Coco Gauff Drawing Inspiration From Her Peers In Dealing With High Expectations - UBITENNIS
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Coco Gauff Drawing Inspiration From Her Peers In Dealing With High Expectations



Cori Gauff - Australian Open 2023 (Twitter @AustralianOpen)

Coco Gauff admits that being described as the future of women’s tennis places extra pressure on her shoulders but she is taking it all in her stride. 


Gauff, who will turn 19 in March, has already achieved a series of impressive milestones in her career despite her young age. She reached her first Grand Slam final at the French Open last year and has won three WTA titles, including this year’s ASB Classic. Against top 10 opposition she has recorded seven victories. Guaff has also established herself as an accomplished doubles player with seven Tour trophies to her name and is a former world No.1 in the discipline. 

Given her rapid rise, expectations are high for the American to become a formidable force in the sport which isn’t necessarily a positive for her. Gauff has to contend with criticism when she didn’t perform as well as she hoped at some events such as the WTA Finals where she didn’t win a match. 

“It puts pressure on you. I never label myself that (being the future of women’s tennis). I always said I just want to be the best that I can be,” Gauff told reporters in Dubai on Thursday.
‘It definitely adds pressure to it, especially when you have these losses, people say things about you, the rest of your life.’
“I have to remind myself I think I have a long career ahead of me, so I can’t really dwell on the outside comments.”

Gauff says she also takes inspiration from the journeys other players on the Tour have experienced such as Grand Slam champions Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka. Sabaklenka won the Australian Open in January after a roller-coaster 2022 season where she produced a tour-leading 428 double faults. 

“Looking at other players, their experience, how they’ve kind of had a bad year one year, then had a great year the next year. I remember before Iga won Roland Garros, she had lost like a bunch of matches before,” Gauff commented. 
“Same with Sabalenka. That swing in January last year, she wasn’t playing her best. She still had a good year last year, even though she says she didn’t feel like it. She still made the top eight.’
“I have to just remind myself that’s life. There are ups and downs and you have to just wait for your moment and keep working hard for that moment.”

Looking more broadly at the current state of the WTA Tour, Gauff believes more consistency is forming compared to recent years. Something which she believes is partly linked to a gap between Serena Williams’ generation and the one that is above her. 

“I think it’s fun. It makes it interesting when there’s consistency. That’s kind of how other sports are structured,” she said. 
“You kind of know which teams are going to win – maybe. It also puts pressure on the people at the top and makes it more ambitious for people going into it because you want to beat this person because they’re so consistent, at the top. I think that makes the game exciting.”
“I’m glad to be part of it. I hope I can stay consistent. I hope there’s some other dogs that come and take some people out, too. I think it makes tennis fun.”

Gauff is through to the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships after defeating Madison Keys 6-2, 7-5. On Friday she will play top seed Swiatek who she has lost to in all five of their previous meetings on the Tour. 

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Alexander Zverev beats Roman Safiulin to to claim his second title of the year in Chengdu



Alexander Zverev came back from a set and a break down to beat Roman Safiulin 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 at the Chengdu Open claiming the 21st title of his career. 


Zverev has moved to seventh seventh in the ATP Race to Turin boosting his chances of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals. 

Safiulin  saved three break points in the 10th game of the first set, which went on serve en route to the tie-break. Safiulin earned three mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-3. 

Safiulin earned an early break in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. Zverev broke straight back and forced the second set  to a second tie-break. Zverev went up a mini-break three times, but Safiulin pulled back on serve each time. Zverev was two points from defeat at 5-5 in the tie-break of the second set but he won the final two points to win the second set. 

Zverev earned the decisive break in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead and closed out the win on his first match point. 

Zverev won his second title of the season after his triumph in home city Hamburg last July. “He is playing the best tennis of his life for sure. The way he was winning this week. I think he beat a lot of great players quite easily, so I think that he was playing well. Obviously, I am happy to be able to come back and to win this title”, said Zverev. 

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Daria Kasatkina beats Marta Kostyuk to advance to the second round in Tokyo



Daria Kasatkina came back from one set down to beat Marta Kostyuk 3-6 6-4 6-3 in 2 hours and 24 minutes reaching the second round at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. 


Katatkina is playing her first tournament since the US Open, where she lost to Aryna Sabalenka in the fourth round. 

Kasatkina set up a second round match against Greek qualifier Despina Papamichail, who beat Japanese lucky loser Sakura Hosogi 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 in 2 hours and 19 minutes. 

Kostyuk dropped just eight points on serve and broke serve in the fourth game to close out the first set 6-3. The second set featured nine service breaks in ten games. Kostyuk went up a break three times, but Kasatkina pulled back on serve each time. Kasatkina broke in the eighth and tenth games to seal the second set 6-4. 

Kostyuk went up a break twice in the third set, but she was broken back both times. Kasatkina drew level to 3-3, as Kostyuk made a overhead error, and won the final four games to seal the third set 6-4. 

Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova cruised past Donna Vekic 6-1 6-1 in just 74 minutes. Nineteen-year-old Linda Noskova saved one set point to beat Japanese lucky loser Himeno Sakatsume 6-2 7-5 setting up a second round against Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova. 

Ekaterina Aleksandrova came back from one set down to beat Anna Kalinskaya 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 7-5 in 2 hours and 21 minutes setting up a second round against Liudmila Samsonova. 

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Eight of the top 10 players in the line-up in Beijing



The China Open, an ATP 500 hard-court tournament, is taking place for the first time since 2019 after a long break due to covid-19. 


Eight of the top 10 players in the ATP Ranking are lining up in the Chinese capital. Carlos Alcaraz will face a qualifier in the first round before a clash against either Karen Khachanov or Lorenzo Musetti in the second round. Alcaraz won six titles this year in Buenos Aires, Indian Wells, Barcelona, Madrid, Queen’s and Wimbledon during a successful 2023 season. 

The Spanish player could face a quarter final against Roland Garros finalist Casper Ruud. The Norwegian player will play against Jan-Lennard Struff, who made his come-back from injury last week in Zhuhai. The German player finished runner-up to Carlos Alcaraz in Madrid and to Frances Tiafoe in Stuttgart in his two finals earlier this year. 

Holger Rune has been drawn in the top draw and could meet Jannik Sinner, who won his first Masters 1000 title in Toronto and reached the semifinal at Wimbledon. Sinner will face Dan Evans, who won the Washington Open last August. Rune, who is currently ranked eighth in the ATP Race to Turin, beat Sinner in the semifinal in Monte-Carlo. The Danish player will face Felix Auger Aliassime in the first round. 

Alexander Zverev will start his campaign against Diego Schwartzman in the first round and is seeded to face Stefanos Tsitsipas, who meets Nicolas Jarry. Zverev won his first title of the season in Hamburg and reached the semifinal in Cincinnati and the quarter final at the US Open. 

Andrey Rublev will take on Cameron Norrie in the bottom half. 

Chinese Next Gen player Shang Juncheng will play against Yoshihito Nishioka in an all Asian first round clash. Shang reached the quarter finals in Washington and Atlanta. 

The most interesting first round matches are: Andy Murray vs Alex De Minaur (Masters 1000 finalist in Toronto) and US Open finalist Danil Medvedev vs Tommy Paul. Murray could face Danil Medvedev in the second round. 

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