Coco Gauff battled back to defeat Anastasia Potapova in three sets (3-6, 6-2, 6-4) on Tuesday to advance to the second round of her U.S. Open tournament debut.
Gauff dropped the first three games of the first set against Potapova, an 18-year-old former junior No. 1, and broke Potapova for the first time when she was serving for the set at 5-1. Potapova claimed the first set 6-3 after Gauff struggled with her serve, recording four double faults and 16 unforced errors.
After trading breaks to open the second set, Gauff rallied to a 6-2 win to even the match. The 15-year-old American took a commanding 4-1 lead before Potapova stormed back to make it 4-4 despite needing a medical timeout for an apparent right shoulder injury. Gauff won the next two games to claim the final set 6-4, fighting her way to the second round.
Gauff, who won the French Open juniors' event in 2018, broke through at Wimbledon in July after becoming the youngest woman to qualify for the tournament in the modern era. She beat Venus Williams, her idol, in the first round in straight sets before topping Magdalena Rybarikova in the second round. She came back to beat Polona Hercog to reach the round of 16 before falling to Simona Halep in straight sets.
At a combined age of 33, Gauff and Potapova made up the youngest first-round matchup at the Open in history.
Gauff faces Timea Babos in the second round on Thursday, August 29.