Coco Gauff got back on track this week with a first clay straight-sets victory over Ons Jabeur at the Italian Open in her first Tour-level main draw match.
The 16-year-old Coco Gauff made the fourth round of this year’s Australian Open and reached the same stage at Wimbledon last year but suffered a first-round exit at her home Grand Slam at the US Open two weeks ago.
Coco Gauff faced a defeat that came after she lost her opening match in the Western & Southern Open, which was held in the bio-secure environment in New York due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I’m definitely happy to get a win today, especially after a couple of tough losses back in New York,” American Coco Gauff told reporters after Tuesday’s 6-4 6-3 win over Tunisian Ons Jabeur.
“She’s a tricky player because she definitely changes the ball a little bit. I knew it was going to be tough, so to get a win over her on clay was really good.”
Ons Jabeur, an Australian Open quarter-finalist had also lost to Gauff last month in the last-eight in Lexington. Before advancing to the third round at Flushing Meadows, she had reached the same stage at the Western & Southern Open.
Coco Gauff fell in the qualifying rounds of the French Open last year in her only Tour level claycourt event but says she feels at home on the surface.
“I haven’t played on clay in over a year, but to be honest, I feel quite comfortable on clay,” said the world No. 53 Coco Gauff.
“In my junior career, I had quite good results on clay and I go to Patrick Mouratoglou’s tennis academy a lot. I’m quite used to the red clay.”