WTA Zhengzhou Open draw: No rest for Coco Gauff as she learns fate for next event
Coco Gauff’s winning streak came to an end at the China Open on Saturday, but she will look to return to winning ways in a couple of days when she makes her Zhengzhou Open debut.
The American had notched up the longest unbeaten run on the WTA Tour in 2023 as she won 16 consecutive matches with her streak starting with a first-round win over Mayar Sherif at the Cincinnati Open on August 17 before it was ended by Iga Swiatek in the semi-final in Beijing on Saturday, October 7.
But there will be no time to dwell for Gauff as she will be back in action at the WTA 500 Zhengzhou Open, although she has a bye into the second round as the top seed.
The reigning US Open champion will kick off her campaign against either Petra Martic or Magda Linette and she has a winning record against both players. The teenager defeated Martic in their only encounter in Adelaide in 2021 while she beat Linette at the US Open that same year.
Gauff admitted during her recent China Open run that the “pressure is off” during the final few weeks of the 2023 season.
“In the long run … I feel like now that the pressure is off, now that the Grand Slam season is over and I’m qualified [for the WTA Finals], I think this could be a good week to continue to work on things I need to work on,” she said.
Should the American win her opener, then she is projected to meet sixth seed Caroline Garcia in the quarter-final while victory over the Frenchwoman could potentially see her meet sixth seed Ons Jabeur in the semi-final. Jabeur, though, could face eighth seed Daria Kasatkina in the last eight.
World No 5 Elena Rybakina headlines the bottom half of the draw and the former Wimbledon champion will have a tricky opening match as she faces either world No 22 Liudmila Samsonova or Jasmine Paolini.
Interestingly, Rybakina and Samsonova will also meet in the semi-final of the China Open on Saturday with the winner facing Swiatek in the final.
If the seeds hold then Rybakina and seventh seed Barbora Krejcikova will meet in the quarter-final with the winner likely facing third seed Maria Sakkari in the semi-final.
Greek Sakkari, who has enjoyed a good end to the season as she won her first WTA 1000 title at the Guadalajara Open, faces Donna Vekic or Qinwen Zheng first up while she could meet sixth seed Karolina Muchova in the last eight.
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