Teenage Prodigy Coco Gauff Proves A Hit In Washington - UBITENNIS
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Teenage Prodigy Coco Gauff Proves A Hit In Washington

The 15-year-old has sealed a spot in the main draw of the Citi Open after easing her way through the qualifying rounds.

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Coco Gauff (image via https://twitter.com/WUSA9sports)

Returning to the courts for the first time since her Wimbledon breakthrough, Coco Gauff continues to prove that she has what it takes to become the new star of the sport.

 

Over the weekend the 15-year-old breezed her way through the qualifying rounds at the Citi Open in Washington. Disposing of compatriot Maegan Manasse 6-4, 6-2, in her opening match before dropping only three games against Japan’s Hiroko Kuwata in the final qualification round. Booking a place in the main draw of a WTA event for only the third time in her career.

“I’m really happy to get into the main draw,” Gauff said afterwards. “I feel like these two matches have prepped me for my first round match, considering I had never been to this tournament before. I’m glad I was able to come and get a feel for how it is playing on site here.”

Gauff made headlines around the world earlier this month at the Wimbledon Championships. After becoming the youngest-ever player in the Open Era to come through the qualifying rounds, she stunned Venus Williams on route to the fourth round. Where she fell to eventual champion Simona Halep. A run that hasn’t been achieved by a player younger than her since Jennifer Capriati back in 1991.

Prior to Wimbledon, the teenager recorded her first ever WTA Tour win at the Miami Open after defeating Caty McNally. Since the start of the year, the American has risen more than 500 places in the world rankings.

“I think I was figuring out my game a little bit more. I just feel like as a teenager you are still learning about yourself whether you are a tennis player or somebody who doesn’t play sports at all.” Gauff explains about her development over recent months.
“I felt like I have grown a lot as a person since then and that shows with my results. When I play I put a lot less pressure onto myself. I feel like I’m enjoying it a bit more and not necessarily thinking about losing, but just thinking about playing each point.”

In the first round of the Citi Open Gauff will play in Zarina Diyas, who is currently ranked 84th in the world. The Kazakh has been playing in a mixture of ITF and WTA tournaments this season. Her best performance so far this year was winning a $80,000 ITF event in Gifu, Japan.

Gauff, who is currently ranked 146th in the world, is set to play Diyas on Tuesday.

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Andrey Rublev moves past Ilya Ivashka to reach the quarter finals in St. Petersburg

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Andrey Rublev overcame Ilya Ivashka 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 39 minutes to advance to the quarter finals for the third time in his career in St. Petersburg Open. 

 

Rublev fended off all seven break points and earned two breaks in the seventh game of the first set and in the third game of the second set. The Moscow native player fired 10 aces and won 84 % of his first service points. 

The eight-time titlist is aiming to win his third career title on home soil after his previous titles in Moscow 2019 and St. Petersburg 2020. 

Rublev set up a quarter final clash against either Sebastian Korda or Botic Van de Zandschulp.Karen Khachanov knocked out Adrian Mannarino 6-3 6-3 after 1 hour and 25 minutes. Khachanov will take on 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, who eased past Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-2 6-3 after 1 hour and 23 minutes. Cilic leads 1-0 against Khachanov in their only previous head-to-head match in Cincinnati in 2018.

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Matteo Berrettini rallies from one set down to beat Nikoloz Basilashvili in Vienna

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This year’s Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini came back from one set down to beat Nikoloz Basilashvlili 6-7 (5-7 ) 6-3 6-2 after 2 hours and 5 minutes reaching the quarter final at the Erste Bank in Vienna. 

 

Berrettini saved all three break points he faced and hit 22 aces, including two on the last two points of the match. 

Number 3 seed Berrettini had won three of his previous head-to-head matches against Indian Wells finalist Basilashvili, but they met for the first time on in indoor court. Berrettini had beaten Basilashvili in Winston Salem 2018, Halle 2019 and Rome 2021. 

Both players went on serve in the first set. Berrettini saved the only break point in the second game. Basilashvili earned a mini-break to take a 3-1 lead. Berrettini pulled back on serve to draw level to 3-3. Basilashvili earned another mini-break on the 10th point to earn two set points at 6-4 and converted his second chance to win the tie-break 7-5. 

Berrettini saved a break point to hold serve at deuce in the first game of the second set. The Italian player earned a break in the second game to open up a 3-0 lead and held his next service games before closing out the second set with a double break in the ninth game. 

Berrettini went up a 3-0 lead with a break in the second game of the decider. The Queen’s tournament champion faced a break point in the seventh game after a double fault, but he saved it with an ace. He served out the third set 6-3 with his 22nd ace. Berrettini set up a quarter final match against Spanish Next Gen player Carlos Alcaraz, who beat Andy Murray 6-3 6-4.

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Denis Shapovalov Battles Back To Reach The Quarterfinals In St Petersburg

The Canadian got off to a slow start in his first match but was able to recover nicely for a big three-set win.

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Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Second seed Denis Shapovalov needed to go the distance at the St Petersburg Open to beat his Spanish opponent Pablo Andujar 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 in one hour and 49 minutes.

 

The Toronto native didn’t have the best start to the match but was able to recover and pull off a comeback to take the win. Serving a total of 11 aces to reach the quarterfinals.

” It’s very tough to play Pablo (Andujar) first round of a tournament, he’s a great player and it was a tough start to the match,” said Shapovalov. “I didn’t feel so great but I just told myself to keep going because obviously there is still a lot of tennis to be played and I wanted to turn it around in the second set and I did a really good job.”

It was the Spaniard who got off to a better start, earning a breakpoint in the first game of the match before grabbing the early break and he was able to consolidate it. At 2-0, Andujar had two chances to go up a double break but the Canadian saved both and it stayed on serve until 4-2 when the world number 92 was able to earn another breakpoint. This time converted for the double break lead and served out the first set.

The second set stayed on serve until 2-1 when Shapovalov broke to love and that one break of serve was enough for him to serve it out and send the match into a decider.

The Canadian continued pushing as his level improved. In the first game of the final set, he broke the Spaniard with a perfectly timed cross-court winner to take an early 1-0 lead. After consolidating the break he was hungry for more and broke Andujar’s serve once again to go up a double break. Shapovalov closed the match out with a bagel set.

During his on-court interview, Shapovalov was asked how happy he was back to be in St Peterburg and he mentioned the amazing memories he had playing in the event last year.

” It always feels great to be back and I remember last year playing Andrey (Rublev) in the semifinals. I was one set up and I lost this match but I am happy to be here due to the fact I always get great support from the fans here”. He said.

Shapovalov will face Jan-Lennard Struff in the quarterfinals after the German upset seventh seed Alexander Bublik in straight sets (6-4, 6-3).

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