ALAS! Coco Gauff and Venus Williams Encounter Disappointment at French Open 2021 R1

Published 06/02/2021, 10:53 AM EDT
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 01: Cori Gauff of the United States shakes hands at the net with Venus Williams of The United States after her Ladies’ Singles first round match against Venus Williams of The United States during Day one of The Championships – Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 01, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


In what caused major excitement for tennis fans, American teenager Coco Gauff teamed up with the legendary Venus Williams in the women’s doubles at the French Open 2021. They were up against the 13th seeds Saisai Zheng and Ellen Perez. It was their first meeting, and the battle was won by the 13th seeded pair 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3 which lasted for over two hours. 

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Set 1: Venus Williams and Coco Gauff hold nerve during the tiebreaker 

The American pair began serving first and raced to a 1-0 lead. In the fourth game of the set, the 13th seeds were broken for the first time in the match. Things continued normally until the seventh game when Zheng and Perez broke Coco Gauff and Venus Williams to level things up. 

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At 5-5, the match was well balanced, and both teams were ready to go the distance to draw first blood. Eventually, the outcome of the set had to be decided in a tiebreaker. 

Tennis – WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 13, 2021 Cori Gauff of the U.S. celebrates winning her third round match against Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

As the tiebreaker began, the American pair got the mini-break and raced to a 2-0 lead. After close to seven minutes in the tiebreaker, they clinched the opening set 7-6 (5). 

Both teams played a high-intensity first set, and it was a matter of a few points that made the difference. Gauff and Williams won 40 points during the set, whereas Zheng and Perez won 36 points. 

Set 2: Saisai Zheng and Ellen Perez raise the bar 

The second set began with Zheng and Perez getting broken in the first game. However, they raised their spirits and broke the American pair in the very next game. 

At 3-3, both teams exchanged breaks only to level things again at 4-4. In the 10th game of the set, Zheng and Perez break the Americans to clinch the set 6-4. 

Set 3: Coco Gauff and Venus Williams fail to overcome 13th seeds 

The 13th seeds began serving in the decider and held their serve after indulging in close-fought points. During the fourth game, Zheng and Perez sensed an opportunity and caused damage, taking a 3-1 lead. 

However, Gauff and Williams had other ideas and broke right back. The experience of the 13th seeds helped them see through the win after they sealed the set 6-3. 

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Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 8, 2021 Venus Williams of the U.S. reacts during her first round match against Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

The 13th seeds will face the winner of the match between the Canadian pairing of Gabriela Dabrowski and Leylah Annie Fernandez versus Georgina Garcia Perez and Julia Wachaczyk. It will be interesting to see who makes it to the second week of the French Open 2021.

Watch this story: CHAMPIONS: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, and Others’ Trophy Lifts at French Open

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Rohan Kollare

711 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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