FANTASTIC! Coco Gauff Fights Back Against Elise Mertens After Getting Bageled at WTA Eastbourne 2021

Published 06/22/2021, 3:52 PM EDT
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

After enjoying stupendous success on the clay-court season, expectations were riding high on the young American talent Coco Gauff to extend her top form on the grass-court events as well. But, the transition from one surface to the other was never easy as the American lost her first match on grass at WTA Eastbourne International.


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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

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Experienced campaigner Elise Mertens defeated young Gauff in straight sets 6-0,6-4 and reached the second round. Gauff didn’t look comfortable in the first set as she failed to win a single game.

The American couldn’t manage to do win a lot of points on her first serve as Mertens used her aggressive return game from the baseline to demolish Gauff.

The first set went the way of the Belgian as Gauff looked down and out in her first grass-court event of the year. Mertens was able to win all the break point opportunities presented to her by the American.

Coco Gauff won the second set against Elise Mertens in a tie-breaker

In other words, Coco Gauff didn’t serve up to the mark in difficult situations throughout the match. Even in the second set, there were a couple of breaks exchanged between the two players but Gauff struggled to win more points on her first serve.

Even on the second serve, the American was out-witted by Elise Mertens as the former only managed to win just 31% of points. Mertens used the right balance of baseline play with accurate serving in the second set and got a much needed break at 5-5.

Serving for the match at 6-5, nerves got the better of the Belgian as she lost yet another service game in the second set. Mertens made two double faults in that service game which could prove costly for her.

Coming to the tie-breaker, Gauff took command and rose to a healthy lead of 3-1. Even in the breaker, the momentum kept swirling between both the players before the young American decided to up her ante and won three consecutive points to clinch the set, 7-6(4).

Mertens wasn’t able to survive the dominant game by Gauff in the decider

When it mattered the most, Coco Gauff got her game right and took the match to a deciding third-set. Both the players put up a tough fight in the decider.

But, it was the Belgian who got the first-break in the set as Gauff revealed vulnerabilities in holding her service games yet again. While Mertens was expected to get hold of the opportunity and take the set to a 5-2 lead, the American decided that she wasn’t ready to give up on the match just yet.

An impressive return game by Gauff gave her the break back and leveled the set, 4-4. In the next couple of games, the American showed a drastic improvement in her overall game as she broke Mertens’ serve at 5-5.


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Serving for the match at 6-5, Gauff dominated with her first-serves and won a difficult match against Mertens. The American will face Anastasia Sevastova in the second round at Eastbourne.


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Sagar Ashtakoula

330 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.