Sixth seed Coco Gauff survived a surprisingly tough test from Laura Siegemund in a tense first-round match at the US Open on Monday, fighting back to beat the German 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.
The US teenager and the home crowd were stunned when Siegemund, the world number 121, used a variety of shotmaking and some spectacular plays at the net to take the first set.
But Gauff hit back early in the second, ending a 26-minute opening game with a break as Siegemund began to complain to the chair umpire about the serve clock being started too quickly after points.
Gauff broke again for a 4-1 lead and levelled the match when her backhand hit the net cord and threw off the timing of Siegemund’s volley.
The American 19-year-old took control in the third set, racing out to a 3-0 lead and defusing Siegemund’s net attack with some lovely lobs.
Siegemund was handed a point penalty on game point to give Gauff a 5-1 lead, a decision she disagreed with, telling the umpire that Gauff was playing “extremely fast” as boos rained down on her.
Siegemund refused to go away and broke to cut the lead to 5-3 with the help of three double faults by Gauff.
But on her second chance to serve out the match, Gauff did not miss, letting out a scream and pumping her fist after Siegemund’s backhand landed in the net to end the nearly three-hour match.
Next up for Gauff is 16-year-old Russian Mirra Andreeva.
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