Tennis: Gauff ends 16-year-old Andreeva run at French Open

AFP , Saturday 3 Jun 2023

Coco Gauff came back from a set down to end 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva's magical French Open debut on Saturday to reach the last 16.

Coco Gauff
US Coco Gauff plays a backhand return to Russia s Mirra Andreeva during their women s singles match on day seven of the Roland-Garros Open tennis tournament at the Court Suzanne-Lenglen in Paris on June 3, 2023. Photo: AFP


World number six Gauff, the runner-up to Iga Swiatek in 2022, won 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, 6-1 against her 143rd-ranked opponent who came through qualifying and was the youngest player to make the third round since 2005.

Gauff, 19, will face either fellow American Kayla Day or Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia for a place in the quarter-finals.

"Mirra is super young and has a big future," said Gauff.

"I remember I played here when I was 16 so she has a lot to look forward to. I'm sure you'll see a lot more matches between us."

Gauff said that despite her first set problems, she was confident she could pull through.

"I was a little undisciplined in the tiebreak but I knew what the game plan was so I just tried to execute that in the second and third sets.

"But Mirra proved she belongs where she is and deserves to go further."

Andreeva led 3-1 and 4-2 in the opener but was twice pinned back by her American opponent.

Gauff then served for the set in the 10th game but her fifth double fault allowed the Russian to level.

Andreeva took the set on a tiebreak after an hour with a sweeping, running forehand but collected a code violation on the way for petulantly swiping a ball into the Court Suzanne Lenglen crowd.

Gauff was comfortably the more aggressive and composed player in the second set, stretching out to a 5-1 lead on the back of a double break on her way to levelling the tie.

The American secured it in style with her first ace of the contest.

She also slashed her unforced error count to just three in the set compared to Andreeva's 11.

Gauff maintained her dominance in the decider as Andreeva finally ran out of steam after a sixth match in Paris.

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