Cori “Coco” Gauff takes on Romania’s Sorana Cirstea in the second round of the Australian Open on Wednesday, with a potential meeting against defending champion Naomi Osaka on the horizon.
The 15-year-old defeated Venus Williams in her Australian Open debut on Monday, winning 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 over the seven-time Grand Slam champion and two-time Australian Open finalist.
It marked the second time in six months that Gauff, the youngest player in the WTA top 100, has defeated Williams in the first round of a Grand Slam tournament, following her win at the same stage at Wimbledon in July.
Despite squandering three set points while leading 5-3 in the opening set, the teenager kept her nerves under control and eventually won the tie-break.
Gauff, the No. 67 in the world, raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set, securing a win in straight sets on her second match point.
However, she did not realize the point had been given to her and protested with the umpire, before it became clear she had indeed won the match.
“That was really difficult,” the American, who is two months short of her 16th birthday, said.
“She [Venus] played really well and I was really nervous for today’s match—I was a bit shocked when I saw the draw, but glad I was able to get through it.
“I am feeling great. I really like this court and really like this crowd.”
The win over Williams set up a second-round meeting with Cirstea, the No. 74 in the world.
The Romanian, whose best result at the Australian Open is reaching the fourth round in 2017, defeated No. 32 seed Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic in the first round 6-2, 7-6 (7-5).
Here’s all you need to know ahead of Wednesday.
Second round start time
The match between Coco Gauff and Sorana Cirstea is the second encounter scheduled for the morning session at the Melbourne Arena on Wednesday.
Action begins at 11 a.m. local time (7 p.m. ET on Tuesday), with Gauff and Cirstea not expected on court before 1 p.m.
The Australian Open is broadcast exclusively across ESPN channels, with ESPN2 carrying the bulk of the tournament.
A live stream will be available via ESPN’s digital platforms, WatchESPN and the ESPN app.
According to Oddschecker, Gauff is a 3/5 favorite, while Cirstea is an 8/5 underdog.