As the US Open rages on, there’s plenty of Black Girl Magic to be had. Tennis stars Cori “Coco” Gauff, Taylor Townsend, Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Madison Keys have all shown their athletic prowess on the court. Sloane Stephens and 2-time Open champion Venus Williams were knocked out in the 1st and 2nd round, respectively.
Cori Gauff has already taken the tennis world by storm after beating idol Venus Williams at Wimbledon earlier this summer. But as a 15-year-old competing in the Open, she just set the record for youngest woman to reach round 3 since 1996. During her match against Hungarian Tímea Babos, she hit serves that topped out at 118 mph, beating her opponent 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. Next, the phenom will take on world no. 1 Naomi Osaka Saturday.
A junior Australian Open titleholder, Taylor Townsend, 23, had high expectations as a world top-ranked junior. But once she went pro she fell in the rankings. By the end of 2014, she dropped to No. 102 and was at No. 304 by the end of 2015. She’s now mounting a comeback, and at the U.S. Open, no less. She defeated No. 4 seed Simona Halep of Romania 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), becoming the first woman to upset a reigning Wimbledon champion since Serena Williams did 11 years ago.
While playing Halep, Townsend came to the net 106 times (and secured 60 percent of those points) compared to her opponent approaching just 10 times. Townsend’s win against Halep is also her first win in 11 tries against a top-10 player. This after she had to fight through three qualifying rounds to make her fifth Open appearance.
Next, Townsend will take on another Romanian Sorana Cîrstea in the third round Saturday.
Serena Williams, 37, is still fiercely on her quest to nab a history-making 24th Grand Slam title. The superstar beat Cat McNally 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 in the second round after she made a comeback following her 7-5 loss in the first set against the 17-year-old American. Williams managed to win the second and third sets easily in beating an opponent who is 21 years her junior.
Williams will play Czech player Karolina Muchova Friday.
No. 1 seed and defending champion Naomi Osaka, 21, secured a 6-3, 6-4 win over Polish tennis player Magda Linette in round 2 at the Open Thursday after a previous season that saw her land titles at Indian Wells in 2018 in addition to her titles at the U.S. and Australian Opens over this past year. She also shockingly dumped WTA Coach of the year Sascha Bajin and failed to reach the final round of a tournament. But now Osaka is ready and raring to go, according to what she told CBS News.
“One of the biggest things I’ve learned over the summer is … just to keep getting back up. Believe in yourself and have fun,” said the athlete, who is set to play American Coco Gauff in the third round Saturday.
Earning her eighth straight win, Madison Keys, 24, defeated Chinese player Zhu Lin 6-4, 6-1. The win comes after Keys beat Russian Sventlana Kuznetsova in the Western & Southern Open and makes it her longest winning streak since 2016 when she won her second career title at the Birmingham Classic and headed to the fourth round at Wimbledon. Between then and her new tournament victory, Keys made it to the finals at the U.S.Open in 2017 where she lost to compatriot Slone Stephens.
Keys is set to play fellow American Sofia Kenin in the third round yesterday, August 30.