Coco Gauff Outclasses Tsvetana Pironkova in Straight Sets at Volvo Car Open 2021

Published 04/06/2021, 10:22 PM EDT
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 20: Coco Gauff of the United States of America plays a backhand during her Women’s Singles first round match against Venus Williams of the United States of America on day one of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 20, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

American teenage sensation, Coco Gauff, challenged the Bulgarian mastermind, Tsvetana Pironkova, in the opening round at the Charleston Open 2021. It turned out to be a battle of wits and power that lasted 72 minutes and favored the American. The final score was 6-3, 6-0.


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Interestingly, it was the debut match for both of them at the Volvo Car Open. Also, they had both suffered a Miami Open Round of 64 loss before this match.

This was only the third main draw appearance for the American on clay. Meanwhile, her opponent had returned to tennis after three years of absence last year and was busy weaving her comeback story.


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Coco Gauff vs Tsvetana Pironkova: Set 1

The 17-year-old American, Coco Gauff, earned an early break in the first game of the match itself. She then held her service game comfortably to gain a 2-0 lead. Subsequently, she also made it clear to her opponent that she strictly meant business.

Mar 25, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria hits a backhand against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus (not pictured) in the second round of the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 US Open quarterfinalist, Tsvetana Pironkova, fell short against the energy of the young American. Thus, despite saving a breakpoint in the third game, she could not hold her service and gave Coco a 3-0 lead in the opening set.

After that, the American faced no issues in holding yet another service game. She stood tall near the baseline and directed her winners with precision, which were by far unreturnable.

Pironkova, who had recently returned from injury and maternity leave after three years, steadily built her comeback. But in Charleston Open, the American brought her worst nightmare to life. Even then, Pironkova saved yet another breakpoint, and this time added a game to her score.

The previous game helped the 33-year-old Bulgarian regain her confidence, and she recovered half her loss, making the score 4-2. Nonetheless, Coco remained composed and displayed otherworldly dominance over her opponent.

Sets up a nice forehand winner 💥@CocoGauff | #VolvoCarOpen

— wta (@WTA) April 7, 2021

At 4-3, Pironkova had two chances to bring the first set to four games each but lost them both. As a result, she had to hold her serve to keep the set alive, but she couldn’t do so even after saving two set points. Coco deservedly won the first set 6-3.

The No.14 seed @CocoGauff takes the opening set, 6-3!#VolvoCarOpen

— wta (@WTA) April 7, 2021

Gauff vs Tsvetana: Set 2

Undoubtedly, Gauff has put up some exceptional performances this season. That is why she also earned her career-high ranking of No. 36.

The American continued to dominate the veteran Bulgarian and got an early break again. Following that, Pironkova repeated her disastrous hold to give away a 4-0 lead in the second set.


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Mar 25, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Cori Gauff of the United States hits a forehand against Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia (not pictured) of the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

As a final fight, the 33-year-old earned a breakpoint, but only to find herself at a 5-0 deficit. Coco served for the match and continued to find her winning ways in Charleston, South Carolina. The American teenager bageled Pironkova 6-3, 6-0.

Gauff will meet the 22-year-old Russian Liudmila Samsonova in the next round. How far in the tournament will Coco go?


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Purav Joshi

590 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.