Auckland : World No.7 Coco Gauff captured her first title of the season at the ASB Classic, defeating Spanish qualifier Rebeka Masarova 6-1, 6-1 in the final, here on Sunday. The title is Gauff’s first since 2021 Parma and her first on the hard court since winning her first at 2019 Linz.
The 18-year-old American’s straight-set victory over Masarova capped off a dominant week for her. She did not drop a set through five matches, losing just 22 games.”Honestly, a great week for me despite the rain. Couldn’t ask for a better start to my season.
The first title on hard since I was 15. I’m happy to be successful on a surface that I love,” Gauff said. Playing as the top seed in Auckland, Gauff managed the unpredictable and rainy conditions throughout the week, as the tournament was forced to utilize indoor courts to keep the event on the schedule.
But the rain held off on Sunday as Gauff readied to face No.130 Masarova, who was into her first WTA final after an outstanding week. After qualifying for the main draw, the 23-year-old Spaniard ousted No.2 seed Sloane Stephens and Karolina Muchova en route to her first meeting with Gauff.
The American showed her quality and experience from the start. After rain delayed the start of the final, Gauff broke immediately in the opening game and built a 5-1 lead before the rain returned as she was set to serve on set point.
But the brief delay was not enough to cool off Gauff. When the players returned to court, Gauff calmly served out the opening set and did not take a step wrong in the second set.
Masarova had her chances to pressure the American, earning five break points in the sixth game, but Gauff saved them all and broke to close out the win. “My first WTA final, I’m really disappointed with today’s match.
I couldn’t really play my game. Coco was playing amazingly. The few chances I had she played were really unbelievable,” Masarova said. Both players now head to Melbourne for the Australian Open.
Masarova is set to play the qualifying event to earn her spot in the main draw, while Gauff will fine-tune her game as she prepares for the first Slam of the season.
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