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Caroline Wozniacki’s Terrific US Open Run Ended by Coco Gauff

Caroline Wozniacki at the 2019 US Open

Caroline Wozniacki had already inspired many with her run at the US Open this year before her fourth-round clash with Coco Gauff. The Dane only returned to professional tennis last month, after initially retiring over three years ago. Yet she has played at an excellent level, defeating two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova on her way to the fourth round.

Sixth seed Coco Gauff turned out to be one hurdle too many in the end. It was always going to be a difficult challenge against the American #2, who recently won the title in Washington, and also Cincinnati. However, Wozniacki’s level was still very good throughout the contest. There is much for her to be encouraged about for the future.

Gauff Recovers to win the Opening Set

Wozniacki took advantage of a slow start from Gauff at the start of the match, breaking in the very first game, and then holding comfortably to make it 2-0. But the American soon began to change the momentum of this highly anticipated battle. She dominated in the points lasting under five shots due to her greater firepower. Her more experienced counterpart excelled in the longer rallies, but was unable to go deep in enough of the rallies.

After retrieving the first break, Gauff got the crucial second break in the eighth game with a series of great shots from the baseline. Last year’s French Open finalist served it out to take the opening set 6-3.

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Wozniacki Dominates Gauff in the Second Set

The final score in the second set did not accurately summarise the difference between the two players. Wozniacki created break points chances in four games, while not facing any on her own serve. To Gauff’s credit, she managed to save five break points in the first three games to hold. But the 2018 Australian Open champion continued to be relentless, and the pressure finally told at 4-3. A comfortable service hold in the following game gave Wozniacki the set 6-3.

The Dane was injecting slightly more into her groundstrokes in the second set, which proved to be the difference. It gave her 19-year-old opponent a conundrum to solve for the final set.

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The American Takes Control in the Final Set

The upset looked to be well and truly on in the first game after Gauff played a loose service game to hand Wozniacki the advantage. But crucially the home favourite responded with an excellent following game, hitting some unplayable shots to break straight back.

The match quickly ran away in Gauff’s favour after that. Wozniacki did create one more break point, but Gauff’s confidence grew more and more after saving it. The Cincinnati champion’s firepower became too much to handle for the valiant Dane, and the match finished 6-3 3-6 6-1.

Although this contest did not end as she would have hoped, Wozniacki’s run so soon after her return has been phenomenal. Observing her in future tournaments will be fascinating.

Main Photo Credit: Geoff Burke – USA TODAY Sports

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