NEW YORK, NY, USA – Roger Federer has praised the manner in which Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff handled themselves in the wake of the WTA World No.1’s 6-3, 6-0 victory on Saturday.
With her 15-year-old opponent in tears after the match, the two-time Grand Slam winner spent time consoling her on court and advising her to conduct an interview.
Federer, a veteran of 20 major titles and now into his 56th Grand Slam quarterfinal after beating David Goffin, 6-2, 6-2, 6-0, was left impressed by the attitude of both players.
“In a way tennis won on the night, not just Osaka,” he said. “It was a nice moment. It showed personalities from both players. The way she handled herself at 15, it's incredible. I can't even think being so well-behaved at 15.
“Of course, everything comes crashing down on you. You're exhausted. It's finally over. There's even relief. You're sad about the result. I thought it was a big moment.
“There was huge momentum since Wimbledon with Coco here in the States. It was a great ending in some ways, that interview, rather than maybe just a 6-0 set in the second set, walking out, just getting a great ovation. I think it was a nice way to show that the players care for one another on this tour.”
Serena Williams, who is chasing a 24th Grand Slam crown, was also delighted to see the attitude of the two players.
“I thought it was so sweet and so amazing,” she said. “It's so important I think to have bonds. It's like a real extended family. I was so excited to see that.
“Last year obviously I was comforting Osaka, she was comforting me. There has been many a time I have been extremely outgoing towards my opponent because at the end of the day we're all human and we see each other sometimes more than I see my family.”
Osaka will next face Belinda Bencic in the last 16 and is still on course for a rematch of the 2018 final, with Serena safely through to the quarterfinals, where she will play Wang Qiang.