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Coco Gauff books early exit from flushing Meadows

American prodigy Coco Gauff crashes out in the first round

 

Call it a no Coco’s day at the flushing Meadows and you will be right as the American Prodigy suffered a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 defeat Monday night.

Anastasija Sevastova advanced to the second round after edging out her hard fighting opponent

In a ragged, scrappy affair packed with breaks, double faults and unforced errors, it was the 30-year-old Latvian who progressed on the fourth match point when her 16-year-old opponent sent a timid return into the net.

It marked the first opening round exit from a Grand Slam for Gauff, a crowd favourite at Flushing Meadows pre-Covid-19 when spectators were allowed into the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

A year ago, Gauff made it to the third round at Flushing Meadows before losing to 2018 champion Naomi Osaka in a match that ended in tears for the teen and a hug from the winner.

She stormed onto the scene last year when she beat her idol, Venus Williams, at Wimbledon and went on to reach the fourth round of the tournament.

Gauff had said her game was the ‘best it’s ever been,’ during the build-up to the tournament but struggled to gather any momentum at Louis Armstrong Stadium.

‘I was just calm in the end,’ said Sevastova, a US Open semi-finalist in 2018.

‘Somehow I managed to be calm and stayed there and took my chances. I love being here, even in the bubble.

‘I love the atmosphere, even now it doesn’t matter I have just amazing memories from the years before.

‘And finally I won a match.’

After dropping the opening set Gauff somehow managed to win the second despite being broken three times, registering seven double faults and committing 16 unforced errors.

But when it mattered it was the teenager showing far more composure than her 30-year-old opponent who was left smashing her racquet when Gauff broke her twice over the final four games and then held serve to level the contest.

Read AlsoNavratilova: ‘Coco Gauff can change the world’

The errors dropped and quality improved in a much tighter third set though, with Sevastova getting the only break at 5-4 to clinch victory.

Anastasija Sevastova will next take on Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk who edged out Daria Kasatikina 6-1 6-2 to advance.

 

 

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