Gauff, in only her sixth Grand Slam match, then fired back-to-back aces to finally get on the board and from there the two exchanged breaks over the next four games before Osaka recovered from 0-30 to serve out the set.
Osaka, 21, showed impressive sportsmanship by giving Gauff the opportunity to thank her fans in the post-match interview on the showcase court.
Still, she helped the U.S. Open to the kind of Saturday night crackle in which NY specializes, for a third-round match which began just after 7 p.m. A run to the fourth round of Wimbledon, beating Venus Williams along the way, and securing the doubles title in Washington a few weeks ago alongside 17-year-old Caty McNally - who took a set off Serena Williams in the second round at Flushing Meadows.
Andreescu, who won her first career title this year at Indian Wells, said she is being more cautious with her scheduling after her injuries.
Coco Gauff will be right back on the court Sunday in US Open doubles action, but she's probably done for the year in singles. "She wanted to win the match".
Gaff was clearly emotional afterwards, and broke down in tears along with Osaka at the net following the conclusion of the match.
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It's rather rare that a third-round Grand Slam match involving a player ranked merely 140th and playing in her second major tournament would generate a ton of buzz.
"The fact that both of us made it and we're both still working as hard as we can, I think it's wonderful", Osaka said, looking at Gauff's parents. Osaka approached her and they spoke, briefly, then later cried, too, while addressing Gauff's parents on-court. "I'm happy that she kind of convinced me to do it because, I mean, I'm not used to crying in front of everyone".
"I think that my return was much better than my serve today", she continued. "I was like, I don't really want to play a third set".
What got lost amid the controversy in 2018 was how supremely well Osaka played, essentially producing a better version - for that evening, at least - of Williams' power-based game, filled with unsafe serves, booming groundstrokes and confident court coverage. American sensation Coco Gauff made it through a stiff test from Hungary's Tímea Babos to win 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 on Thursday night before a rollicking crowd at Louis Armstrong Stadium that hung on every point.
"I think I'll learn a lot from this match".
"Yeah, she's super sweet and I would love to play her, of course".
"I'm not sure what happened and why I started cramping suddenly", Medvedev said. "I don't know. But it doesn't matter, because I'm here now". Although Gauff had the fastest serve of the night at 119 miles per hour, it was Osaka who had five aces (versus just one for Gauff). I'm glad the crowd was kind of helping me and her.
'It was unbelievable. I'm going to learn a lot from this match.