Coco Gauff survives Rybakina scare in Canadian Open

The 18-year-old American Coco Gauff needed three sets to beat Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.

 Coco Gauff (USA) serves against Elena Rybakina (KAZ) (not pictured) at Sobeys Stadium.

Coco Gauff (USA) serves against Elena Rybakina (KAZ) (not pictured) at Sobeys Stadium. | Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The 18-year-old American Coco Gauff needed three sets to beat Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.

American Coco Gauff outlasted Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina 6-4 6-7(8) 7-6(3) in a marathon second round clash at the Canadian Open on Wednesday, while world number one Iga Swiatek sailed past Australian Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1 6-2.

The 18-year-old French Open finalist cruised through the first set with four aces, breaking Rybakina in the seventh game, and appeared to have the match firmly in hand.

But Rybakina refused to go down without a fight, fending off four match points in the second-set tiebreak before taking it.

A rattled Gauff struggled in the third set, stumbling into seven double faults as the two players exchanged breaks of serve.

The American then dug deep to find her composure, winning five straight points to clinch the third-set tiebreak before pumping her fist and pointing to her brain to cheers from the crowd.

Poland’s Swiatek had no such issues against Tomljanovic in a largely routine affair on Centre Court.

The Australian qualifier showed a glimmer of life as the two traded breaks in the second set but the twice French Open winner found her footing in the fifth game before wrapping up her 19th straight win on hard courts.

Czech Karolina Pliskova sent American Amanda Anisimova packing in 53 minutes, breaking her in the fourth game of the first set before running away with the match 6-1 6-1.

The former world number one sent down seven aces and won nearly three quarters of her first-serve points just days after Anisimova bounced her out in the second round of the Silicon Valley Classic. She next faces Greek powerhouse Maria Sakkari.

Two-time Grand Slam winner Simona Halep of Romania eased past China’s Zhang Shuai 6-4 6-2.

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