It was a tough day for 16-year-old phenom Coco Gauff in Melbourne on Tuesday. Playing at the Gippsland Trophy event against Katie Boulter, Gauff served for the match at 6-3, 5-4 before the Brit stormed back winning 9 of the last 12 games to take it 3-6, 7-5, 6-2.
Boulter’s win put her up against 3-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka who blew past Alize Cornet in her 2021 debut.
“I remember playing her in Wimbledon one year,” Osaka said looking ahead. “I don’t remember what year it was, but I do remember thinking she was a really good player, and then I heard that she got injured and now she’s back.
“I’m looking forward to playing her. It’s really interesting to play players that are around the same age as me because I feel like we all have the same goals and stuff.”
After dropping the opening set, French Open champion Iga Swiatek got back on track winning 12 of her last 15 games to deny Kaja Juvan 2-6, 6-2, 6-1.
“For sure at the beginning it was tough,” Swiatek told the WTA. “I felt like I couldn’t concentrate very well and my head was not in the right place.
“But I knew that it can happen at the beginning of the season. It was my first match. And my opponent was in a different situation. She played a first-round and had this privilege, but I’m happy that I had a bye. I was just trying to stay patient and trying to focus on different things, technical stuff. But in the first set it wasn’t easy at all.”
Aryna Sabalenka’s 15-match win streak came to an end at the hands of Kaia Kanepi. Elise Mertens, Caroline Garcia and Johanna Konta were also winners.
Wednesday in the Gippsland, in addition to Osaka-Boutler, Simona Halep returns to meet Laura Siegemund and Elina Svitolina battles Jelena Ostapenko.
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