Andreescu issues warning to tennis: 'NextGen is here'

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Canadian teen Bianca Andreescu defeated Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki on Saturday to reach the fourth round of the US Open (AFP Photo/TIMOTHY A. CLARY)
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New York (AFP) - Canadian teen Bianca Andreescu met US teen sensation Coco Gauff for the first time Saturday while practicing at the US Open and took confidence a new generation's time has come.

"I told her congrats on all the success," Andreescu said. "Keep killing it. NextGen is here."

The 19-year-old from Toronto ousted 2018 Australian Open champion and two-time US Open runner-up Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-4, extending the 15th seed's deepest Grand Slam run.

"I'm really, really pumped," she said.

Gauff, only 15, reached the last 16 at Wimbledon and booked a third-round showdown with top-ranked defending champion Naomi Osaka in New York while Andreescu won titles at Toronto and Indian Wells this season.

"You see a lot of young players doing really well right now and I think it's really good for the game," said Andreescu. "You see many fresh faces and I think we're only going to get better from here."

Andreescu is 30-4 despite a shoulder injury that sidelined her most of the past five months. But she hasn't lost a completed match since March.

"I don't feel like I've lost a match," she said. "It feels pretty good, because you never know what can happen in a match. I'm trying not to take anything for granted right now. I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing.

"My two (titles) before this tournament are giving me a lot of confidence."

Andreescu next faces 116th-ranked US qualifier Taylor Townsend, who ousted Romanians Simona Halep and Sorana Cirstea to face a Canadian of Romanian heritage.

"I know she loves coming to the net," Andreescu said. "She has incredible volleys. I'll for sure work on some passing shots."

Wozniacki compared Andreescu to retired Belgian star Kim Clijsters, a three-time US Open champion.

"She has made a mark. Obviously she's playing well," Wozniacki said.

"The one I can most compare her game to would probably be Kim back in the day, Clijsters, because she moves well and she can stretch out and get to some balls and also play the aggressive and using the angles."

Clijsters was indeed one of the idols who inspired Andreescu's style of play.

"I actually looked up to her a lot while I was just coming up, when I started playing tennis," Andreescu said. "I think my game is pretty similar to hers. Not as good yet.

"But she's an incredible fighter. She's very solid all around. She can volley, she can slice, dropshot.

"She's very consistent, as well. She chooses her targets and she has a very good serve and return. She's very strong mentally."