The rematch is on – Part One! Having captured the hearts of the Wimbledon crowds earlier in the year, Coco Gauffproceeded to do the same in New York, but came to a halt at the hands of the then defending champion Naomi Osaka.
There were tears from both, as Osaka asked Gauff to stay on court with her while she did her on-court interview – and now they face each other again, in the third round again.
Osaka has looked good despite having to conquer the elements at times, while Gauff once more faced down Venus Williams in her opening round, and then was tested against Sorana Cirstea, having to come from a set down to earn this match up.
Both play aggressively and Gauff has admitted she needs to up that if she wants to avoid the dominating score-line she faced in New York. Of course, since that time she has won a title, and Coco-mania looks to be also thriving Down Under.
The Rematch is on – Part Two! Two years ago, the quiet, all-round nice guy Aussie John Millman delivered a fourth round upset at the US Open when he beat Roger Federer. Prior to that he had given him a scare in the heat of Brisbane a few years before, taking a set off him before Federer had to come back to beat him.
A lot has happened in the mean-time, but Millman’s resurgence once more, and on home soil is something that Federer (who has largely looked untroubled so far) will pay heed to. Millman grinds, and gradually wears his opponents down, and even started the tournament with a four-setter.
Federer may have set his expectations low with no warm-up tournaments this season before coming to Melbourne, and of course is expected to win, but it would be no surprise if Millman, carried by the fans, puts up some sterling resistance and takes a set off him.
Once more, former champion Caroline Wozniacki takes to the court, and it is not one of the main courts in what could well be her last match. She had to come back from behind twice against Dayana Yastremska to keep her farewell tournament alive, and the emotion was clearly on show as to how much her imminent departure from the tour meant to her.
Ons Jabeur is a very different customer than Yastremska. The Tunisian already outfoxed a match-shy Johanna Konta and backed that up more than capably against Caroline Garcia, coming from a set down to oust the Frenchwoman.
Wozniacki’s trademark wheels around a court will be well tested in a player like Jabeur whose variety and weaponry make her a real joy to watch, and this could well mark the end for Wozniacki.
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