Cori Gauff: It was weird playing Petra Kvitova, I've watched her for a long time

Gauff beat Kvitova in their first meeting in Doha.

by Dzevad Mesic
Cori Gauff: It was weird playing Petra Kvitova, I've watched her for a long time

Cori Gauff, 18, admitted it felt a little bit weird to play against Petra Kvitova because she grew up watching a lot of the 32-year-old's matches. On Wednesday, Gauff met Kvitova for the first time and she defeated the Czech 6-3 7-6 (6) in their Doha round-of-16 meeting.

After the match, Gauff admitted that she "did not have many chances" and credited her defense for her win. "I felt like I have watched her for a long time, and it was weird playing her in that respect, because it's like almost meeting a celebrity in a way.

[I had to just] accept when she hits a winner. There were points that I thought I played well, and she just came up with a good shot. She hit an amazing down-the-line forehand, and I thought I had a pretty good backhand -- not a winner, but enough to get her on defense.

It clearly wasn't enough. The only thing you can do is clap your hands and keep on moving. I think for me, playing her, I just tried to focus on my end of the court and let her hit her winners or not and try to be aggressive when I could.

I honestly didn't have a lot of chances today. I think I definitely won more points on the defense," Gauff said, as quoted on the WTA website.

How Gauff defeated Kvitova?

No break points were seen until the eighth game, when Gauff converted her first break point to take a 5-3 lead.

After breaking Kvitova, Gauff was able to serve out for the first set in the ninth game. In the fourth game of the second set, Gauff saved Kvitova's first break point to tie the second set to two games apiece. In the remainder of the second set, not a single break point was seen as a tie-break had to resolve the winner of the set.

Leading 6-5 in the second-set tie-break, Gauff didn't manage to convert her first match point. However, Gauff kept her focus as she won the next two points to complete a two-set win over Kvitova.

Cori Gauff Cori Gauff Petra Kvitova