US Open: Gauff targets 'lifelong dream' of facing Williams after easing past Keys

·2-min read

Coco Gauff admitted it would be a "lifelong dream" to face Serena Williams at the US Open, in what is likely to be the latter's final tournament of a glittering career.

Gauff reached the second week at Flushing Meadows in the women's singles for the first time after cruising to a 6-2-6-3 win over Madison Keys on Friday.

The number 12 seed saw off her fellow American in composed fashion to book her place in the last 16, exceeding her previous best result at the US Open in 2019.

Gauff was largely in control against the number 20 seed Keys to deliver near-flawless performance, chasing a second grand slam final of the year after finishing as runner-up at the French Open to Iga Swiatek.

She will face China's Zhang Shuai in the next round, but when asked if she will watch Williams' match against Ajla Tomljanovic later in the day during her on-court interview, Gauff said she would, adding: "It's been amazing watching Serena's matches so far. I don't know when I'd be due to face her but that's the goal.

"It's been a lifelong dream of mine to do that. Five years ago yesterday I was watching Venus and Serena play here. It's crazy to be on this court now.

"I tried to flex to my friends that I had courtside seats, now I'm on the court!"

Should both remain in the tournament, Gauff and Williams would face each other in the semi-finals.

Gauff also paid tribute to Keys, and to the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium, saying: "[The win] means a lot to me... I missed my alarm and was so late. I was here until 9pm last night and lost a doubles match [with Jessica Pegula].

"Kudos to my team, they got me up for it.

"I wasn't sure how the crowd was going to go. We all love Madison... I'm good friends with her off the court, but having support here meant a lot."