Gauff Sets Up Swiatek Showdown In Rome With Impressie Win Over Zheng

Gauff Sets Up Swiatek Showdown In Rome With Impressie Win Over Zheng

by Zachary Wimer

Coco Gauff did really well to oust Qinwen Zheng in two sets at the 2024 Italian Open in Rome and set up a mouth-watering clash with Iga Swiatek.

The 20-year-old has been playing really solid tennis in Rome so far. She made it to the semi-final of the WTA 1000 event, in which she'll play against the reigning world no. 1. Her quarter-final opponent, Zheng, has also quietly been playing really well this week.

Her win over a red-hot Naomi Osaka was quite impressive, but in this match, she was just not good enough. One thing that works well for Gauff on courts like the one in Rome is her athleticism.

She's likely the most gifted tennis player athletically. That and her speed are just so hard to overcome on any court, especially a slower clay court. Opponents really have to be aggressive and consistent and not many players are capable of doing it.

Zheng held up pretty well against the American because the opening set finished in a tie-break. Gauff did break midway through the first set, but she failed to close it out when it mattered.

The tie-break was pretty close, but the Chinese player's serve wasn't sharp enough, and she lost the tie-break 3-7. Gauff was more convincing in the opening set, but Zheng fought bravely.

Not having her serve at her best was a huge issue because things go a lot easier when she serves well. She hit her first serve only 43% of the time and that was just not good enough, not on clay.

It's a common issue for her and happens often, which is why she needs to improve it. Her baseline play fell off in the second set as well, so Gauff was able to find a breakthrough early.

After taking a 3-1 lead, Gauff could cruise to the finish line without many problems. The final score was 7-6(3), 6-1 for the young American.


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