Doha: Coco Gauff suffers shock loss to world No. 42 after stunning collapse

Gauff exited Doha after her opening match at the tournament.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Doha: Coco Gauff suffers shock loss to world No. 42 after stunning collapse
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Coco Gauff crashed out of the Qatar Open in Doha in her opening match after being upset by Katerina Siniakova. 

Gauff, who was the second-seeded player in Doha, had a first-round bye at the tournament before kicking off her campaign on Tuesday. Playing against world No. 42 Siniakova, Gauff entered the match as the big favorite but the Czech was the one who got the job done, ousting the American 6-2 6-4. 

For world No. 3 Gauff, it was her first match since losing in the Australian Open semifinal to Aryna Sabalenka. Also, this was the first time that Gauff suffered a loss in Doha so early - she made back-to-back quarterfinals at the tournament in 2022 and 2023.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill
 

How Siniakova upset Gauff?

Siniakova made a very promising start to the match, breaking Gauff in the very first game. A couple of games later, Siniakova saved a break point in the fourth game before breaking Gauff for the second time for a 4-1 lead. 

Down by a double break, Gauff managed to get one break back in the sixth game but then dropped her serve again in the following game as Siniakova opened a 5-2 lead. Serving for the set in the eighth game, Siniakova routinely sealed the opener after converting her first set point.

After easily losing the first set, Gauff bounced back at the start of the second set, earning back-to-back breaks for what looked like a very comfortable 4-0 lead. Just when it seemed that Gauff would easily win the second set and force a decider, the second-seeded American suffered a shocking collapse in her game as Siniakova won the next six games to overturn a big second-set deficit and escape with a two-set win.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill
 

This was the seventh meeting between the two as Gauff now owns a 5-2 head-to-head against Siniakova. 

After the Australian Open, Gauff focused on improving her serve in practice but her woes on serve continued in Doha as the American faced 14 break points and lost her serve eight times. 

Gauff is expected to return to action next week at a WTA 1000 event in Dubai.

Coco Gauff
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