Tennis-Gauff cruises past Yastremska into French Open fourth round

By Thomson Reuters May 31, 2024 | 6:57 AM

PARIS (Reuters) -American third seed Coco Gauff showed some second-set resilience in 6-2 6-4 victory over Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska on Friday to advance to the French Open fourth round and move a step closer to ending a three-year claycourt drought.

The U.S. Open winner, who reached the final in Paris in 2022 and last won a title on the surface in 2021, was in solid form in the first set against surprise Australian Open semi-finalist Yastremska before struggling briefly in the second.

She will next face Italy’s world number 51 Elisabetta Cocciaretto.

“I played her in Madrid and she plays really well from behind,” Gauff said. “I knew closing the match would be difficult. I definitely could have closed it out on my serve (in the previous game).”

“The last game, she hit three or four balls on the edge of the line … it was difficult to stay focused and not get too mad. But I’m glad I was able to push through.”

The Ukrainian world number 32, racing up the rankings after her career was derailed by a provisional doping ban in 2021, which was later lifted, was inconsistent with her big-hitting game as well as her serve and sent a backhand wide to give Gauff an early break.

Gauff then cruised through the set courtesy of another break as Yastremska’s unforced errors piled up.

She did break Gauff repeatedly in the second set, threatening to make a game of it, with the American struggling with her first serve.

Just as Yastremska seemed to have found her range and a way back into the match, Gauff, who also had a match point at 5-2, held firm despite double-faulting in consecutive service games, to clinch it.

(Reporting by Karolos GrohmannEditing by Toby Davis)