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Gauff beats Vondrousova at WTA Finals; Swiatek advances to semifinals



CANCUN, Mexico — Coco Gauff won a battle of two of the Grand Slam champions from this season at the GNP Seguros WTA Finals, defeating Marketa Vondrousova 5-7, 6-7(4), 6-3 in the final round of group play on Friday night. The win eliminated the Wimbledon champion’s hopes of advancing to the semifinals.

The result assured No.2 Iga Swiatek a spot in Saturday’s semifinal. The scenarios to determine the final semifinalists are:

If Swiatek defeats Ons Jabeur in the last match of round-robin play, she will win the Chetumal group and face No.1 Aryna Sabalenka in the semifinals. Gauff will finish second and face her doubles partner, Jessica Pegula, who won the Bacalar Group.

If Jabeur defeats Swiatek, the Tunisian will win the group and face Sabalenka. Swiatek would finish second and face Bacalar Group winner Jessica Pegula. Gauff would be eliminated.

In a match with multiple interruptions because of intermittent rain, Gauff improved her record over Vondrousova to 3-0. As the players worked to adjust to the conditions, Vondrousova led by a double-break at 3-0 before Gauff clawed her way back into the match to level at 5-5.

But Gauff failed to keep her momentum. Vondrousova diffused the US Open champion’s run, breaking serve to 6-5 and closed out the set.

Gauff looked on her way to quickly taking Vondrousova into a deciding set after dominating the first five games of the second to lead 4-1. But after failing to serve out the set at 5-3, Gauff found herself in a tiebreak. There, the American threw caution to the wind, playing aggressive tennis to overpower Vondrousova and take the match to a third set.

Gauff’s aggressive game plan, combining opportunistic forays into the net and flatter hitting from the baseline, continued in the final set. After breaking at love for a 3-2 lead, Gauff kept Vondrousova at bay to seal her second win of the week.

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