NEW YORK, NY, USA - The present and the future of women’s tennis faced off under the lights in Arthur Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday as defending US Open champion Naomi Osaka took on 15-year-old wunderkind Coco Gauff for a spot in the fourth round. 

But it was what happened after match point that stole the headlines - and the hearts - of tennis fans on Ashe and beyond: after a commanding 6-3, 6-0 thrashing, Osaka comforted the tearful American teen, and encouraged her to join her for a joint post-match interview. 

Read more: Defending champ Osaka ousts teen sensation Gauff in US Open nightcap

“I said no, because I knew I was going to cry the whole time, but she encouraged me to do it,” Gauff told Mary Joe Fernandez on the court. “She was amazing, I’m going to learn a lot from this match. 

“She’s been so sweet to me, so thank you for this,” she said, addressing Osaka. “I don’t want people to think that I’m trying to take this moment away from her, because she really deserves it. So thank you,” she added, before sharing an embrace with the World No.1.

Read more: 'She proved that she's a true athlete' - Gauff reflects on Osaka exchange at US Open

It was the 15-year-old’s first time competing in the US Open, into the main draw with a wildcard after a head-turning fourth round run at Wimbledon.

Check out the tweet below to watch the pair's entire on-court interview, courtesy of US Open:

According to Osaka, she asked Gauff to join her on court in order to give the American an opportunity to address the fans and family who have supported her during a breakthrough summer. 

"I was just thinking, like, it would be nice for her to address the people that came and watched her play," Osaka explained in her post-match press conference. "They were cheering for her. Yeah, I mean, for me, it was just something that was, I don't know, instinctive I guess."

Turning to Gauff’s player box, Osaka addressed the player’s family and team. “I just want to say, if you’re still here, you guys raised an amazing player,” she said, fighting back tears. 

“I remember I used to see you guys training in the same place as us, and for me, the fact that both of us made it and we’re both still still working as hard as we can, is incredible. 

“I think you guys are amazing. Coco, I think you’re amazing.”

Coco Gauff and Naomi Osaka join Mary Joe Fernandez for a joint on-court interview. (Jimmie48 Photography/WTA)

"Here's the thing," Osaka explained in press later. "Like, I literally was training at the same place as her. Like, we would never hit together, but it was always just us putting in the most amount of hours. She was always with her dad just practicing. Honestly, I think she was practicing more than me.

"When I saw [Coco hug her dad before the match], I was, like, Oh, my God... I started getting a little bit emotional. I need to put my game face on.

"Yeah, I mean, for me, it's crazy to me to see how far she's come in such a little amount of time."

The beautiful moment of sportsmanship between the two players didn’t go unnoticed, with fellow players and figures within the tennis world and beyond taking to social media to praise both Gauff and Osaka.

Defending champion and World No.1 Osaka continues her 2019 US Open campaign in the fourth round, where she'll take on No.13 seed Belinda Bencic.