Gauff Bounced in Opening Round in Washington - UBITENNIS
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Gauff Bounced in Opening Round in Washington



Courtesy: Mike Lawrence/Citi Open

-Washington DC


The Citi Open tennis tournament in Washington was dealt a blow on Tuesday afternoon. In the sweltering heat which saw temperatures reaching 34 degrees celsius and nearly 40 degrees court side, 15-year old American qualifier and crowd favourite Cori “Coco” Gauff lost in straight sets 6-4 6-2 to Zarina Diyas in an hour and 19 minutes.

Gauff, who got into the qualifying draw as a wild card and then won her two qualifying matches with relative ease, struggled with her consistency in the opening round before succumbing to the World No. 84.

It was a packed house on John Harris Court, the second biggest at the Rock Creek Tennis Center. Fans sweating through the hot and humid conditions to get a glimpse of the youngster who made headlines after reaching the Fourth Round at Wimbledon earlier this month.

Gauff, ranked 146 in the World, broke Diyas twice in the opening set including the very first game of the match. However, each time she broke she failed to consolidate those breaks. The second one coming at Love which included two double faults from the teenager.

After three attempts to close out the set in the 12th game, Diyas was finally able to convert after the Florida native’s forehand found the middle of the net. Gauff fired a ball into the crowd in disgust after being broken for the third time.

In the second set, the players held serve until the sixth game when Diyas got the advantage. Gauff hit another unforced error from the forehand side into the net. She double faulted again giving Diyas her fourth break in 13 chances.

Gauff found herself down Love-40 on several occasions and was unable to get out of the same hole in the final game of the match. A seventh double fault sealed the deal for Diyas who moved into round two. An unfortunate result for the large numbers who turned out hoping the potential future star of the game would play deeper into the week in singles.

“I knew that I would get a little more support but I didn’t think it would be as much,” said Gauff. “After Wimbledon a couple of weeks had gone by and I thought it would settle down a little bit. But I guess people are still excited and I’m happy for that and I’m happy that I am getting this opportunity to play in front of a big crowd in my home country.”

“I think I was playing more aggressive today and I served better,” said Diyas. “I knew there was going to be a big crowd and they going to support her a lot. So I was ready for it.”

Gauff isn’t gone from the tournament just yet. She won her First Round Doubles match with 17-year old partner Catherine McNally defeating Diyas and her partner in the process. The plan after this week is to train at home to get ready for her next event, the US Open. She will also play an exhibition match vs Ash Barty on August 21st at the Winston-Salem Open.


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Asian Games Champion Qinwen Zheng Reveals Shock Departure Of Coach Fissette



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China’s Qinwen Zheng says she feels ‘hurt’ by the decision of her former coach to end their collaboration in order to work with another player. 


The US Open quarter-finalist had been working with Belgium’s Wim Fissette in recent weeks following the departure of Pere Riba who is now the coach of Coco Gauff. Fissette has a wealth of experience in women’s tennis after working with the likes of Kim Clijsters and Naomi Osaka. However, Zheng says she is now looking for a new mentor.

“I understand his decision, but my family and I feel hurt. Right now I don’t want to talk about this person (Fissette),’ journalist Bendou Zhang quoted her as saying. 

Fissette is yet to comment on his departure. He had previously coached former world No.1 Osaka between 2019-2022 and during this period she won two of her four Grand Slam titles. The American-based Japanese player is on maternity leave from the sport and gave birth to her first child in July.

20-year-old Zheng is currently ranked 23rd in the world and won her maiden WTA title in Palermo earlier this year. She is the youngest player from her country to have reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam in the Open Era following her run at Flushing Medows. This year she has beaten top 10 players Ons Jabeur and Daria Kasatkina. 

Zheng’s latest career milestone is winning gold at the Asian Games on Friday. in the final, she defeated Zhu Lin 6-2, 6-4, in the blistering Hangzhou heat.

“The feeling was incredible,” Zheng said. “I’m really happy about that. That was not an easy match today and also yesterday (in semifinal against Alex Eala). All of them are good fighters.”

It is not clear who Zheng will be working with during the Asian swing. 

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Daria Kasatkina Criticises Decision To Not Use Roof At Sweltering Pan Pacific Open



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Daria Kasatkina has taken a swipe at organizers at the Toray Pan Pacific Open for not using the roof to cover their premier court on Thursday due to the heat. 


The Russian played her second round match against Despina Papamichail in temperatures around 30 degrees with the humidity making it feel even warmer. Kasatkina battled to a 6-4, 6-4, win after spending more than two hours on the court. She dropped serve four times in the match but managed to break Papamichail seven times en route to victory. 

Speaking on the court following his latest tour win, the world No.13 admitted that she struggled in the conditions and implied that she believed the roof should have been closed to shield the players from the sun. Tokyo, which is where the tournament is staged, has experienced a record-breaking number of ‘extremely hot’ days this year with their autumn season being warmer than usual. Something that some warn could be a more regular occurrence due to climate change.

“We cannot do much about it. We are using the ice towels and some supplements to keep you hydrated. By at the end, you cannot fight with something you cannot control,” Kasatkina commented on the conditions during her on-court interview.
“I think in these kinds of conditions, if you have a roof, better maybe to close it. If you have these opportunities, better to use it than to make players almost die on the field.” She added. 

Kasatkina is through to her seventh Tour quarter-final of the season. Awaiting her in the next round will be second seed Jessica Pegula who beat Spain’s Cristina Bucșa 6-1, 6-2, in her second round match on Wednesday. It will be only the second Tour meeting between the two players and their first on a hard court. 

Elsewhere in Tokyo, another player to reach the last eight in France’s Caroline Garcia who beat Anhelina Kahlinina 6-4, 6-3. Meanwhile, Anastasia Pavlychenkova defeated Czech Republic’s Linda Noskova 6-3, 4-6, 6-0. 

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Barbora Krejcikova Does The Double In San Jose



After what has been a challenging past few weeks on the Tour, Barbora Krejcikova has returned to the winner’s circle by claiming both the singles and doubles titles at the San Diego Open. 


The world No.13 battled to a marathon 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, win over Sofia Kenin in what was a clash of the former Grand Slam champions. Krejcikova was pushed to her limits throughout the two-and-a-half-hour clash with there being no break in the decider until the final game. It is the second singles title the Czech has won on the WTA Tour this season after Dubai and her seventh overall. 

“Normally I wouldn’t be here,” said Krejcikova, who received a wild card to play in the tournament “I really want to thank them (the tournament organisers). It was very special. I really enjoyed my stay here.”

Krejcikova’s run to the trophy has also seen her score wins over Beatriz Haddad Maia and Danielle Collins earlier in the week. She is the first player from her country to win the tournament. 

Following on from that triumph, the 27-year-old then clinched the doubles title alongside compatriot Katerina Siniakova. The duo beat Collins and Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-4.

Krejcikova came into San Jose on a four-match losing streak which started at Wimbledon where she was forced to withdraw from her secound round clash due to a left leg injury. 

“I came here with not really good statistics after my injury, I didn’t actually win any matches,” she said. “So I just came here and I pretty much was hoping and believing that I could get the first win and go from there. It’s pretty special to be sitting here having won [the title].”

It is only the second time in Krejcikova’s career that she has won both the singles and doubles titles at the same event. The first time she did so was at the 2021 French Open where her partner in the doubles was also Siniakova.

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