Coco Gauff Overcomes Opening Set Blip To Reach Second Week At Roland Garros - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

WTA

Coco Gauff Overcomes Opening Set Blip To Reach Second Week At Roland Garros

Coco Gauff is into the last 16 at Roland Garros but not without a scare from Mirra Andreeva.

Published

on

Coco Gauff (@TheTennisLetter - Twitter)

Coco Gauff overcame an opening set blip to defeat Mirra Andreeva 6-7(5) 6-1 6-1 to reach the last 16 at Roland Garros.

Last year’s finalist is into the fourth round at Roland Garros after a dominant last two sets.

The opening set was tough for the American to break through with the talented 16 year-old holding her ground.

However Gauff found the winning formula to secure her place in the last 16 where she faces either Anna Karolina Schmiedlova or Kayla Day.

A confident start was produced by both players as Andreeva found her range early with a couple of powerful backhand winners.

Andreeva’s impressive start was evident as she broke in the fourth game displaying the fearlessness that saw her reach the third round in Madrid.

However Gauff came back strong and remained resilient in sticking to her game-plan, using her own power to counter-punch Andreeva’s game.

Despite having a break lead on two occasions, Gauff’s returning quality was too much for the 16 year-old as the American pulled it back on serve.

After a slow start, Gauff started to find her variety and range as she constructed some effective baseline points against a stubborn Andreeva.

Gauff had the opportunity to serve for the opening set after converting her fourth break point in the ninth game.

The American couldn’t take her chance though as more fearless returning from Andreeva mixed with good all-court intelligence saw her break back for 5-5.

After being unable to convert important break points, Gauff was made to pay for her lack of clinical edge as Andreeva was tactically stronger in the important moments to take the tiebreak 7-5 in a 62 minute set.

The start of the second saw Andreeva carry the momentum but Gauff turned up the intensity on serve as she held both her service games to love.

That gave the American confidence to hit with more margin and really take the match to Andreeva as the 16 year-old couldn’t match Gauff’s overall quality.

Last year’s finalist broke twice in the second set to level the match at one set all as she produced much smarter tennis to nullify Andreeva’s attacking options.

The sixth seed went from strength to strength as she created a break point in every return game dominate the third set as Andreeva showed her mental and physical fatigue.

Gauff broke three times to seal the deciding set and book a place in the second week.

After the match Gauff admitted it was not an easy match but praised Andreeva’s game, “Mirra is super young and she has a big future,” Gauff was quoted by the BBC as saying.

“I remember I was playing here as a 16-year-old. She has a lot to look forward to and you guys will probably see many of the matches between the two of us.

“I knew going in today it was not going to be an easy match and she proved that she belongs where she is and belongs to go even further. I love this court. It’s a packed house today. I notice you come for the third and fifth sets so I’m glad we can make it entertaining for you guys!

“Paris is my favourite city and I was really happy with the crowd today. I wasn’t sure if you guys were going to be cheering for me. You usually do but I know Mirra has a lot of fans but I was pretty impressed that it was quite 50/50 and I think that makes the match even more enjoyable for us to play.”

Gauff will hope to set up a rematch of last year’s final in the quarter-finals against Iga Swiatek.

Before then, the American will take on Anna Karolina Schmiedlova or Kayla Day in the last 16.

Latest news

Karolina Pliskova Finding Her Footing With The Help Of New Coach Krajan

Published

on

Karolina Pliskova (CZE) playing against Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) in the semi-final of the Ladies' Singles on Centre Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 10 Thursday 08/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Simon Bruty

Karolina Pliskova’s resurgence on the Tour comes at a time when she has formed a new partnership with a well-known coach. 

After her first round loss at the Australian Open to Elena Rybakina, the Czech won nine consecutive matches on the Tour. In Romania, she claimed her 17th WTA title at the Winners Open before reaching the semi-finals of a WTA 1000 event in Doha. However, she was unable to play her semi-final clash against Iga Swiatek due to a lower back injury. During this period she has improved her ranking from 77th to 36th. 

Pliskova began the season without a coach at her side but is now working with Croatia’s Zeljko Krajan. A partnership she believes is showing promising signs already. 

“Personality-wise, I think he’s kind of similar to me,” Pliskova told WTA Insider. “Not really high or low. Relaxed and very like calm. 
“We didn’t really plan yet anything because now the schedule was difficult. I might be in qualifying in Indian Wells. Maybe I enter San Diego. So I don’t really know what’s gonna be. I’m just living day by day at the moment.” 

Krajan has worked with a series of players on both the WTA and ATP Tour’s. He guided Dinara Safina to three Grand Slam finals between 2008 and 2010. He has also worked with Borna Coric, Laura Robson, Marcos Baghdatis, Jelena Jankovic and Dominika cibulkova.

Pliskova, who is a former world No.1 and two-time Grand Slam finalist, has endured a roller-coaster journey on the Tour in recent months with mixed results. Last season she failed to win back-to-back matches at 11 consecutive tournaments. 

So how has she managed to regain her form on the Tour?

“Motivation was never really a problem for me,” Pliskova said. “If I go on the court no matter how bad or good I feel, I always want to win. I always want to compete. 
“But my game is based on confidence and I need to feel that. Even if I’m not playing well or winning many matches, I just need to find that confidence in that moment or in that game because it’s just so risky. My shots are so flat, so I go for mostly lines. If something is not going well or you start to doubt, then of course you miss a little bit. Everything is about this.”

Unseeded at this week’s Dubai Tennis Championships, Pliskova beat China’s Zhang Shuai in the first round. She will next play Ashlyn Krueger in the second round on Tuesday.

Continue Reading

Focus

Elena Rybakina Eases Past Kasatkina To Win Abu Dhabi Open

Published

on

Elena Rybakina has captured her second title of the season after beating an erratic Daria Kasatkina in straight sets at the Abu Dhabi Open. 

The world No.5 stormed to a 6-1, 6-4, win over the Russian in just over an hour. It is the third time in Rybakina’s career that she has beaten Kasatkina on the Tour and she now leads their head-to-head 3-2. The triumph comes a month after she won the Brisbane International, which is also a WTA 500 event. 

Rybakina’s latest match saw her capitalise on her opponent’s costly mistakes. Kasatkina struggled with her serve throughout the majority of the final and only managed to hold twice in eight attempts. Opening the door for the former Wimbledon champion who hit 17 winners against 12 unforced errors en route to victory. 

“I want to thank the fans who came this week,” said the new champion. “It has been an amazing atmosphere, especially to see flags from Kazakhstan. It means a lot, thank you so much.”

A one-sided 25-minute opening set saw Rybakina claim four straight games to clinch an early lead. During to the opener, Kasatkina only managed to win 26% of her service points. It was the fourth time in the tournament that the Kazakh had won a set by conceding two or fewer games. 

Fortunately for world No.14 Kasatkina and the crowd, there was more of a battle in the second frame. Twice in a row Rybakina worked her way to a break advantage before losing it in the following game. Then at 4-4, she dealt the decisive blow by hitting a clean forehand winner to break yet against and this time had a chance to serve for the title. With the rain starting to fall, she converted her first championship point with the help of another error from across the net. 

The defeat for Kasatkina comes a day after she came through a marathon three-hour semi-final match before criticising the WTA over their tournament scheduling. She is currently set to play in the Qatar Open with her opening match taking place tomorrow. It is the sixth time in a row she has been beaten by a top-five player on the Tour. 

“Congratulations to Elena, you’ve had a great week,” she said.
“Thanks to my team who has always been next to me. I am really proud of the job we’ve done and how we are doing. Thanks for always believing in me.”

Rybakina also referred to the demanding calendar during the trophy presentation. 

“Tough week (for Kasatkina), especially the last matches. Tomorrow there is already a match in Doha but hopefully, we will both recover and do well there. Maybe also play (against each other) in the final there,” she said. 

Unlike Kasatkina, Rybakina has a first round bye in Doha. She has now won seven WTA trophies so far in her career. 

Continue Reading

WTA

Ons Jabeur Hoping For Better Fortunes In Doha Despite Injury Concerns

Published

on

Ons Jabeur (TUN) playing against Venus Williams (USA) on No.1 Court at The Championships 2021. Credit: AELTC/Jon Super

Ons Jabeur is optimistic that she will be ready in time to play at her next event in Doha after suffering an emotional exit from Dubai on Friday. 

The two-time Wimbledon finalist was in tears during her straight sets loss to Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia in the quarter-finals. Jabeur later revealed that her emotional reaction was linked to the reoccurrence of a knee injury in recent days which has troubled her in the past. She said the pain can differ at various tournaments but in Dubai, it was causing her significant discomfort. 

“I’m an open book, an emotional person. I like to show myself. One thing I have learned is to accept the emotion, and if I try to hide it, it will not make me feel good,” Jabeur told reporters in Doha at a pre-tournament press conference. 
“So it’s good to let it out and be done with it than to keep it inside and probably will make more problems for you later.”

Despite the setback, the world No.6 intends to play at the Doha Open which gets underway today. She will be the fourth seed in this year’s draw and will be playing in the event for the first time since 2022. Last year she was forced to skip the Middle East swing after having surgery to treat an enlarged nodule which was obstructing her airway and preventing oxygen from reaching her lungs. 

“I’m very happy to be back. I’m obviously happier than last year,” she said. “I’m glad to be united with my fans here, and hopefully it’s going be a great week for me.
“I have been struggling with the knee for a long time, and last week was very, very tough. Hopefully, I can recover in time and then play better here in Doha.”  

This time of the year has always meant a lot to the Tunisian, who has spoken on numerous occasions about her aim to inspire more players from her region to take up tennis. She is the first Arab player to reach a Grand Slam final, crack the top 10 in the WTA rankings and qualify for the season-ending Tour Finals. 

“It is very important to be here to connect with Arabic crowds. I feel so much love here in the region, and obviously, that’s one of the reasons I chose to play Abu Dhabi, Doha, and Dubai, because I feel so good here.” She said.

Declaring she is ‘happy’ with her rhythm on the court, Jabeur will begin her campaign in Doha against either Lesia Tsurenko or Turkish wild card Zeynep Sonmez.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending