Coco Gauff wins a very long battle

Coco Gauff wins a very long battle


American Coco Gauff worked for more than three hours under the sun to defeat Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka in the third round of the National Bank Open, triumphing 7-5, 4-6 and 7-6 (4), Thursday, in Toronto. 

The 10th seed took exactly 191 minutes to win on center court at Sobeys Stadium. The clash featured several changes of pace, with Sabalenka struggling on serve in the first set. During this one, she committed nine double faults and settled for a single ace, which raised her anger at times. 

However, tie of the deciding set that the match is settled. With a 3-3 deadlock, Gauff took off taking advantage of her opponent's unforced errors. The sixth favorite also sent her last shot too deep to confirm her defeat.

The United States player was unconvincing with the balls in hand despite winning. She totaled 15 double faults, but her rival did worse with 18. For her part, Sabalenka maintained a low efficiency percentage of 51.9% on her first serve.

The winner will face Romanian Simona Halep, 15th seed, in the quarter-finals, who easily defeated Switzerland's Jil Teichmann, 21st in the world, in two sets of 6-2 and 7-5. The former number 1 on the WTA Tour had to save a break point in the last game, but came back strong to finish the hostilities in 90 minutes. Four breaks in nine chances in total were enough for Halep who has not dropped a single set since arriving in Ontario.

Pegula is holding on

In the same portion of the draw, American Jessica Pegula, seeded seventh, won her third round duel against Italian Camila Giorgi 3-6, 6-0 and 7-5.

Pegula did not give up in this duel which took place in three stages. After pulverizing her rival, 29th in the world, in no time during the second round, she had to work hard to win the ultimate set.

In the quarter-finals, her path will cross that of the 'Ukrainian Yulia Putintseva. The one who made Canadian Katherine Sebov bite the dust in the first round this time eliminated American Alison Riske-Amritraj in two sets of 6-3 and 7-5.

Putintseva, who points in 46th in the WTA, is thus the lowest ranked player to reach this stage of the competition.