Gauff Defends Her Auckland Title Despite Minor Hiccup Against Svitolina

Gauff Defends Her Auckland Title Despite Minor Hiccup Against Svitolina

by Erik Virostko

Coco Gauff is the ASB Classic champion, once again, after she defeated Elina Svitolina in the final of the WTA 250 tournament.

Last year, Gauff's title in Auckland meant her first triumph in 18 months, and this year, the teenager was on a title defense mission, and it was going really well, as she bested all of her opponents without losing a single set.

It was expected that her final match against Svitolina would be more challenging, and it was. Before the final, the Ukrainian was 17-3 in Tour-level finals, and it was clear that the 2023 US Open champion would have to fight against the former world no. 3.

But it didn't look like that in the opening set. Gauff got an early break, and despite being broken back, the American added yet another break to lead 5-3 in the opener and serve for it.

However, despite having two set points on her serve, the 19-year-old could not serve out the first set, and Svitolina pushed it to the tie-break, which she won 7-4 to steal the first set from her opponent.

In the second set of the match, the American started with a break again, but once again, she was not able to serve out the set, despite adding one more break and serving for it at 5-3.

But this time around, after her opponent broke her back, Gauff did the same thing, winning the second set 6-3, and taking the match into the decider.

The third set of the match was a real fight. Both players wanted to hold their serve for as long as possible, but ultimately, in the eighth game, Gauff broke Svitolina and that was enough for her to win the match.

The teenage prodigy won 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3 to win back-to-back Auckland titles, and after the match, she was very quick to take to social media and let the world know about her success.

Despite the triumph, Gauff will drop to the fourth place of the WTA Rankings, since her rival for the spot, Elena Rybakina won the 2024 Brisbane International, a WTA 500 tournament, with 250 more points on offer than the WTA 250 event in Auckland.


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