- Coco Gauff fought back from a set down to defeat Elina Svitolina in Auckland Classic Final
- This was the first time that Gauff was defending a title and she was delighted to have done so successfully
On Sunday, Coco Gauff fought back from a set down to defeat Elina Svitolina in Auckland Classic Final and successfully defend her title. The American teenager, who won her maiden Grand Slam last year in home soil, triumphed 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-3 in the thrilling final earlier today.
Gauff, who is world number three, now joins an elite group of players who have won back-to-back titles in Auckland, including Patty Fendick (1988 and 1989), Eleni Daniilidou (2003 and 2004), and Julia Goerges (2018 and 2019).
This was the first time that Gauff was defending a title and she was delighted to have done so successfully. The 19-year-old was also the fourth person ever to defeat Svitolina in a title match, joining former top two players Petra Kvitova (2016 Zhuhai), Agieszka Radwanska (2016 New Haven) and Ashleigh Barty (2019 WTA Finals).
“This is my first time ever having to defend a title, so I’m really happy I was able to do it today. This year’s event was a lot different. Last year it rained almost every single match, and we were playing indoors with just a few people watching. So, it’s really cool to play in front of a packed crowd almost every match.” Gauff said after her victory over Svitolina, as per Forbes.
How Gauff Defeated Svitolina in Auckland Classic Final
Coco Gauff had only dropped 15 games in her four matches in Auckland prior to Sunday’s final. A meeting with second seed Elina Svitolina proved a tougher test to accomplish but she would keep calm to extend her dominance with a remarkable 10th straight victory at the ASB Classic on the hard courts of Auckland.
Svitolina, a former world number three, came into the final with a sparkling 17-3 record in WTA finals. In the first set played on Sunday, both players dropped serve twice before Gauff broke for a 5-3 lead with a forehand passing winner.
However, she would face setback by squandering two set points, allowing the big-hitting Svitolina to claw her way back and take the lead via tie-break. With the victory, Svitolina ended Gauff’s 18-set winning streak in Auckland. Well, that was the first set that Gauff had lost in two editions of the tournament, and it would be the last.
Gauff mounted a comeback in the second set, securing a double-break at 5-2 after firing a backhand winner. She then won her third break of the set and levelled the match, leaving Svitolina with a lot of pressure as they started the third set.
In the eighth game of the decider, the American teenager grabbed a crucial break and eventually sealed the win in a memorable fashion. With her victory over Svitolina, Gauff is now a perfect 10-0 when she is the number one seed at a WTA event. The past week was her second time as the top seed at a WTA event, her first time being last year at the same event.
During the post-match interview, Svitolina congratulated Gauff for winning the Auckland Classic Final.
“It’s been a really great experience to play for the first time here. I want to congratulate Coco and her team for a great start to the year. Good luck at the Australian Open. I’ve been enjoying myself here playing great matches. Tough loss today, of course.” Reuters quotes Elina Svitolina.
Gauff has so far won seven out of eight career WTA singles finals. She has never made it past the fourth around at the Australian Open, but her form approaching this year’s event suggest that she could go past that stage. The 19-year-old is one of the players to watch out in this year’s edition of the tournament, which starts in a week’s time.