Coco Gauff and Karolina Muchova will contest the final of the Cincinnati Open on Sunday. Both players upset the top two seeds in three sets in their respective semi-finals. Gauff won against world no. 1 Iga Swiatek while Muchova beat world no.
2 Aryna Sabalenka. In the first semi-final Gauff posted a 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-4 win over her higher-ranked opponent. Swiatek had multiple chances across the match but Gauff’s serve never let her down which allowed her to keep her opponent at bay.
But on the other hand, Swiatek’s erratic play-making finally caught up to her and Gauff was able to exploit it thoroughly. Gauff won 73% of her first-serve points and saved all but four of the 14 break points she faced.
In comparison, while Swiatek did win a better margin of second-serve points as compared to Gauff’s – 65% to the latter’s 46%, the lack of conversion of break points did hurt her the most alongside the vast number of unforced errors she hit.
For the match, Swiatek finished with nine more winners than her opponent’s 18 but she also had nine more unforced errors than the latter’s 37. Meanwhile, this was also the first time in their eight total meetings that Gauff had managed to pip Swiatek.
In all their previous matches, Gauff hadn’t been even able to win a set off the Pole.
Cincinnati Open: Karolina Muchova proves to be too good for Aryna Sabalenka
In the second semi-final, Muchova once again denied Sabalenka a win this season.
The Czech posted a 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-2 victory after a little more than two hours and 30 minutes of play. The opening set swung between the two players. Sabalenka gained the upper hand initially with a break but Muchova fought back to bring it back to parity.
In the tie-break, it was Muchova’s turn to get a mini-break only for Sabalenka to turn the set around, one last time. As it turned out, it was the last time Sabalenka got a chance to bring the proceedings around to her favour.
Across the last two sets, Muchova’s game was near unshakeable and Sabalenka never got a chance to come back into the match. The French Open finalist faced six break points in the match and all six came in the first set.
Sabalenka went on to face nine break points in the latter two sets of which she saved six. The three she wasn’t able to save cost her the match. The title-round clash at the Cincinnati Open between Coco Gauff and Karolina Muchova will be the first time the two will be facing each other on the WTA Tour.
For Muchova, this is also the first time in her career she’s reached the final of such a tournament of this stature. Photo Credit: Bleacher Report