NEW YORK (AFP): Teenager Coco Gauff reached the quarter-finals of the US Open for the first time on Sunday with a 7-5, 7-5 victory over China s Zhang Shuai.
The 18-year-old 12th seed from Atlanta advanced to a last eight meeting with France s Caroline Garcia after prevailing in 1hr 57minutes.
Prior to this season, Gauff had never gone further than the third round at the US Open.
Gauff, who reached the final of the French Open in June, was forced to work hard for her victory against the skillful Chinese veteran Zhang.
The 33-year-old from Tianjin paid the price however for a lack of composure at key moments.
Gauff broke the Chinese world number 36 to take a 6-5 lead in the first before holding to clinch the first set.
Zhang then squandered a golden chance to level in the second set when she broke Gauff to leave herself serving for the set at 5-3.
Gauff however rallied to reel off four straight games, breaking Zhang twice to seal victory and advance to the quarter-finals.
– Garcia storms into maiden US Open quarter-final –
France s Caroline Garcia swept into the US Open quarter-finals on Sunday with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Alison Riske-Amritraj.
World number 17 Garcia reached her only other Grand Slam last-eight at Roland Garros five years ago.
The 28-year-old is in a rich vein of form, having arrived in New York on the back of a title run in Cincinatti and is now on a 12-match win streak.
“Alison is a very tough player, a great fighter, great mover but I was ready for it,” said Garcia, who has yet to drop a set at the tournament.
“The first set was not great tennis but I managed my emotions better in the rest of the match.”
She added: “I am so excited, it s been a great few weeks in the US. I am going for my shots and having fun.”
Garcia had lost all three of her previous meetings against Riske-Amritraj but was always in control on Sunday.
She broke in the 10th game of the first set to seal the opener and raced to a double break to lead 5-1 in the second.
The powerful Frenchwoman wrapped up victory in the next game on a fifth match point having fired a total of 30 winners compared to the American s seven.
Garcia will face either Coco Gauff of the United States or China s Zhang Shuai for a spot in the semi-finals.