the second.

Osaka got 91 per cent of returns in play, converted six of her seven break points and hit 24 winners to Gauff's eight.

Pirouetting as she won one point to set up a break chance, Osaka operated with more freedom as Gauff faded and the gulf in experience and quality became more telling.

Yet nothing Osaka produced on the court could top what she did after the match, as she persuaded a tearful Gauff into staying behind to be interviewed alongside her in front of the packed crowd.

Both players ended up reduced to tears, but those shed will be remembered as part of one of the indelible moments of US Open history. A marked contrast to those Osaka wept last year as Serena Williams' row with umpire Carlos Ramos overshadowed what should have been the greatest night of the Japanese's career.

Gauff could not have been more appreciative of the gesture, and summed up Osaka's evening on and off the court perfectly.

"For me the definition of an athlete is someone who on the court treats you like your worst enemy but off the court can be your best friend," Gauff said. "I think that's what she did."

Discussion over Osaka's slightly withdrawn nature and lack of comfort in the spotlight has been a prominent feature of her rise to the top of the women's game.

Now the focus has been shifted to her capacity for empathy and her sportsmanship, though Osaka appeared to indicate she would still rather not be the subject of such attention.

Asked if the tennis world needs more "Naomi moments", Osaka replied: "I don't know what a Naomi moment is. Hopefully there won't be many of those. Yeah, whatever I do, I try to tell myself to just do it from the heart."

If she maintains the kind of form she demonstrated on Saturday, there is a strong chance the next Naomi moment will be her lifting the trophy.

Following her wonderful display of compassion for Gauff, the New York crowd that booed as she collected the trophy last year will surely this time be on her side should she prevail again.

Teenager Coco Gauff thanked "class act" Naomi Osaka for her support after the defending US Open champion saw off the young sensation at Flushing Meadows.

Osaka marched on into the fourth round in New York with a 6-3 6-0 victory over the 15-year-old Gauff, who rose to prominence with a remarkable fourth-round showing at Wimbledon.

A packed crowd witnessed the action at Arthur Ashe Stadium, as Gauff's run in her home grand slam was ended in the third round.

After eliminating arguably the star of the first week of the tournament, Osaka swayed an emotional Gauff into joining her for the post-match on-court interview.

World number one Osaka told reporters in a news conference that the decision was an instinctive one.

"I wanted her to have her head high, not walk off the court sad. I want her to be aware that she's accomplished so much and she's still so young," Osaka said.

The 21-year-old later tweeted a photo of herself and Gauff shaking hands, captioning the post: "Keep your head up, you’ve got so much to be proud of. Warrior."

Demonstrating the bond between the pair, Gauff replied with a tweet of her own.

"Thank you! You are a class act. I appreciate your support" Gauff posted, before further confirming her admiration for Osaka by labelling her as a role model.

Swiss player Belinda Bencic awaits Osaka in the last 16.

Coco Gauff felt world number one Naomi Osaka proved she is a true athlete with her conduct after their US Open encounter.

Defending champion Osaka needed only 65 minutes to see off 15-year-old Gauff 6-3 6-0 in Saturday's highly anticipated contest.

Osaka silenced a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd with a ruthless performance to progress to the last 16 at Flushing Meadows.

However, she had the crowd on their feet after the match, as she persuaded a tearful Gauff to stay on the court so they could conduct a post-match interview together.

The pair were each reduced to tears as they spoke in front of a packed stadium that rose to acclaim for two players sure to be superstars of women's tennis for a long time to come.

Gauff was effusive in her praise of Osaka afterwards, telling reporters: "I think she just proved that she's a true athlete.

"For me the definition of an athlete is someone who on the court treats you like your worst enemy but off the court can be your best friend. I think that's what she did tonight.

"I definitely was wanting to leave the court because I'm not the type of person who wants to cry in front of everyone. I didn't want to take that moment away from her, as well.

"She told me it's better than crying in the shower. She convinced me, like, multiple times to stay. I kept saying no. Finally I said, Okay, I'll do it. Because I didn't know what to do.

"I'm happy that she kind of convinced me to do it because, I mean, I'm not used to crying in front of everyone.

"But I think she really showed sportsmanship tonight. I mean, I wasn't expecting it. I'm glad that I was able to experience that moment. I'm glad the crowd was kind of helping me and her.

"She was crying, she won. I was crying. Everybody was crying. But I think it was a good moment for both of us.

"I'm glad that I was able to express that moment. I guess it shows that I'm human. I guess athletes in general just experience things, and we show emotion, good and bad.

"I think a lot of people see the more pumping up side of me, the more fiery side. I guess that side is good for other people to see.

"I'm glad I was able to experience that on the biggest stage. Maybe next time I'll have a different result. I really thank Naomi for that because it was a good moment for me."

Gauff expects the experience of a heavy defeat to be beneficial as she plots a route to reaching the same heights as two-time grand slam champion Osaka.

"I think I'll learn a lot from this match. She's the number one player in the world right now, so I know what I need to do to get to that level," Gauff added.

"She was really attacking the ball well. She hit a lot of winners today. I didn't hit as many as I can. I think that I can trust my strokes more.

"I think she trusts her strokes a lot, so that's why she hits winners. In order to hit a winner, you have to trust that you're going to do it. I think I can work on that more.

"Other than that, I mean, I think my first serve, I could get it in more today. I was having trouble holding serve. I think once I get past that hump, I'll start to improve a lot more."

A desire for Coco Gauff to leave the court with her head held high was behind Naomi Osaka's decision to persuade the 15-year-old to stay for an interview after their US Open encounter.

Defending champion Osaka cruised to a 6-3 6-0 win over the teenager in front of a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd, ending Gauff's memorable run at her home grand slam on Saturday.

However, even as Osaka eliminated the star of the first week of the tournament, the world number one won the hearts of the spectators when she was able to sway a tearful Gauff into joining her for the post-match interview.

They were each subsequently reduced to tears but received a huge ovation from the fans in an indelible moment in the history of the tournament.

Asked in her post-match media conference if her decision to have a joint-interview was instinctive, Osaka replied; "It was kind of instinctive because when I shook her hand, I saw that she was kind of tearing up a little. Then it reminded me how young she was.

"For me, at least when I lose, I just come into the locker room and I cry, then I do press, like, here. I love you guys, but it's not the greatest.

"Then I was thinking normal people don't actually watch the press conferences unless they're, like, fan fans.

"The people that are out there, they're probably going to just stay and watch the next person who's playing, then they go home, and they wouldn't know immediately what's on her mind.

"I was just thinking it would be nice for her to address the people that came and watched her play. They were cheering for her. Yeah, I mean, for me, it was just something that was, I don't know, instinctive I guess.

"For me, I just thought about what I wanted her to feel leaving the court. I wanted her to have her head high, not walk off the court sad. I want her to be aware that she's accomplished so much and she's still so young.

"I know that you guys are kind of coming at her with love, too. But I feel like the amount of media on her right now is kind of insane for her age. I just want her to, like, take care of herself."

Osaka said she was the most focused she had been since her victory at the Australian Open, and her performance reflected that.

She started the match by racing into a 3-0 lead and, after surviving a Gauff revival, never let up in dishing out a bagel in the second set.

Quizzed as to how far she is from being at a level where she can win the slam again, Osaka replied: "The thing with me, though, is I get better as the tournament goes on.

"It's not even a skill sort of thing, it's just I trust myself more."

Osaka will look to make further strides when she faces Belinda Bencic in the last 16.

Those who were hoping for Coco Gauff to deliver another thriller in her match with Naomi Osaka were left disappointed, but they did witness the most touching moment of the US Open so far.

Defending champion and world number one Osaka proved too much for Gauff as she eased to a 6-3 6-0 win over the 15-year-old American in just 65 minutes on Saturday.

It was a hugely impressive performance from Osaka, but it was what she did after the match that earned her the most acclaim at Flushing Meadows.

Despite a tearful Gauff wanting to leave the court, Osaka persuaded the teenager to stay out there so they could do the on-court interview together.

Both were then reduced to tears as they spoke in front of the Arthur Ashe crowd, who treated them to a standing ovation.

Osaka will have won plenty more admirers with that sporting gesture and will next face Belinda Bencic, who received a walkover after Anett Kontaveit withdrew from their match due to illness, for a place in the last eight.

 

TOWNSEND'S PHONE OVERWHELMED BY TEXTS

Taylor Townsend looked in danger of falling flat after her remarkable comeback against Simona Halep, going a break down in the first set in her match with another Romanian, Sorana Cirstea.

However, Townsend fought back to take the first set and, after skipping a rope at the change of ends, produced a dominant second. 

Continuing her aggressive play from the win over fourth seed Halep, Townsend came to the net 75 times in securing a 7-5 6-2 victory.

Speaking to ESPN on court afterwards, Townsend told of the increased attention she has received since defeating Wimbledon champion Halep.

"I didn't know that many people had my phone number," Townsend said. "I got a lot of messages and my phone started dialling 911 by itself."

ANDREESCU KEEPS ASHE EMOTIONS IN CHECK

Next up for Townsend will be rising star Bianca Andreescu, who kept up her outstanding run of form by beating two-time US Open runner-up Wozniacki 6-4 6-4.

Canadian Andreescu has not lost a completed match since March, having won the Rogers Cup on her return from an injury that kept her out of Wimbledon.

But she had no shortage of nerves playing on Ashe for the first time in her fledgling career.

"I was, like, Oh, my God, is this actually happening right now? It's a dream come true, so I prepared myself really well," Andreescu said. "I handled my emotions well today."


AHN: "I'VE MADE IT"

Kristie Ahn had never gone beyond the first round of a slam before this week, now she can look forward to playing in the last 16 after a three-set win over Jelena Ostapenko.

Ahn survived an injury scare to beat former French Open champion Ostapenko 6-3 7-5 and was thrilled to finally be recognised by a passer-by at Flushing Meadows after initially being mistaken for Osaka.

The 27-year-old posted on Twitter: "Story time: Was walking back from my dubs match today and heard someone yell 'It's Naomi Osaka!' Everyone started cheering and then someone goes, 'No! That's Kristie Ahn!' Y'all...I've made it."

Standing in her way as she eyes the last eight is 25th seed Elise Mertens, who defeated Petra Kvitova's conqueror Andrea Petkovic 6-3 6-3.

Seventh seed Kiki Bertens was unable to improve on her best performance in New York as she was comfortably beaten 6-2 6-3 by Julia Goerges.

Naomi Osaka ended Coco Gauff's dream US Open run with an accomplished display to defeat the 15-year-old sensation 6-3 6-0.

After capturing the imagination of the tennis world by progressing to the fourth round of Wimbledon as the All England Club's youngest qualifier, Gauff captivated the home crowds at Flushing Meadows to reach the third round and set up a dream meeting with Osaka on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

However, defending champion and world number one Osaka was always going to present a significantly greater challenge than Anna Blinkova and Timea Babos.

While Gauff looked far from daunted by the occasion, she was unable to cut out the double faults and unforced errors that were a feature of her two engrossing victories, and Osaka was much more ruthless in punishing them.

While Osaka was not quite at her best but, at the scene of her maiden grand slam triumph that was marred by Serena Williams' dispute with umpire Carlos Ramos, she looked every inch a player ready to retain her crown in more fitting circumstances.

Osaka needed only 65 minutes to set up a meeting with 13th seed Belinda Bencic in the round of 16 in New York.

The 21-year-old set out her stall right from the off, a fantastic forehand winner helping her bring up break point in the second game, on which Gauff double-faulted.

Falling 3-0 behind seemed to spark Gauff into life, though both players struggled for consistency as the set ended with four breaks in the final six games.

Osaka did a tremendous job of stretching the parameters of Gauff's movement by working the angles magnificently, but she will have been frustrated by a series of sloppy games on serve.

That run was ended as she closed the set out and Osaka refused to take her foot of the gas as she dished out a bagel in the second.

Osaka used deep drop shots to get Gauff in trouble in the opening game of the second, the Japanese pirouetting in delight after she produced outstanding reflexes at the net to bring up break point.

Gauff promptly sent down another costly double fault and there was no way back for the American after Osaka held from 15-40 down and then broke again for a 3-0 lead. 

The teenager was unable to get on the board in the second, with that fact doing a disservice to the part she played in an absorbing, albeit one-sided contest, that will surely be just the first of many more battles to come.

The 2019 film 'Diego Maradona', a documentary covering a period of the great Argentina footballer's life, brilliantly depicts the breathless intensity of life as a superstar.

Put together with behind-the-scenes Maradona footage from various sources in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the critically acclaimed picture portrays the fierce adoration of supporters, the media and more that built and broke the ex-Napoli forward.

Quite understandably, it seems everyone wanted a piece of El Diego. Quite understandably, it seems this took its toll.

THE SPOTLIGHT

Watching Coco Gauff in the aftermath of her second-round US Open win was initially adorable and then a little uncomfortable.

The 15-year-old, with five main-draw grand slam triumphs to her name already, was riding the crest of her very own wave, blushing as the crowd chanted her name and then giggling excitedly as she was reminded defending champion Naomi Osaka is up next.

It is customary for victors on the show courts to then stick around for a moment or two after the interviews to sign autographs and take pictures before quickly disappearing back to the dressing room.

Gauff went above and beyond for her fans as the camera lingered for several minutes. Teenage boys tussled over signed merchandise, others tripped over themselves to get involved in the scrum. Coco kept smiling, kept signing. Some supporters were polite and grateful, others appeared blunt and rude. Coco kept going.

Many children her age - Gauff has beaten Venus Williams but is still just a child - might be discouraged from speaking to strangers. With a security guard at her side, Coco had an army of them, like Maradona, wanting a piece of her.

THE HYPE

Even for a player long tipped for success as a junior, Gauff's introduction to women's tennis has been quite remarkable. Against Timea Babos, she showed her power, her devilish speed and a defensive showing Simona Halep would be proud of. There was nothing in her performance to suggest she cannot one day live up to the hype surrounding her.

That hype is considerable. Daniela Hantuchova, on Amazon's Flushing Meadows coverage, gushed as she assessed Gauff's display. This was a future multiple-major winner, she said. The first serve of Venus, the second serve of Serena. Wow.

Coco has been the name on everyone's lips since Wimbledon, where Serena, Roger Federer and the rest discussed her thrilling breakthrough. She traded messages with Michelle Obama. Kobe Bryant was in New York on Thursday and keen to take in the clash with Babos.

And the world's top tennis prospect has understandably capitalised on this attention as a no-doubt-lucrative New Balance deal has seen the player, her team and her family turn out in shirts and shoes adorning the slogan, "Win or lose, call me Coco". She is being readied to rule the world.

A young Maradona, likewise destined for the top, had a camera crew follow him around in the days before this was normal, recording footage intended to make him a movie star. Ultimately, this would form part of the film that concluded with the tale of his downfall.

THE WARNING

Gauff has dealt with her new status incredibly well and will, you would imagine, continue to do so as long as the coverage remains positive and she keeps performing far above the level ordinarily expected of a teenager. There appears no pressure at this stage as she defeats senior pro after senior pro.

Yet might Osaka, her next opponent, be able to offer a word of warning? The Japanese appeared at ease and content on the WTA Tour a year ago, steadily forging an impressive career but not yet a victim of the expectation that comes with success.

That all changed with victory first at the US Open and then in Melbourne. Osaka became world number one and initially hated it. "Mentally, it was way more stress and pressure than I could have imagined," she said. Sport can chew up and spit out even the most prodigious talent. 

Osaka should beat Gauff and so there will be no outrage if the American is undone. The biggest feel-good story in tennis will roll on and on, the hype growing and then eventually perhaps, too, the scrutiny.

Whether Coco reaches superstardom or falls some way short, her health and happiness must remain intact throughout her career. Others have not always found that to be the case.

When Naomi Osaka takes on teenage sensation Coco Gauff in the tie of the third round at the US Open on Saturday, it will be impossible not to see the parallels between the two.

Following her victory in a brutal battle with Timea Babos on Thursday, John McEnroe was quick to warn how a Gauff triumph in the match everyone hoped to see may be too much, too soon for the 15-year-old sensation.

The rise of Osaka, and her subsequent struggles to deal with the spotlight that has arrived with becoming the world number one and winning two grand slams by the age of 21, may well be a reason why McEnroe made that claim.

Osaka has rarely looked comfortable in the media glare and, prior to the final major of the year at Flushing Meadows, conceded she has not had fun playing tennis since her success at the Australian Open.

The Japanese can see herself in Gauff, who is again the story of the first week of a grand slam having become the youngest woman to reach the third round of the US Open since 1996.

However, speaking after her routine win over Magda Linette on Thursday, Osaka pointed out a key difference between her and Gauff.

"Yeah, I mean, off the court she seems like me. Well, she seems a little bit more, like, she knows what she's doing," Osaka said. "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.

"She's a really talented girl. I would love for her to come out of her shell a little bit. I just realise that's probably what people say about me, too."

Though based on her post-match demeanour, Osaka may be doing herself a disservice.

A comfortable win understandably changes the tone of a media conference for the better, but Osaka's light-hearted approach to proceedings - in which she cracked jokes about helping famous fans Kobe Bryant and Colin Kaepernick stay out of the sun - made for a striking contrast to how she has often dealt with the media.

Still, Osaka's praise of Gauff's composure is well-founded. On and off the court, the teenager never seems fazed by anything thrown in her direction, though she partially credits Osaka for giving her the belief she can beat the best on the biggest stage.

Asked what she can take from how Osaka has navigated early success, Gauff told a media conference: "I think she just made it, I guess, possible. 

"Last year, at the 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.

"I think she's just a super-sweet person on and off the court. She competes great out there. I think she shows us how to compete and the way to, like, be off the court, too."

Competing with Osaka on the court will be the biggest challenge Gauff has faced so far. She fought extremely hard in her Wimbledon defeat to Simona Halep and will likely have to improve on that effort if she is to progress further in New York.

In terms of her overall poise, however, Gauff may actually be ahead of a world number one who is still finding her feet in dealing with the rigours that come with being at the top of the sport.

Too much, too soon? It remains to be seen. However, there can be no doubt Gauff has the temperament to handle the occasion in what will be the first of hopefully many enticing contests between two players set to dominate women's tennis.

Serena Williams is excited to "be a fan girl" over the future of women's tennis when Naomi Osaka faces Coco Gauff in the third round of the US Open.

Williams booked her spot in the fourth round on Friday with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Karolina Muchova.

However, most of the talk in her post-match media conference was not about her routine win, but rather the blockbuster clash between world number one Osaka and 15-year-old Gauff.

Gauff, who reached the fourth round of Wimbledon as a qualifier, has seen her incredible rise continue at Flushing Meadows with three-set wins over Anastasia Potapova and Timea Babos.

A potential third-round meeting with defending champion Osaka was circled by many when the draw came out, and 23-time grand slam champion Williams is also relishing a contest between two players set to take on the mantle when she eventually ends her incredible career.

"I think it will be a really interesting match. I definitely am interested to watch," Williams said. "I think it's super exciting tennis. Coco is obviously much, much younger than Naomi, if you could say that, because Naomi is incredibly young. But it's shocking to say that Coco is about six years younger.

"I definitely think it's the future of women's tennis. And I'm really excited to just be a fan girl and kind of watch."

On the excitement Gauff has stirred, Williams added: "I think she's really pretty cool. I love her excitement on the court. I don't know what everyone else thinks. I can only tell you what I think.

"I'm a big fan of hers. I have said that since day one. I love her parents. I think she has a good family, and I think it starts there. It makes for a great athlete and a great person."

It has been an impressive tournament for young American players. In addition to Gauff's success, Taylor Townsend stunned Simona Halep on Thursday while Sofia Kenin is into the third round.

The 37-year-old, who lost a set to Gauff's doubles partner Caty McNally in the second round, played down talk of her compatriots' emergence being a result of the "Williams effect".

"I can't be presumptuous and say that's because of me. I think it's because of these young women and their parents and coaches want them to do something amazing," said Williams. 

"I think tennis is a great sport for females and it's a great way to showcase your personality, be yourself, make a great living and still do something that you absolutely love."

Williams will play Petra Martic in the fourth round.

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