"It wasn't my best and it wasn't my worst," Coco Gauff told the WTA media on her struggle for victory with hometown favorite Katerina Siniakova. But it's not getting any easier for the teenager to carve out wins no matter who she previously had defeated.
She's in it to win and did just that at the Ostrava Open in the Czech Republic. The newly founded J&T Banko Ostrava Open proved from the start not to take anything for granted. She would experience a lot of firsts and it taught her to be tough and dig out her success.
It was a new tournament, a new player and she was handed a wildcard giving her a chance to show her tools of the game. Gauff didn't have it easy squeezing out two qualifying victories to enter the main draw but things got even difficult in playing Siniakova.
The Czech had came out aggressive, grabbing the first game. Gauff struggled to even up the score of the match early. It did get to 1-all, but somehow games flew by, not in the teen's favor and she stood there looking at a 4-5 deficit in the opening set.
Siniakova was serving for her advantage but Gauff didn't allow her to get the winning points. The teen dug her heels in, got herself together and evened the score to 5-all. A nervous lookcrept upon both players' faces.
Gauff wanted this game badly and Siniakove didn't want to look foolish in front of her hometowner and staff. Gauff started her tight aggressive game with down the lines, volleys and opening up the court for blasting winners to get the first set 7-5.
By the second set, Gauff's momentum had escalated and she won the first game. But Siniakova also kept her stamina to win points anyway she could. The Czech would dive for loose balls, volleying when needed. Gauff played a smart closing set as she held her lead throughout as she consistently put away balls at the net and blasted her forehands and slices right at Siniakova.
It worked and before long she had the lead of 5-4 and closed out the set and match 7-5, 6-4.
The American was just happy to get the win and move on to the second round.
It was her previous tournaments that she didn't feel as accomplished with, bowing at the second rounds and the U.S.
Open suffering a loss at the opening match. This match could have went either way but Gauff's grateful it went hers. She smiled afterwards saying "Those last couple of points were unreal. Today was tough. I wasn't playing my best, but I had to fight through."