Coco Gauff stops Wimbledon champion in Toronto
Coco Gauff stopped Elena Rybakina in the first meeting between two of the breakout young stars of 2022 in Toronto.
Gauff and Rybakina shared a ding-dong battle which the American won 6-4, 6-7(8), 7-6(3).
The French Open finalist squandered four match points in the second set but won through in the end maintaining her record of never losing a senior WTA Tour match after having earned a match point.
Rybakina clung into the match on the strength of her serve but as the match wore on she would offer Gauff more and more openings.
However, when she snatched the second set and went up 2-1 in the third it seemed as though the tide had turned in favour of the Moscow-born Kazakh No 1.
Gauff powered back to take a 5-3 lead but looked shakey in closing out the match, faltering again to see the match forced into a decisive tiebreaker.
Rybakina strikes the ball as well as anyone on the WTA Tour right now and that showed in the 30 winners she hit against 23 from Gauff.
The contest proved as tight as it could be with Guaff winning 116 points to her opponent’s 115 which just emphasized how it could have gone either way.
Meanwhile, in other Round of 32 action, 2019 champion Bianca Andreescu claimed her first career win over Alizé Cornet with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 result in 2 hours and 26 minutes.
Andreescu, who went on to win the US Open when she last triumphed in Toronto, had to work hard to overcome Cornet.
What's in @alizecornet's notebook? 🧐
— wta (@WTA) August 11, 2022
“I think it was just the fighting spirit of both of us,” Andreescu reflected on the match.
“She’s very consistent and I really had to push through, especially in the tough moments. I think I played those key moments a bit better today.
“I think especially in these tight matches, those are the key moments that you really need under your belt. And when you have them it definitely gives you a lot of confidence. And I hope I can continue that the rest of the tournament.”
It was also a tough day for the seeds as Top 5 players Ons Jabeur and Anett Kontaveit were eliminated from the tournament in their opening matches following first-round byes.
Jabeur retired from her second-round match against Zheng Qinwen due to abdominal pain with the Chinese player leading 6-1, 2-1.
World No 21 Jil Teichmann upset second seed Kontaveit 6-4, 6-4 in quickfire 1 hour and 27-minute demolition powered by her massive serve.
Aussie Ajla Tomljanovic’s hopes of another upset fell flat as she was blown away by World No 1 Iga Swiatek 6-1, 6-2.
“I’m pretty happy that I could actually just play my game. It was the first match so it’s never easy,” Swiatek said. “But I feel like I found my rhythm and it was a pretty solid performance.
“From the first practice I played here I felt really good. And even though there was jet lag and I was coming back from clay I felt like I was in a good place.”
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