Gauff fights back to end Andreeva’s run in Paris

June 3, 2023 _ PARIS (Reuters) – Last year’s runner-up Coco Gauff overcame a shaky start to end fellow teenager Mirra Andreeva’s French Open run with a 6-7(5) 6-1 6-1 victory on Saturday to reach the fourth round.

On a sunny afternoon, Gauff struggled to handle Russian Andreeva’s firepower before finding her stride to set up a meeting with Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia or American qualifier Kayla Day with a potential quarter-final clash against holder Iga Swiatek looming.

“Mirra, she’s super young and has a big future for her. I remember when I was here as a 15-year-old, she has a look to lot forward to,” said the 19-year-old Gauff.

“In the first set, I had chances, we traded breaks and overall I knew the game plan so I tried to execute it in the second and third sets. We practised together earlier (before the draw) so I’m sure she picked up things from my game and I picked things from hers.”

The 16-year-old Andreeva, who burst onto the scene with two victories over top-20 players at the Madrid Open, forced Gauff onto the back foot with her explosive power from the baseline and took a 4-2 lead, only to allow the American to claw her way back.

In a first set where both players struggled to hold serve, Gauff went up 5-4 and 30-0 but got broken again before a poor shot at the net in the tiebreak gifted Andreeva the chance to take the advantage in the match.

The Russian wasted her first two set points and received a warning after hitting the ball into the packed Suzanne Lenglen stands.

She picked herself up, however, to bag the set with a swinging volley.

Andreeva then smashed her racket onto the ground in frustration as Gauff took the upper hand in the second set, winning five games in a row to level the match.

The American broke for 3-1 in the decider and did not look back, ending Andreeva’s misery on her first match point.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar and Julien Pretot, editing by Ed Osmond)

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