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Muguruza sees off Gauff

This content was published 2 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

No.9 seed Garbine Muguruza got the better of Coco Gauff, overcoming the 16-year-old American 7-6(3) 3-6 6-3 in the second round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

The first set, which lasted 59 minutes, was an enthralling affair with both players going toe-to-toe, showcasing their shot-making skills and providing entertaining tennis. They exchanged breaks in the fourth and fifth games but ultimately it came down to the tiebreak which Gauff lead 3-1 before the Spaniard won six successive points, taking the early advantage with an ace.

The momentum was with Gauff, who was contesting her first WTA clay court tournament in Rome, at the start of the second set as she changed strategy and started playing with more variety, easing to a 4-1 lead. The two-time Grand Slam champion closed the gap to 4-3 but that was as close as she got as the world No.53 took the next two games and levelled proceedings.

Gauff made the perfect start to the decider, taking her streak of successive games won to four as she recorded an early break. From then on however her serve began to fail her and she hit three back-to-back double faults in her next service game to allow the world No.17 back into the match.

From this point Muguruza started dictating play, growing in confidence as she took control of the match and capitalising on her opponent’s poor first serve percentage – she hit six double faults in the third set – to win six of the next seven games and win the match.

“It was a tough match. Looking forward for tough matches. Yeah, the first set was tight. It could have gone both ways. I was happy that it went my way after a good fight,” said Muguruza.

“I think in the second set, yeah, I missed a couple of shots. I didn’t took the opportunities I had, and she was there the whole time. Then in the third set, it was just a battle, again, and I managed to be solid, to play my game and to take the opportunities I didn’t took in the second set.”

Muguruza will face either No.7 seed Johanna Konta, who reached the final here last year, or former Italian Open semi-finalist Irina-Camelia Begu in the third round.

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