US Open champion Coco Gauff achieved a remarkable victory in just 57 minutes in her first match at the WTA Finals. The 19-year-old, who is ranked third, started the match by winning seven consecutive games before rain interrupted play in Cancun, Mexico.
When the match resumed, Gauff swiftly secured a 6-0 6-1 win, marking her 50th victory of the season.
Meanwhile, in another Group B match, Iga Swiatek fought back from a 5-2 deficit in the first set to defeat Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova 7-6 (7-3) 6-0.
Swiatek, who is determined to reclaim her world number one ranking from Aryna Sabalenka, faced difficulties early on in the game. Vondrousova, appearing at the season-ending Finals for the first time, served for the first set twice but Swiatek took control and her opponent failed to respond.
Reflecting on her performance, Swiatek said, “Even in the first part of the match I wasn’t feeling like I was playing bad. I just felt like I was making mistakes on the last shots within the rally. I felt that there was room for improvement, but I didn’t need to change a lot. So I just wanted to be more precise and more solid.”
Vondrousova, like Sabalenka after her opening match, expressed her dissatisfaction with the conditions at the venue. The court construction was completed just days before the start of the tournament, causing frustration among the players.
“My first WTA Finals is not at all what I imagined,” Vondrousova wrote on Instagram. “We work hard all year to get to the finals and, in the end, it’s just a disappointment. [The] stadium is not at all ready for the matches and to me it feels like the people from WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) are absolutely not interested in how we, who are supposed to play on that court, feel. We do not feel that anyone listens to us and is interested in our opinions. Very sad.”
The WTA Finals features the top eight players of the season, divided into two groups. After the round-robin matches, the top two from each group will advance to the semi-finals, which will take place on Saturday.
This tournament is Gauff’s first since parting ways with her coach Pere Riba after the China Open. Reflecting on the decision, Gauff stated, “Unfortunately, it wasn’t my decision. But we had to end the partnership. If it was up to me, I would have loved to have him here. But you know, things happen. Life happens. So no bad terms on our end. Sometimes people think it’s bigger than what it is. But some things just didn’t work out and that’s all. I still think that he was a great guy. And obviously, he did amazing things for me personally and also for my game. So I’m sure he’s going to be successful in his next step.”
Gauff and Swiatek are set to face each other in their upcoming match on Wednesday.
Jessica Roberts serves up the latest in the world of tennis. With a love for the racket sport, she reports on tennis matches, player rankings, and Grand Slam events, ensuring readers stay informed about the tennis world.