Coco Gauff progresses to the Auckland Tennis Classic quarterfinals

Coco Gauff

Coco Gauff defeated hard-hitting Czech youngster Brenda Fruhvirtova 6-3, 6-0 on Thursday to continue her winning streak and defend her championship at the Auckland Tennis Classic.

Fruhvirtova, 16, came out striking harder than any other player in the competition thus far, creating great power with both hands.

She posed a challenge to Gauff at initially, breaking his serve to love in the third game of the first set.

Gauff quickly broke back in a 14-point game to tie the set at 2-2. Gauff broke again to take a 4-2 lead after saving a break point in her following serve game.

She served for the opening set at 5-3 and needed to preserve a break point before winning in 40 minutes. Fruhvirtova challenged Gauff with another high topspin, but Gauff came through with an ace to finish the set.

Gauff broke Fruhvirtova in the opening game of the second set, showing greater depth in her returns. She also broke in the third and fifth games and served confidently, with a 190 kph (118 mph) ace crowning her second service game.

Gauff had to save two break points when serving for the match at 5-0, but her sixth ace put an end to any threat.

“I thought I played well,” remarked Gauff. “She got off to a great start, and I was able to raise my game.” I believed I served well and did well on my returns.”

Fruhvirtova entered the match ranked 117 on the WTA.

“I thought she played a good match,” Gauff remarked of her opponent. “I’ve known her since she was ten.” We used to train at the same academy in France. Her and her sister (Brenda) grew up playing or training together, and it’s exciting to watch her on tour. I’m confident she’ll go much further.”

Gauff will now face France’s eighth-seeded Varvara Gracheva in the quarterfinals on Friday. Gracheva defeated Switzerland’s Lulu Sun 6-3, 6-4.

Seventh-seeded Petra Martic won 6-2, 6-2 over Yuan Yue of China, hitting six aces and converting four of nine break opportunities. In the quarterfinals, Martic will face American Emma Navarro.

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