After a monumental US Open, expectations were high for the Americans entering the first major of 2024. With 19 women and 12 men in the singles main draws at the Australian Open, deep runs at the event seemed well within reach for many.
In New York, four women and four men made it to the second week, but the Americans weren’t quite as successful during the opening three rounds in Melbourne. Entering the round of 16, just three Americans remain. Coco Gauff and Amanda Anisimova are the last women standing and Taylor Fritz is the lone man. Here’s how they got here and what stands in between them and the quarterfinals:
Following a blistering-hot streak on the hard court over the summer, the 19-year-old won her first major in September at the US Open — and she’s shown no signs of slowing down in the new year. Gauff opened the season with her second straight title at Auckland and has yet to drop a set in Melbourne. On Friday, she completely dismantled fellow American Alycia Parks 6-0, 6-2 in just over an hour to advance to the fourth round.
Gauff, the world No. 4, has now won 32 of her 36 matches since early August and been victorious in 10 consecutive major matches, tying Serena Williams for the third-longest streak by an American teenager in the Open era.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2024
While some had hoped Gauff would be facing Naomi Osaka in the fourth round, she instead will take on Magdalena Frech in the first meeting between the two and Frech’s first major round of 16 appearance. The winner will play Marta Kostyuk or Maria Timofeeva in the quarters.
Playing in her first Slam since becoming a major champion and looking to reach her first quarterfinals in Melbourne, Gauff said she had a new mindset — courtesy of her younger brother Codey — that she believed was helping.
“Have fun and relax,” Gauff said of her mentality after her win over Parks. “I think as you get later, the trophy obviously gets closer and closer. You have to treat it that it’s as far away as it is if you’re in the first round. That’s [how] I approached that final. I didn’t approach it as I just need to win two sets and I have it. I approached it as I need to win seven matches again and then I’ll get it.
“He told me, ‘Pretend that you have to win three sets instead of two.’ If you put your…