Gauff, Swiatek Win Beijing Openers, Return Tuesday With Sabalenka, Rybakina

by Staff | October 2nd, 2023, 2:18 pm
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Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek both won their openers Monday at the Beijing 1000 level tour stop.

Playing her first match at a Grand Slam winner, US Open champion Coco Gauff sent off Ekaterina Alexandrova 7-5, 6-3. The teen stormed out to a 4-0 lead before Alexandrova was able to level. Gauff then broke for the set and broke for 4-2 in the second.

Gauff ups her win streak to 13 straight after the win over the 28-year-old from Russia. She’s now 19-1 since joining up with Brad Gilbert who did not make the trip to Asia.

“Overall I’m happy with how I was able to push through,” said Gauff. “Is it how I like to play? Probably not. But I knew coming in was going to be tough, just coming from across the world. This is the first time here. I knew it was going to be a tough match for me regardless.”

Gauff is back Tuesday to take on Petra Martic.

Swiatek also won in straights advancing past Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-4, 6-3. There were 11 breaks in the match with Swiatek breaking seven times. The world No. 2 will next face Varvara Gracheva in the second round.

Seventh-seeded Ons Jabeur got by American teen Ashlyn Krueger in straights 6-3, 6-4. Jabeur comes in off her first career hard court title in Ningbo. She’ll now meet Marta Kostyuk.

Liudmila Samsonova upended No. 12 seed and former finalist Petra Kvitova 6-4, 7-5. Kvitova won a 3-hour plus marathon yesterday and today had nothing left and was not pleased with the scheduling.

“Far from ideal to finish my match at the @ChinaOpen at 1am and then be back on the schedule at NB 5:30pm the next day when some first round matches had yet to be played,” Kvitova posted on social media. “I have always played the sport with huge respect and rarely speak out, but this time I feel strongly… enough to say that there *has* to have been a fairer option. Please do better for your players @WTA”

It’s bad when you get Petra upset.

Other Monday matches saw No. 5 seed Elena Rybakina defeat Zheng Qinwen 6-1, 6-2 and Poland’s Magda Linette got a retirement from Jennifer Brady at 3-1 due to a right knee issue.

Tuesday, world No. 1 Aryna Sabalenka return to face qualifier Katie Boutler. Sabalenka is a perfect 2-0 against the Brit.

No. 4 Jessica Pegula will battle Anna Blinkov and Carolina Garcia and Daria Kasatkina are also in action.

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