Auckland: Coco Gauff shines anew in season-opening win over Viktoria Kuzmova


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Auckland: Coco Gauff shines anew in season-opening win over Viktoria Kuzmova

Teenage prodigy Coco Gauff started off her 2020 season from where she had left off in 2019 by notching a win. The American defeated Slovakia’s Viktoria Kuzmova 6-3, 6-1 in the first round of the ASB Classic in Auckland, on Monday.

The 68th ranked Gauff needed just 61 minutes to wrap up the victory, her first in the tournament where she is making her debut. Gauff will play either German Laura Siegemund or Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck in the second round.

Prior to the start of the main-draw matches, Van Uytvanck had taken Jelena Ostapenko’s place in the draw after the Latvian pulled out of the event citing, “personal reasons”. Seeds Start off France’s eighth seed Caroline Garcia needed three sets to get past the United States’ Taylor Townsend.

Garcia dropped the first set to the left-hander 5-7 but picked up the paces on her game to rebound and claim a 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 win in two hours and 32 minutes. Next up for Garcia is the winner between Canadian Eugenie Bouchard and Belgian Kirsten Flipkens.

Slovenian Tamara Zidansek upset Swedish sixth seed Rebecca Petersen in their round-of-32 match. Zidansek won 7-6(7), 7-6(6) in two hours and 17 minutes. Zidansek next plays USA’s Jessica Pegula who took down compatriot Cici Bellis in their opening-round match, 6-0, 6-4.

Russia’s Daria Kasatkina thwarted a valiant effort from Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro. Kasatkina won 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 in an hour and 46 minutes. Kasatkina awaits the winner between the United States’ third seed Amanda Anisimova and Ukraine’s Kateryna Kozlova in the next round.

Lastly, Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann defeated New Zealand wildcard holder Valentina Ivanov in the first round on Monday. Teichmann needed 88 minutes to get a 6-4, 6-3 win. "Careena" Win Doubles Opener Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki who joined forces in Auckland, ahead of the Dane's upcoming retirement after the Australian Open, began their tournament campaign with a triumph.

"Careena", the newest portmanteau on the WTA Tour, needed 70 minutes to move past the Japanese team of Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-2, 6-4.