Muguruza powers through Gauff in Rome in three sets

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Experience triumphed in the Muguruza-Gauff matchup as the two-time Grand Slam winner overcame her inconsistencies while her opponent struggled.

In a match loomed with inconsistencies, it was Garbiñe Muguruza who got the last laugh against Coco Gauff in round two of the WTA Premier 5 event in Rome with a 7-6, 3-6, 6-3 victory.

The first set was evenly contested up until the tiebreak, with the duo only swapping a break of serve early on in the set. The young American secured a mini-break swiftly in the tiebreak to go up 3-1, but it was all Muguruza after that, as she reeled off six straight points, including three mini-breaks, to snatch the first set.

Gauff struggled with her second serves

Gauff bounced back in the second set, as she quickly broke twice and jumped out to a 4-1 lead while playing some clutch tennis, holding on to her break point opportunities and clawing her way through long games. The Spaniard got a break back, but it was Coco who rounded out the set with a break of serve to even the score.

There were some underlying signs of Gauff’s struggles and inconsistencies in the second set, specifically with her second serves — only winning 31 percent of her points and serving up five double faults. Those were accentuated in the third as Muguruza took charge, as the American only won 18 percent of her second serve points while serving up seven double faults.

Although it was 16-year-old who broke first to go up 2-0 in set three, the ninth seed immediately broke back twice to snag four games in a row, followed by a break of serve as Gauff was serving to stay in the match to seal her spot in the third round against the winner of Irina-Camelia Begu and No.7 seed Johanna Konta.

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