Couldnt write this: Gauff, 15, proud after teary Melbourne exit

Petra Kvitova had not lost a set in Melbourne this fortnight before playing Maria Sakkari

American teen sensation Coco Gauff is going to savour her Australian Open run rather than fixate on a fourth-round exit.

Gauff's fellow American Sofia Kenin recovered from a set down to win 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-0 and reach the last eight in Melbourne.

Kenin will next play either Ons Jabeur of Tunisia or No. 27-seeded Wang Qiang, who upset 23-time major victor Serena Williams in the third round.

The 15-year-old was bidding to become the youngest player to reach a grand slam quarter-final for 15 years, and she was one set away when she took the opener on a packed Melbourne Arena.

As a junior, she's still restricted by how many tournaments she can play, but Gauff is planning on tackling the French Open.

But she also admitted that the last few weeks had nearly been too good to be true. I still have so much I feel like I can get better on. "Even my parents, my team, they all believe I can get better", Gauff said. "I don't think anybody could really write how this past (several) months have gone".

Kenin converted an outstanding 73% of her first-serve chances, which helped keep Gauff at bay.

The current record-holder is Martina Hingis, who triumphed at the 1997 Australian Open at 16 years and almost four months old.


Entering Sunday, Gauff was 8-2 in Grand Slam action, with her only losses to women who have been ranked No. 1 and own multiple major titles: Halep (at Wimbledon) and Osaka (at the U.S. Open).

"That's definitely the goal".

"I'm trying to inspire many young generations back home either in Tunisia or the Arabic world, especially in Africa, which is wonderful", she said. Kenin's next opponent is also a first-timer in the quarter-final stages of a Major.

Gauff had initially taken the lead against the 14th seed.

Kenin recovered to win the early break in the second set as Gauff double-faulted three times to drop serve in the fourth game, before the 21-year-old took control, winning nine of the next 11 games to complete victory. The quality of play was already high, but it went through the roof the rest of the way, with Gauff nipping off with that first set thanks largely to a pair of critical double faults by Kenin in the tiebreaker - the second of which left Gauff with a 5-2 lead and two serves to come.

Gauff dazzled in her first Australian Open main draw appearance, upstaging Venus Williams, Sorana Cirstea and Osaka en route to the last 16.

At Wimbledon previous year, Gauff became the youngest qualifier ever at that tournament, beat Venus Williams in the first round and made it all the way to the fourth.

Gauff shed tears of disappointment as she trudged off court after defeat, but said that she was happy with how she dealt with the occasion.

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