Coco Gauff’s bid to win a maiden Grand Slam title on home turf got off to a comfortable start as the American beat French qualifier Leolia Jeanjean in straight sets in the US Open first round.
The 19-year-old ground down her opponent with powerful hitting, racking up 33 winners in a 6-2 6-3 victory that lasted one hour, 19 minutes at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The 12th seed, who has never gone further than the third round before in New York, will face Romania’s Elena Gabriela Ruse or Daria Saville of Australia next.
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“I’m super excited. This is actually my first win on Ashe so I think this is the fourth match maybe on this court. Finally I got a win here,” Gauff said.
“Any time you can win a match is a good day, especially the first round. I was nervous coming on today, but really once the match started I felt the nerves settle. I was having a lot of fun out there.”
Gauff claimed an early break of serve to get off to a good start, before repeating the feat in Jeanjean’s next service game, an epic that lasted 12 minutes and required seven break points before the American got the job done.
The 19-year-old broke Jeanjean’s serve in the opening game of the second set and never looked back as she dominated on serve, winning 91% of points on her first serve.
“I didn’t even know I only lost two points on the first serve,” Gauff said.
“To be honest sometimes I just try to hit the serve as hard as I can, other times I just try to get it in. I’m glad I served as I did. My serve is something I’ve been working on and hopefully it’s the reason I can make it far here.”
Elsewhere on day one at Flushing Meadows, 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu saw off Harmony Tan 6-0 3-6 6-1 to progress.
She will face 15th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia in the second round, after the Brazilian sailed through with a 6-0 6-0 win over Ana Konjuh of Croatia.
No.3 seed Maria Sakkari also safely progressed, beating Germany’s Tatjana Maria 6-4 3-6 6-0.
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