Elina Svitolina expects a big challenge in the semi-finals of the US Open regardless of whether she faces Serena Williams or not.

Svitolina progressed to her second successive grand slam semi with a straight-sets win over Johanna Konta at Flushing Meadows on Tuesday.

The Ukrainian has enjoyed a very successful major season having also reached the last four of Wimbledon and the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

She will next face the winner of six-time US Open champion Williams' clash with Wang Qiang.

Williams will be the heavy favourite but Svitolina insists she expects the task of making the final to be just as difficult if it is Wang who prevails.

Asked about the prospect of facing Williams, Svitolina told a media conference: "Definitely it's a big challenge to play against her.

"I mean, [it] doesn't really matter who I'm going to play in semi-final. It's a challenge.

"A person who reaches the semi-final is playing well. You have to bring your best game to beat them. Doesn't matter who is going to be in the semi-final.

"But obviously Serena is an amazing champion. It's going to be really tough against her."

Svitolina has not faced Williams since earning her only win over the American in the third round of the 2016 Olympic Games.

Recalling that match, she said: "It was an unbelievable atmosphere. I played actually a great match. I was very young. Not very young, but I was kind of young at the time. I didn't have big wins at that time.

"For me, it gave me lots of confidence, as well, because I was playing really good sometimes. It gave me the confidence to actually let me believe that I can play consistent against the top players.

"She gave me opportunities, for sure, in that match, and I actually took them and won the match. It was a very special moment."

Elina Svitolina progressed to the US Open semi-finals for the first time after extending her unbeaten record over Johanna Konta with a 6-4 6-4 win.

In a match of two remarkably similar sets inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, Svitolina came out on top to improve her career record against Konta to 5-0 and, in the process, become the first Ukrainian woman to reach the last four at Flushing Meadows.

The fifth seed – who also made the last four at Wimbledon this year – did drop her serve twice but was otherwise impressive in a contest that spanned one hour and 40 minutes.

Both players were cautious in the early stages before the contest sparked into life with a run of three successive service breaks from the fifth game onwards.

Svitolina grabbed the first of them courtesy of a backhand that was too much for her opponent to deal with, only to then let the advantage slip immediately.

However, Konta paid the price for two backhand errors, allowing Svitolina to edge ahead once again at 4-3.

This time she did not let her rival rally, fighting hard to save a break point in the eighth game. A Konta hold forced Svitolina to serve out for the opener, a task she duly achieved when converting her second set point.

The second set followed the same pattern as the first, the duo once again holding for the first four games before a trio of breaks.

As before, Svitolina moved 4-3 up and, while unable to take two match-point opportunities that arrived on Konta's serve, she sealed the victory at the third attempt on her own serve.

Next up will either be Serena Williams or Wang Qiang, who meet later on Tuesday in their last-eight tie.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Elina Svitolina [5] bt Johanna Konta [16] 6-4 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Svitolina - 16/13
Konta – 24/25

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Svitolina – 4/0
Konta – 3/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Svitolina – 4/8
Konta – 2/3

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Svitolina - 57
Konta - 64

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Svitolina - 62/60
Konta – 59/48

TOTAL POINTS
Svitolina - 71
Konta - 62

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."

The start of the second week at the US Open was marked by the return of the rain, but it did not dampen anyone's spirits at Flushing Meadows.

Play on the outside courts was severely delayed as competitors endured a long wait for the weather to clear.

However, the rain was welcomed by one player, who progressed into the last eight with a stunning win.

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

 

RAIN, RAIN HOORAY?

While the inclement weather was certainly not welcomed by fans, or by players not lucky enough to be playing on show courts, Belinda Bencic was thrilled to see the heavens open.

Bencic knocked out defending champion Naomi Osaka 7-5 6-4 under the roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The Swiss said the indoor feel provided by playing with the roof closed was a significant factor in her being able to get the better of the world number one.

"I wished it was going to rain, so it rained," Bencic joked at her media conference. "Obviously I wouldn't have any problem playing outdoors as well because the big stadiums are almost indoors. I played on the outside courts, and it's just so different.

"Obviously I prefer playing indoors. I don't know why. It just feels more comfortable and good for me. But definitely such a big stadium and so close, it feels almost as indoors."

 

'MCCOCO' RUN COMES TO AN END

Caty McNally and Coco Gauff have each enjoyed a memorable US Open. McNally took a set off Serena Williams in the second round while 15-year-old Gauff was the story of the first week with her run to the third round and touching on-court joint interview with Osaka after defeat to the Japanese.

The pair also lit up Louis Armstrong with their second-round doubles win over Kveta Peschke and Nicole Melichar on Sunday, but saw their run ended in emphatic fashion by Victoria Azarenka and Ashleigh Barty.

Azarenka and Barty prevailed 6-0 6-1 in just 48 minutes, marking the first defeat for McNally and Gauff as a doubles pairing after winning 22 consecutive sets.

Though the Flushing Meadows experience is over for McNally and Gauff for this year, they intend to keep playing doubles when they can.

"This is only our third tournament together. We play so well together. There's no reason why we would stop," McNally said. "I'm really looking forward to playing with her again. Hopefully our tournament schedules work out soon. Whenever we play the same tournament, we'll play."

Long live McCoco.

 

WHAT'S WEST OF WESTEROS? (GAME OF THRONES SPOILER AHEAD)

That was the question posed by Maisie Williams' character Arya Stark as she set sail for a new adventure at the end of the epic fantasy series.

Judging by Williams' appearance in Queens today, the answer may be Flushing Meadows.

Williams was one of a raft of famous faces in attendance on Monday. Rafael Nadal had Tiger Woods out of his seat on multiple occasions, while Alec Baldwin and Big Bang Theory actor Jim Parsons also took in his win over Marin Cilic.

Whether it was on or off the court, there was star power everywhere you looked on day eight.

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.

Serena Williams suffered an injury scare as she progressed to the last eight of the US Open with a straight-sets win over Petra Martic.

Though she was broken early in the match, Williams never really looked troubled by Martic as she won her 99th match at the US Open.

That tally is her most at a grand slam, but the 23-time major winner's triumph was not without drama as she rolled her ankle in the second set when going to the net.

Williams had to take a medical timeout but said she felt "good" afterwards, and her spirits will likely have been boosted by the exits of Ashleigh Barty and Karolina Pliskova.

BARTY PUTS IT IN PERSPECTIVE

Barty was stunned by Wang Qiang in her fourth-round clash, the second seed making 39 unforced errors in a highly disappointing display.

Wang claimed a 6-2 6-4 win, denying Barty the chance to play Williams in the quarter-finals, but the French Open champion was able to look back on her grand slam season with satisfaction.

"We've had a great season in grand slams for singles. We've made the second week every single one, which has been really special," Barty told a media conference.

"Now we'll sit back, reflect, and look forward to a big couple months to finish off the year."

DOUBLE CELEBRATION FOR SVITOLINA

Elina Svitolina, meanwhile, saw off American Madison Keys in straight sets.

Svitolina is in a relationship with Gael Monfils, who watched on in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Monfils turned 33 on Sunday, and Svitolina revealed she was inspired by playing on his birthday.

"It's his birthday, I was trying to be really focused on my match but it was extra motivation for me," Svitolina told ESPN on court afterwards.

 

LAST EIGHT IS GREAT FOR KONTA

Johanna Konta outlasted third seed Pliskova in an engrossing match on Louis Armstrong, producing a fine comeback to prevail 6-7 (1-7) 6-3 7-5.

It means the Briton has now reached the last eight of every slam in her career.

Konta is also the first British woman to reach this stage at the US Open since Jo Durie in 1983.

"I'm really pleased [with that achievement]," Konta said at a media conference. 

"I think for me more on a personal level to be able to have made it to the quarters for my third slam in a row, I think that's a really, really big achievement for me. So I'm really pleased with that."

Serena Williams and her coach Patrick Mouratoglou moved to allay fears over her right ankle after she turned it during her US Open win over Petra Martic.

Williams moved into the last eight, where she will face Wang Qiang, with a 6-3 6-4 defeat of the 22nd seed at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Though she won in relatively comfortable fashion, there was significant concern in the second set as Williams called for the trainer after rolling her ankle when going to the net for a volley. 

Asked how she felt in a post-match media conference, Williams replied: "Ankle, I usually know if it's horrible early on. I mean, I had a really bad ankle sprain in January.

"I was like, instantly, 'No, this can't happen. I'm finally healthy'.

"But I'll see tomorrow. So far I'm good. I have been managing it. We'll see tomorrow [Monday]."

Mouratoglou echoed Williams' assessment of the injury, though he also indicated they will have to wait to have a full understanding of her condition.

He said: "There is the video, but what is more important is how she feels and how the ankle looks.

"The ankle looks okay. She doesn't feel much pain. It's acceptable. And we will know tomorrow when it's going to be cold."

Williams did not call for the trainer when she injured her ankle in the final set of her Australian Open loss to Karolina Pliskova and was quizzed on whether that influenced a more cautious approach this time around.

"I definitely wanted to have a better plan. I probably should have seen a trainer in Australia," she added.

"I definitely thought about that, because I was, like I said, the first thing was I'm finally healthy. The last thing I want is to have another bad ankle sprain.

"So I just wanted to get some compression on it and tape it even stronger and that way I can at least try to finish the match."

Serena Williams suffered a worrying injury scare as she overcame Petra Martic to reach the quarter-finals of the US Open for the 16th time.

Last year's runner-up in the women's singles, who has endured a number of fitness issues in 2019, rolled her right ankle in the second set inside Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday.

The painful-looking incident did not prevent Williams from winning the next two points to break serve, and she duly completed a 6-3 6-4 victory after undergoing treatment during a medical timeout.

However, it remains to be seen whether the six-time US Open champion will be fully fit for her last-eight match against Wang Qiang on Tuesday, when she will seek to record a 100th match win at Flushing Meadows.

Martic, the 22nd seed, showcased plenty of imagination and shot-making ability on a rare show-court outing, but the underdog understandably struggled to handle her opponent's power and appeared to lose her focus after Williams' slip at the net.

Williams, who turns 38 later this month and first won the title at Flushing Meadows 20 years ago, certainly did not have things all her own way in the opening set.

However, after being broken from 40-0 up in the opening game, the veteran gradually seized control, her relentlessly aggressive approach reaping rewards.

Having moved 5-3 up when Martic stumbled on the baseline, a fired-up Williams had to save two break points before she took a leaf out of the Croatian's book with a drop-shot winner that sealed the set.

At that point, things looked routine for the eighth seed, but her subsequent fall sparked a dramatic change of atmosphere inside Ashe, with Williams immediately looking downcast as she got back to her feat.

"It affected me a little mentally," said the home favourite in her on-court interview. Nevertheless, she won the next two points to break and looked to be moving well as she wrapped up victory after heavy strapping was applied to her right foot.

Williams, whose win came two years to the day after the birth of her daughter, will now hope the slip leaves no lasting impact as she continues her latest bid to equal Margaret Court's record of 24 grand slam singles titles.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Serena Williams [8] bt Petra Martic [22] 6-3 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Williams - 38/19
Martic - 11/12

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Williams - 4/3
Martic - 2/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Williams - 3/8
Martic - 1/3

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Williams - 63
Martic - 62

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Williams - 79/55
Martic - 60/46

TOTAL POINTS
Williams - 73
Martic - 56

Ashleigh Barty crashed out of the US Open in the fourth round as she suffered a straight-sets defeat to Wang Qiang at Flushing Meadows.

French Open champion Barty had the chance to set up a mouth-watering quarter-final clash against Serena Williams with victory at Louis Armstrong Stadium.

However, the second seed was well below her best in a 6-2 6-4 defeat marked by 39 unforced errors.

Wang, meanwhile, displayed impressive character in reaching her first grand slam quarter-final.

She saved four break points in a 10-minute game to hold for 5-3 in the second set and was required to hold off two more as she successfully served out the win in an hour and 22 minutes.

"I'm very focused on court, I just tried to hit aggressive," 18th seed Wang told ESPN on court afterwards.

Asked if she would be doing her homework by watching Williams' clash with Petra Martic, Wang said: "I think that's my coach's homework. I just want to enjoy now."

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.

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