Gauff, irked by Siegemund’s pace, grinds out win

Products You May Like

NEW YORK — Coco Gauff already was down a set on Day 1 of the US Open when she found herself locked in a marathon of a 30-point, 25-plus-minute game to begin the second set.

Sure, there still was plenty of time to come back Monday night in Arthur Ashe Stadium, but this felt pivotal.

The 19-year-old from Florida had lost her past two Grand Slam matches — including a first-round exit at Wimbledon last month — and did not want to leave quietly or quickly this time. With thousands of partisan fans getting rowdier by the moment, the sixth-seeded Gauff finally converted on her eighth break point of that game, and wound up beating German qualifier Laura Siegemund 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 and reaching the second round at Flushing Meadows.

Once she had the lead, the biggest frustration for Gauff was the way Siegemund would make her wait to play the next point. Siegemund repeatedly took her time and, early in the last set, was warned by chair umpire Marijana Veljovic. Brad Gilbert, who is one of two coaches working with Gauff lately, shook his head at how long it took Veljovic to intervene, and his reaction drew a smile from Gauff.

But serving while ahead 3-0 in that set, Gauff had enough and went over to make her case.

“She’s never ready when I’m serving. … How is this fair?” Gauff told Veljovic. “I’m going a normal speed. Ask any ref here. … I’ve been quiet the whole match. … Now it’s ridiculous. I don’t care what she’s doing on her serve, but [on] my serve, she has to be ready.”

Gauff wound up dropping that game — but then not another. Later, Siegemund was docked a point for delaying, which put Gauff up 5-1. That prompted Siegemund to argue her case to Veljovic — “I can’t go to the towel anymore?” — and drew some jeers from the crowd.

There was another hiccup for Gauff toward the finish: She served for the match at 5-2 in the third but double-faulted three times. Those were her only double faults of the entire 2-hour, 51-minute match.

In the end, she held on, and it was Gauff’s 12th victory in 13 matches since the disappointing showing at the All England Club. This recent run includes the two biggest titles of the American’s career and a win over No. 1 Iga Swiatek. Gauff and Swiatek could meet in the quarterfinals next week.

Asked during her on-court interview with ESPN’s Pam Shriver to describe what it was like to play Monday’s match, Gauff deadpanned, “Slow.”

Former president Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, were in the Arthur Ashe Stadium stands to watch Gauff’s first-round victory.

After that match, Michelle Obama went down on the court to participate in a tribute to Billie Jean King marking the 50th anniversary of the US Open becoming the first major sports event to pay equal prize money to women.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Alexander Zverev is vastbesloten om wraak te nemen op Rafael Nadal op Roland Garros
Rafael Nadal’s Uncertain Future at Roland Garros
The Length of Women’s Matches in Padel: A Subject of Debate
Carlos Alcaraz’s Comeback at Roland Garros
De uitdagingen van Alix Collombon: een terugblik op haar val in de wereldranglijst van padel