Gauff Begins Clay Season With Hard-Fought Win In Stuttgart

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Coco Gauff played her first match on clay at the 2024 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart and barely avoided losing to her compatriot Sachia Vickery.

Gauff was very excited to begin her clay season because she has big ambitions for it. She wants to win the French Open, but her return to the surface didn’t go as smoothly as some thought it would. She took on a familiar player who produced a spectacular effort to nearly stun her in three sets.

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The opening set started really well for Gauff, who took an early lead, which is how you’d ideally want to begin every match. Gauff held her serve for a good portion of that set but still found herself losing her serve at a really crucial point. It was 4-2, and she was about to go up 5-2, but then she dropped it. Vickery didn’t manage to fully turn things around, as she got broken immediately after, and Gauff finished it off 6-3.

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The second set saw Vickery keep up her good play while Gauff started to struggle a bit. Eventually, we saw Vickery go up 3-1, then thr 20-year-old broke back for 3-2, after which Vickery broke for 4-2, but then Gauff broke again for the 4-3 scoreline. Eventually, Gauff did lose the set 6-4, largely due to poor serving. She had six double faults and lost the majority of points behind her second serve.

Vickery almost found a way to win the match; it was being very aggressive on the weaker second serve, which put even more pressure on Gauff to serve well. She wouldn’t quite deliver in the third set, even after she took an early break. The nerves just never settled for the American, who lost a 2-0 lead that became a 2-4 deficit.

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Gauff wouldn’t give up that easily and fought back and made it 4-4. She failed to convert some break points at 4-4 but finally broke at 5-5 after which she closed it out to win the third set 7-5.

 

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