Coco Gauff is back on tour after almost a month. She had not played any matches since winning the US Open. Gauff made her entry into the China Open with a 12-match winning streak. She had to play the opening match even though she was a top-ranked player. The Asian swing was not providing byes to players as it was more on a performance basis. Gauff won her first match in straight sets at Beijing.
The teenager only took an hour and 22 minutes to dispatch Ekaterina Alexandrova in the opening round. In the next match, there was a struggle for Gauff as she faced Petra Martic. The US Open winner came out strong at the end. Gauff said, “These matches are gonna make me tougher for the rest of the tournament & rest of the season.” She has now won 14 matches in a row.
Coco Gauff after winning 14th match in a row against Petra Martic in Beijing:
“I want to go to the end & win. Every match I’m just trying to improve. These matches are gonna make me tougher for the rest of the tournament & rest of the season.” 😤 pic.twitter.com/6DMuiHBtZQ
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) October 3, 2023
Gauff had faced Martic only once prior to the meeting in Beijing. The pair had faced each other at Adelaide two years ago, in which Gauff emerged victorious in three sets. The 19-year-old is on a mission to extend her winning streak on the tour. She has made it clear on what she wants to achieve at the China Open. Gauff will next face Veronika Kudermetova for a place in the quarterfinal.
Coco Gauff overcomes three-hour battle to set up clash against Veronika Kudermetova
The first few quarterfinalists will be decided tomorrow at the China Open. Gauff will face an opponent who has beaten her once this season. Kudermetova had beaten Gauff in their first-ever meeting at Doha at the start of the season. The young champion got her revenge a few months later at the Stuttgart Open. Gauff and Kudermetova have played twice, and both their matches have gone to the decider.
The Russian has also reached the fourth round in doubles, just like Gauff. There is a potential matchup on the doubles if they manage to reach the final. Gauff has to improve on the serve as she has strengthened her defense. The 2022 French Open runner-up saved six breakpoints against Martic while converting the same on the Crotian’s serve.
— wta (@WTA) October 3, 2023
Kudermetova and Gauff have one of the strongest serves in the game. The world No.3 has better movement on the court and can manage to keep the ball in play. The world No.16 is on a six-match winning streak and defeated Iga Swiatek on the way to her title win at Tokyo. Gauff will not be given a smooth terrain in the fourth round. She will need to stay focused on her mission in Beijing to win the match.