In their first ever meeting, the WTA stars were even at one set apiece when Gauff squeezed past the former top-ranked player by never trailing in a super tiebreak to win 6-4 2-6 [10-8] at Wake Forest University which hosts an ATP event ahead of the US Open.
“This is our ninth year and we’ve never had the women play at our tournament, and we’re so happy to have Ashleigh and Coco,” said tournament director Bill Oakes. Barty and Gauff even discussed how cool it would be to establish a WTA tournament in Winston-Salem.
The exhibition match provided both laughter and serious shot-making as the popular women’s tennis players interacted with a crowd of 4,000 people. The 15-year-old Gauff danced to the music during changeovers, the reigning Roland Garros champion Barty hit tweeners.
Barty and Gauff are in high spirits ahead of the US Open which starts on Monday. In the first round, second-seeded Barty will face Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas, while wildcard Gauff will play fellow teenager Anastasia Potapova of Russia in her second main-draw appearance at a Grand Slam.