Maria Sakkari makes short work of Coco Gauff at Cincinnati as Venus Williams also makes early exit

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Maria Sakkari in action

Coco Gauff and Venus Williams both fell at the first hurdle of the Western & Southern Open in New York as Maria Sakkari claimed a comfortable win over Gauff while Williams went down in three sets.

The 13th seeded Sakkari dropped only four games en route to a 65-minute 6-1, 6-3 victory over teenager Gauff.

The Greek broke twice in each set to earn the routine win.

“I think my serve was one thing that really worked well today and gave me a lot of cheap points, if I can call them like that,” Sakkari said.

“I think the toughest spot was just to follow the tactic the whole time, like always, but I’m very satisfied, because after a long time I got to play on that level.”

Former world No 1 Williams were beaten in three sets by Dayana Yastremska with the 16th seed winning 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 in two hours and 36 minutes.

The Ukrainian admitted after the match that she came close to throwing in the towel in the second set.

“I’m very happy that I won and same time very sad because I had really good opportunity the first set. But when I twisted my ankle, to be honest, my mind completely went the other way. I started to think just about the pain, how I twisted, and what is going to be next,” she said.

“I really wanted to withdraw after the first game [of the second set] when I lost, but after that, the second game when I was serving, I [said] to myself that I’m not going to withdraw, that I’m going to play to the end. It doesn’t matter how it’s going to finish, but I have to finish that match. I really have to deal with the pain.”

Next up is fellow American Bernarda Pera, who beat Heather Watson from Great Britain 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

Two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka upset 15th seed Donna Vekic as the Belarusian secured a 6-2, 6-3 victory while Ekaterina Alexandrova from Russia stunned ninth seed Elena Rybakina 7-5, 7-6 (8-6).

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