WTA roundup: Coco Gauff battles back at BNP Paribas Open

League: Tennis

Posted on: 10 Mar, 2024 at 06:51 AM

Credit: Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun / USA TODAY NETWORK

Third-seeded American Coco Gauff rallied from a daunting third-set deficit to pick up a 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) victory over France's Clara Burel on Saturday in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.

Burel seemingly had a trip to the third round booked, leading 5-2 in the final set, but Gauff won three games in a row to even things at 5. Gauff later fell behind 6-5 before forcing a tiebreaker, where she was the one that took control, going up 6-2 and eventually winning on her third match point.

Gauff, who turns 20 on Wednesday, is the first woman to record 50 wins at the WTA 1000 level as a teenager.

"Yeah, I didn't know that. I thought a couple people were ahead of me. Well, that's pretty cool," Gauff said of her record. "Hopefully I can close this chapter of my life off good. I'm really happy with how my teenage years went. I did everything that I wanted to do."

In the next round, Gauff is set to face Lucia Bronzetti of Italy, a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina, the No. 32 seed, on Saturday.

The United States' Sloane Stephens, Anna Blinkova of Russia and France's Diane Parry also pulled off upsets. Stephens topped 19th-seeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-0, 7-5, while Blinkova ousted No. 5 seed Jessica Pegula of the United States 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. Parry beat 29th-seeded Canadian Leylah Fernandez 7-5, 5-7, 6-2.

Ukraine's Dayana Yastremska, the No. 30 seed, also saw her tournament run come to an end, having to retire against Englishwoman Emma Raducanu.

Other winners Saturday included No. 18 seed Madison Keys of the U.S., 11th-seeded Russian Daria Kasatkina, Greek ninth seed Maria Sakkari, No. 24 seed Elise Mertens of Belgium, French 20th seed Caroline Garcia, American Caroline Dolehide and Japan's Naomi Osaka.

Later Saturday, second-seeded Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka fought back for a 6-7 (2), 6-2, 7-6 (6) victory over the United States' Peyton Stearns.

Trailing 5-4 in the third set, Sabalenka saved four match points in what she referred to as one of the best -- and craziest -- matches of her career.

"I'm super happy that I didn't give up on that score, and I was really pushing myself hard, even though I didn't play my best tennis and (Stearns) was crushing it like crazy," Sabalenka said. "I was just like trying to stay in the game and keep fighting for every point."

No. 16 seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine downed Czech Katerina Siniakova, 23rd seed Emma Navarro of the U.S. edged Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko and No. 8 seed Qinwen Zheng got the best of countrywoman Yue Yuan to wrap up Saturday's action.

--Field Level Media