The 15-year-old Cori Gauff claimed the first WTA title last week in Linz, becoming the youngest champion on the Tour since 2004. Emotionally and physically spent, super talented American went to Luxembourg where she closed a memorable season with a 6-4, 6-0 loss to Anna Blinkova in 58 minutes.
The 8th seed controlled the pace in her games, dropping 12 points on serve overall and getting broken only once, keeping the pressure on the youngster who lost 55% of the points behind the initial shot, facing six break points and giving serve away five times to propel the Russian through.
Blinkova grabbed the opening set with breaks in games three and five, dominating in the rest of the clash to secure a bagel and book the place in the second round. In the battle of former winners, the 2nd seed and the defending champion Julia Goerges toppled Misaki Doi 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 in two hours and 14 minutes.
The German fired 21 aces and repelled nine out of 13 break opportunities, settling into a nice rhythm from set number two and taking half of the return points for seven breaks from 24 chances. Doi claimed the opener with a late break at 6-5 after a roller coaster and it was all about Julia after that, earning three breaks in each of the next two sets to make a winning start and reach the last 16.
Another American youngster and Cori Gauff's doubles partner Catherine McNally lost to Jelena Ostapenko 7-5, 7-6 in an hour and 48 minutes, with the Latvian fending off five out of seven break chances and prevailing in the pivotal moments to seal the deal in straight sets.
Ostapenko kicked off the encounter with a swift 3-0 lead before McNally fought back, staying in touch with a break in game ten before Jelena grabbed the last two games for a 7-5. The youngster repelled break points at the beginning of the second set and delivered one good service game after another, wasting a set point on the return at 5-4 and allowing Ostapenko to take the tie break 7-3 and advance into the next round.
The 3rd seed Elena Rybakina had a great day at the office, toppling Denisa Allertova 6-2, 6-1 in 56 minutes to reach the quarters. Dropping only ten points in her games, Rybakina experienced no troubles behind the initial shot and was all over her rival on the return, delivering four breaks from ten opportunities to cross the finish line in no time at all.
Laura Siegemund ousted the 5th seed Viktoria Kuzmova 6-2, 6-3 in an hour and 27 minutes, fending off all six break points and stealing Kuzmova's serve three times to find herself over the top and in the last eight.