NEW YORK — "Team McCoco" finally met its match in the U.S. Open Monday.
The undefeated teenage doubles team of Madeira's Caty McNally and tennis' newest sensation, Coco Gauff, were no match for two Grand Slam winners, Ashleigh Barty and Victoria Azarenka.
The veteran pair swept to a 6-0, 6-1 victory in a third-round match on the 8,000-seat Grandstand Court at Flushing Meadows, leaving fans of the young Americans crestfallen and eliminating them and their two big storylines from the tournament.
It sure was not the way they wanted their U.S. Open fairy tale to end, but it's just the beginning for Team McCoco, McNally said.
"Yeah, definitely," said McNally. "I mean, this is only our third tournament together. We play so well together. There's no reason why we would stop."
The popular underdogs lost in the singles draw last week - 17-year-old McNally to six-time Open champion Serena Williams after winning the first set, and 15-year-old Gauff to defending champ Naomi Osaka - but charmed the tennis world in the process.
They packed Louis Armstrong Stadium with 14,000 fans Sunday for their second-round doubles match and chest-bumped and hugged after winning big points, but there was no celebrating Monday, mainly because their service game failed them.
Team McCoco had seven double faults, got only 49% of their first serves in, and won only 47% on their first serves and 17% on their second serves.
By contrast, Barty and Azarenka had one double fault, got 74% of their first serves in, won 69% on their first serves and 60% on their second serves.
"I think that just today wasn't the best day for Caty and I," Gauff said. "We didn't start off good, and I guess that momentum kind of dragged on the whole match. But, I mean, obviously it is a little bit of a different level because it's the first match we lost.
"I think we'll get it next time."
McNally and Gauff had never lost in doubles together, winning the junior title at the U.S. Open last year and taking their first WTA Tournament in Washington, D.C., last month. But the wild-card entrants looked their age and were clearly outmatched against Barty and Azarenka, Grand Slam winners in singles and doubles.
Barty, 23, won the French Open singles title this year and came into the tournament with six career singles titles and 10 doubles titles, including last year's U.S. Open with Coco Vandeweghe.
Azarenka, 30, has 20 singles titles and was No. 1 in the world in 2012. Besides Australian Open championships in 2012 and 2013, Azarenka won the 2013 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, knocking off Williams in the final.
After Monday's match, Azarenka had some advice for the American teens.
"I'm very impressed with the level that they're playing," Azarenka said. "At this age, there's a lot of pressure and a lot of attention, so don't forget to be kids, enjoy life and have fun on the court."