Coco Gauff battles past Linette to advance at the US Open

The 17-year-old survived a scare from Magda Linette to claim a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 victory at the US Open on Monday and set up a second round showdown with fellow American Sloane Stephens.

FILE PHOTO: Gauff said she benefited from the fans at the Grand Slam tournament, which was played without spectators last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.   -  AP

Coco Gauff survived a scare from Magda Linette to claim a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 victory at the US Open on Monday and set up a second round showdown with fellow American Sloane Stephens.

Gauff, 17, was tight at the outset and committed her 12th forehand error to hand the first set to Linette and put the supportive crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium on edge.

But she relaxed as the match wore on and held off a late comeback push from the spirited Polish player to seal the win with a volley on match point.

Gauff said she benefited from the fans at the Grand Slam tournament, which was played without spectators last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ: Naomi Osaka advances to US Open second round

"You guys really, really helped me today," Gauff said in an on-court interview.

"And it almost brings me to tears because I missed playing in front of this crowd so much. With everything going on in the world, the support means a lot. So thank you guys for coming out."

Gauff said the match turned on a change of mindset after the first set.

"I decided to stop worrying about the pressure and just have fun," she said.

"I told myself whether I win or lose, it's all a part of God's plan."

READ: Sloane Stephens beats Madison Keys in first-round thriller at U.S. Open

Gauff will have her work cut out for her when she faces Stephens for the first time on Wednesday.

Stephens, the tournament's 2017 champion, came out on the winning side of a high-level, three set match against Madison Keys earlier on Monday.

Gauff, seeded 21st, and Stephens are in a tough section of the draw that includes third-seeded Naomi Osaka and 16th-seeded Angelique Kerber.

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