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May 9, 2024 5:10 pm

Coco Gauff working on serve, still wins in Rome

coco gauff

No. 3 seed Coco Gauff overcame nine double faults and handled Poland’s Magdalena Frech 6-3, 6-3 in the second round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Thursday in Rome.

Gauff hit three aces as she continues to tinker with her serve ahead of the next Grand Slam, the French Open in June.

“I feel like the other parts of my game are improving in the right direction,” Gauff told wtatennis.com before the tournament. “I feel like (her serve is) the part that if I can work that through, I think it will set me up for a very good Roland Garros.

“Other than that, I feel like I’m returning well, hitting off the ground well. For me, if I can get that part well, I can do well.”

Gauff is coming off a Round of 16 exit from the Mutua Madrid Open. She hit 13 double faults in a three-set loss to Madison Keys.

“I feel if I’m still close in these matches against Maddie (Keys), who is like a top player, I think (if) I just fix that detail, it will save me,” Gauff said, “and maybe those matches would turn into winning in straight sets instead of losing in three sets.”

Japan’s Naomi Osaka also feels her game coming together after upsetting Ukrainian No. 19 seed Marta Kostyuk 6-3, 6-2 on Thursday. It was Osaka’s first career top-20 win on clay.

“I think this match is apparently a lot of firsts for me, so I’m very happy about that,” the former World No. 1 said. “I was pretty nervous coming back after the rain delay, just knowing that I really want to capitalize on that break point. Excited that I was able to do that.

“Overall, if I had to give myself a rating, I’d say that I can see a lot of progress from my last match to now.”

Current World No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland put away Bernarda Pera 6-0, 6-2 to stay hot after winning the title in Madrid.

No. 7 seed Qinwen Zheng of China had no trouble with Shelby Rogers in a 6-2, 6-0 victory, while 10th-seeded Daria Kasatkina of Russia got past Germany’s Tatjana Maria 7-5, 6-1.

The day saw a handful of upsets, including Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich taking down No. 14 Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia 6-0, 6-1 in just 59 minutes. Russia’s Diana Shnaider took down 15th seed and countrywoman Liudmila Samsonova 6-1, 6-3, while German Angelique Kerber toppled Russian 17th seed Veronika Kudermetova 6-3, 6-0 in 69 minutes.

Keys, the No. 18 seed, outlasted Colombia’s Camila Osorio 6-0, 4-6, 6-3, while No. 12 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil also needed three sets to beat China’s Xinyu Wang 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Other second-round winners Thursday included No. 28 seed Sorana Cirstea of Romania, No. 29 seed Linda Noskova of the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva and Romania’s Jaqueline Cristian. Finishing up the Round of 128, winners included Italy’s Sara Errani, Russia’s Anastasia Potapova, Slovakia’s Rebecca Sramkova, France’s Varvara Gracheva and American Katie Volynets.

–Field Level Media

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