Rome, May 11 (IANS) World No.5 Coco Gauff advanced to the third round of Italian Open after defeating Yulia Putintseva 6-0, 6-1 in her opening match, here on Thursday.
En route to her 59-minute victory, the 19-year-old American fired 29 winners while holding Putintseva to just one. While she served at just 44 percent first serves in, Gauff did not face a break point in the match. In contrast, Putintseva served at 72 percent first serves in, but was broken five times.
Gauff came into her match against Putintseva with a 2-0 lead in their head-to-head. The Kazakhstani endured a three-hour duel 24 hours earlier, defeating Viktorija Tomova, 6-7, 7-6, 6-0 in the first round. The fatigue from that effort was evident against Gauff, as Putintseva was a step off of her trademark defensive prowess. Gauff responded by overpowering her from the baseline.
“I usually have long matches with her. I was fully prepared for that. But I told myself to play on my terms, not her terms,” Gauff said.
“She’s obviously a tricky player, has some big wins. Made the quarters of the French a couple times. I know clay is her surface. It’s also kind of mine, too, so it was a good match today,” she added.
The American’s performance was a strong recovery from her disappointing 6-3, 6-0 loss to Paula Badosa in the third round of Madrid.
Gauff will face 27th seed Marie Bouzkova next for a spot in the Round of 16. Bouzkova rallied from 4-0 down to Caty McNally to win 10 consecutive games before closing out a 6-4, 6-3 win.