Sun, 01 Oct 2023

Paris [France], June 4 (ANI): The No.6 seed Coco Gauff scripted a fine comeback from a set down to overcome qualifier Mirra Andreeva 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-1 to reach into the fourth round of the ongoing French Open 2023.

Gauff's next opponent will be unseeded Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, who advanced to the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over qualifier Kayla Day.

Both players probed each other's games with tactical adjustments and fierce grit in an engrossing opening set. Throughout the 65-minute first act, there were two major momentum shifts.

In the early rounds, Andreeva was more controlled, challenging the Gauff forehand while delivering a series of crisp backhand drives and drop shots. She broke the American twice and served at 4-2, 40-15 before double-faulting. Gauff took advantage of the opportunity to re-enter the match, producing a couple of great drop strokes herself as she won three straight games.

Andreeva struggled to keep up with Gauff's increased level, finding it difficult to hit through her opponent's athleticism to endpoints. She struck only eight winners to 23 unforced errors in the last two sets.

Andreeva's final stand came in the third game of the decisive set, a three-deuce tussle in which both women displayed great all-court tennis. However, Andreeva was unable to convert two game points and double-faulted when faced with a second break point.

Gauff rolled to the finish line with increasingly superb shot-making from there. In the last game, she attracted gasps from the Court Suzanne-Lenglen crowd with a soaring backhand overhead, and she converted her first match point with a fizzing backhand winner, her 35th of the day.

"I don't know, to be honest. When I played against her, I didn't feel like she was lacking experience. Honestly, at the end of the first set it was weird. I don't know if it was the energy she was giving off or anything, wasn't really quite anything she did, but I had a feeling that, even though I lost that set, I felt like I won the set," quoted Gauff as saying.

"I knew in my head that I was playing the right way. I mean, 5-4 serving for it, 30-0 and she played great in the tiebreaker. I think I had two loose points and that matters in the tiebreaker," she added.

"I can say probably experience played a factor, but honestly what it felt like on the court, it didn't feel like [it]. You know, I played two other people that were younger than me, and in one of those matches for sure I would say experience played a part, but I don't know if that meant today. I think she plays beyond her years, and I don't know, feels similar to how I was," the American player said. (ANI)

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