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Coco Gauff through in 3 tough sets in Australian Open tuneup

Coco Gauff through in 3 tough sets in Australian Open tuneup
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MELBOURNE, Australia - American Coco Gauff didn’t make it easy on herself in her first-round match at an Australian Open tuneup event on Monday.

She was up a service break in the second set and looked ready for straight-sets win until Jil Teichmann won the second-set tiebreaker. The players then went to a deciding-set tiebreaker before Gauff won 6-3, 6-7 () 7-6 (5) at the WTA’s Gippsland Trophy.

“All the training I did in the off-season meant that I could go three tough sets,“ Gauff said on court after the match.

In another match at the same tournament, Australian Destanee Aiava beat Chloe Paquet 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 after saving 14 of 15 break points.

SIX EVENTS ON BOARD

All six tuneup tournaments are being played this week at Melbourne Park ahead of the Feb. 8 start of the Australian Open.

The first major of the year was delayed by three weeks to allow for COVID-19 protocols which required all people arriving into Australia to spend 14 days in quarantine.

The biggest men’s tournament is the ATP Cup team event, which starts Tuesday. The other men’s tournaments are the Great Ocean Road Open and the Murray River Open.

In addition to Gippsland Trophy, the WTA has the Yarra Valley Classic and the Grampians Trophy. The Grampians event is a 28-draw tournament and open only to players who were forced into hard lockdown for 14 days without the benefit of practice because of positive COVID-19 cases on their charter flights to Australia.

RUSSIAN PLAYER ADVANCES

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beaten Japan’s Misaki Doi 6-1, 6-4 in a first-round match at the Yarra River Classic. The 11th-seeded Pavlyuchenkova has been a quarterfinalist in three of the last four years at the Australian Open.

Serena Williams was scheduled to play local hope Daria Gavrilova later Monday, also in the Yarra River Classic.

Williams is aiming to win her 24th Grand Slam title with victory at the Australian Open, the most of any player in the professional era. Her 23rd major was in 2017 at Melbourne Park when she beat her sister, Venus, in the final.

In the second round, No. 13 Danielle Collins of the United States beat Nina Stojanovic 6-2, 6-1. Seventh-seeded Petra Martic had a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over Vera Lapko.

TIAFOE OUT IN 1ST ROUND

Corentin Moutet of France won a tough first-round match over Frances Tiafoe, beating the American 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 at the Murray River Open. The 21-year-old Moutet had to overcome a sluggish start before he found his rhythm against 2019 Australian Open quarterfinalist Tiafoe. The Frenchman outlasted Tiafoe in the third set to fight off break points and take a 3-1 lead. “It was so nice to play a match,” Moutet told the ATP website. “It was a long time since I’ve played a match, especially in front of people. A tough match, but definitely a lot of pleasure.” Two Americans advanced, with fifth-seeded Tommy Paul beating Cameron Norrie 4-6, 7-6 (2) 6-3 and Mackenzie McDonald upsetting 14th-seeded Richard Gasquet 7-6 (2), 7-5.
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