Gauff Finds New Doubles Teammate Following Pegula's Madrid Withdrawal

Gauff Finds New Doubles Teammate Following Pegula's Madrid Withdrawal

by Nurein Ahmed

Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula will not play together in doubles at the 2024 Madrid Open, but that hasn't stopped the World No. 3 from signing up to play doubles at the tournament.

Pegula's absence from the tournament is forced. She recently admitted to suffering a knock while training and preparing for the clay swing and had to withdraw from Madrid as a precaution. The 30-year-old has opted to remain at home to complete her recovery and intends to return to the court very soon.

Gauff, meanwhile, doesn't have fitness concerns coming to Madrid. She was not selected to play for the United States in the Billie Jean King Cup qualifying win over Belgium in Lindsay Davenport's first assignment as the country's team captain.

Instead, the young American preferred to get clay-court minutes at the WTA 500 event in Stuttgart this past week, where she lost in the quarterfinal to Marta Kostyuk in a truly remarkable match.

She will switch gears and play singles and doubles at the Madrid Open. To do so, she has decided to team up with Taylor Townsend. The pair received a wild card and was seeded as the No. 4 team in the draw.

Having received a bye in the opening round, Gauff's singles campaign will begin on Thursday against the Dutch veteran Arantxa Rus. Then, on Friday, she will partner compatriot Townsend to face Anna Bondar and Tereza Mihalikova in doubles.

Gauff has a major advantage over Aryna Sabalenka in the race for the world No. 2 ranking after the tournament. She will also be looking to climb the doubles rankings, having fallen down to 17th in recent weeks.

Towaneds comes in with doubles momentum, having won her last doubles match while partnering Caroline Dolehide during the USA's Billie Jean King Cup rout of Belgium in mid-April. However, the 28-year-old lefty lost her singles match in Madrid on Wednesday against Russian prodigy Mirra Andreeva in three sets.


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