Fri, 22 Sep 2023

No. 6 Coco Gauff cruises at French Open

Field Level Media
02 Jun 2023, 07:05 GMT+10

Sixth-seeded Coco Gauff made quick work of Julia Grabher in second-round action of the French Open on Thursday in Paris.

Gauff defeated the Austrian 6-2, 6-3 in 68 minutes. Gauff won 11 of 14 points at the net while pressuring Grabher into 27 unforced errors.

"She's a tricky player," Gauff said afterward. "I played her on hard court earlier this year and she gets a lot of height on her balls. ... Sometimes you don't know what to expect so I just wanted to make sure I played my game."

Gauff books a match against fellow teen, 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva, who became the youngest player to reach the third round in Paris since 2005 with a straight-sets victory over Diane Parry of France.

Gauff and Andreeva had a practice session together this week.

"We just played some points as usual practice," Andreeva, a Russian, told reporters. "I mean, she plays quite aggressive. But the practice and the match is different, so I might also play different. I don't know. Who knows?"

Top-seeded Iga Swiatek and No. 4 Elena Rybakina didn't leave much to chance, also cruising into the third round.

Swiatek of Poland defeated Claire Liu 6-4, 6-0 in one hour and 29 minutes while Rybakina of Kazakhstan ousted Czech Linda Noskova 6-3, 6-3 in one hour, 26 minutes.

Swiatek converted 6 of 8 break opportunities and hit 24 winners in an efficient showing.

"I was able to play a little bit better in the second set, and I kind of used first set to get more information and get into the rhythm, but Claire played pretty well," Swiatek said afterward. "I'm happy that I'm into the third round and I have a chance to play more matches here."

Meanwhile, Rybakina improved to 11-2 on clay this season and 9-4 for her career at Roland Garros. She blasted five aces, converted 79 percent of her first serves and posted 30 winners as she continues to get more comfortable on clay.

"My first WTA win was on clay, so from that point I thought I actually can play on clay," Rybakina told reporters in her post-match press conference. "I think it depends where, the conditions, how is the weather, balls. I think it's just for me different and longer preparations physically just because you need to slide a lot," she added. "Physically the rallies are longer, more patient. But I think that I can play good. Just with experience over the years and matches I can get just better and better."

Seventh-seeded Ons Jabeur of Tunisia also won in straight sets, securing a 6-2, 6-3 win over Oceane Dodin of France.

No. 20 Madison Keys dropped a three-set decision to fellow American Kayla Day. No. 22 Donna Vekic of Croatia fell as Bernarda Pera rallied for a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory.

No. 14 Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil needed two hours and 43 minutes to get past Russia's Diana Shnaider 6-2, 5-7, 6-4. No. 23 Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia advanced with a 6-2, 6-0 win over German Anna-Lena Friedsam.

The day's other early winners included Serbia's Olga Danilovic, Canada's Bianca Andreescu, Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko, Italy's Elisabetta Cocciaretto, Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo, Slovakia's Anna Karolina Schmiedlova and China's Xinyu Wang.

--Field Level Media

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