Coco Gauff Saves 2 Match Points and Earns a Second-Round Ticket at WTA Dubai 2021

Published 03/07/2021, 1:21 PM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 11, 2021 Cori Gauff of the U.S. reacts during her second round match against Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina REUTERS/Loren Elliott


American teenager Coco Gauff has been a lively presence on the WTA tour ever since turning pro. She has announced her talent to the world on several occasions and the 16-year-old means business. If one still has a hard time believing, Gauff’s recent victory at the Dubai Tennis Championships might help state the case. 

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Coco Gauff took on Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova in the first round at WTA Dubai but had a hard time getting past her 26-year-old opponent. Gauff required 2 hours and 41 minutes to book a place in the second round, but the win wasn’t straight-forward as one might think. 

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 11, 2021 Cori Gauff of the U.S. during her second round match against Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina REUTERS/Loren Elliott

The scorecard itself would reflect on how Gauff had to toil against Alexandrova. The final result displayed 7-6, 2-6, 7-6 in favor of Gauff, but what it doesn’t convey is the emotions and the drama that prevailed in the third set! 

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Coco Gauff let a 5-1 lead slip in the decider! 

Gauff is one of the youngest competitors on the circuit, but she has already gained vast experience in her promising career. But one aspect that she needs to pick up is closing matches with effect. 

After winning the first set and dropping the second, Gauff’s match headed towards a decider in Dubai. As the third set began, the American looked poised to win the match as she soared to a 5-1 lead by breaking Alexandrova’s serve thrice.

But a lapse in concentration held Gauff from finishing the job in a clinical fashion. Alexandrova capitalized on her opponent’s shortcomings and raced back to gain leverage. 

The Russian was dominant with her strokes and kept clinging on to the match and eventually forced a tie-breaker. That’s when both athletes knew they need to hold on for the win at any cost.

Coco Gauff looked down and out as Alexandrova created two match points in the tie-break. However, that’s when the American’s resilience was at full display as she saved the match points to get back into the game. That’s right, you guessed it. Gauff then went on to win the match!  

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It might seem like Coco Gauff complicated her victory, but this is indeed a breakthrough win for the 16-year-old. Gauff will face either Marketa Vondrousova or Ana Bogdan in the second round. 

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Arjun Athreya

1922 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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