Coco Gauff upset in Doha opener as forehand fails her

League: Tennis

Posted on: 13 Feb, 2024 at 11:03 PM

Credit: Mike Frey-USA TODAY Sports

Czech Katerina Siniakova overcame a four-game deficit in the second set to upset second-seeded Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4 and advance to the third round of the Qatar TotalEnergies Open on Tuesday in Doha.

Gauff had a first-round bye and was making her Doha debut against Siniakova. The 19-year-old Gauff struggled in the opening set, facing 10 break points and saving only seven of them.

The second set started out as a different story, with Gauff racing to a 4-0 lead by breaking Siniakova twice. But Siniakova regrouped and shifted into a different gear, winning the next six games to close the set. It was her second win in seven tries against Gauff.

Gauff, playing in her first match since reaching the Australian Open semifinals, was plagued by 30 forehand errors in the 80-minute match.

Next up for Siniakova will be another American, qualifier Danielle Collins, who bested Czech Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 7-5. Collins, the former World No. 7, has split her two career matches with Siniakova.

"Definitely another tough match, (Collins is) a really aggressive player," Siniakova said in her post-match interview. "I will try to focus on my game and fight every point, and hopefully it will be a really good game."

Meanwhile, No. 4 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia said she was still dealing with "small problems" in her right knee after Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko defeated her 6-3, 6-2.

"Definitely much better than last week, but it's still there, unfortunately," said Jabeur, who experienced the knee issues in a prior tournament in Abu Dhabi. "It will not heal in two or three days, but I'm doing my best to heal it, and I think it's going to be very positive for the next weeks."

In another upset, 19-year-old Linda Noskova fought off a match point in the second set to defeat No. 7 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece 3-6, 7-6 (2), 7-5.

With Sakkari up 5-3 in the second set, she held match point on the Czech's serve. But Noskova evened the game at deuce, then closed it out and broke Sakkari's serve in the subsequent game, tying the set at 5-5 and setting up the tiebreaker.

It was the fifth win against a top-10 player for Noskova, who will meet compatriot Karolina Pliskova in the third round. Pliskova also needed three sets to advance, downing Russian Anastasia Potapova 6-1, 5-7, 6-4.

No. 3 seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan cruised past China's Lin Zhu 6-2, 6-1 in 58 minutes. No. 5 seed Qinwen Zheng of China advanced with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 victory over Poland's Magda Linette, while No. 8 seed Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia defeated Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine 6-0, 6-3.

Naomi Osaka of Japan fell behind 4-0 in a second-set tiebreaker with Croatia's Petra Martic. Osaka had to save three straight set points and four overall during the tiebreaker before prevailing 6-3, 7-6 (9).

Also moving to the third round with No. 14 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia, No. 16 seed Emma Navarro, Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and Leylah Fernandez of Canada.

--Field Level Media