Gauff into Auckland WTA semi-finals

January 06, 2023 12:54 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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Coco Gauff has breezed into the Auckland WTA semi-finals with a straight sets dismissal of Zhu Lin.

The tournament top seed's progression never looked in doubt during a 6-3 6-2 victory on Friday.

Amid unseasonably wet weather, play at the Australian Open lead-up event again went indoors for the quarter-finals, played without fans on training courts.

Underway after a delay, world No.7 Gauff was unchallenged on serve but took her time to break the world No.84, unable to convert her first seven break points.

The 18-year-old finally claimed one in the eighth game, racing on to take the set with another dominant service game.

With her trademark booming backhand in full swing, she claimed an early break and looked assured as she closed out the match in 77 minutes.

She is now two victories away from a third career WTA singles title and her first since May 2021.

Gauff has been untroubled in her three matches in Auckland to date.

She took 82 minutes to beat world No.68 Tatjana Maria 6-4 6-1 in the opening round and 83 minutes to get past Sofia Kenin, the 2020 Australian Open winner, in the second round 6-4 6-4.

Due to persistent rain in Auckland, she also beat Kenin and Zhu on an indoor training court without fans.

The indoor courts have drawn controversy this week after Emma Raducanu rolled her ankle and criticised the surface following her injury retirement.

Tournament director Nicolas Lamperin defended the courts, saying they were the same as those outside and the injury could have happened anywhere.

Also on Thursday, seven-time major winner Venus Williams was forced to start outside and head inside, enduring long delays before a three-set loss to Zhu.


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