Gauff makes the most of second chance in Linz
Maria Sakkari’s withdrawal gave Coco Gauff another chance at the Linz Open and the lucky loser took full advantage.
Coco Gauff made the most of a second chance at the Linz Open, while Belinda Bencic suffered a surprise defeat on Tuesday.
Teenage sensation Gauff was defeated by Tamara Korpatsch in qualifying on Monday but entered the main draw as a lucky loser when sixth seed Maria Sakkari withdrew with a right wrist injury.
The American 15-year-old, playing her first WTA Tour event since losing to Naomi Osaka at the US Open, defeated Stefanie Voegele 6-3 7-6 (7-3) in two hours and two minutes to set up a meeting with Kateryna Kozlova in the second round.
Speaking about her last-minute entry into the main draw, Gauff told a news conference: “It was very surprising because I was supposed to do a press thing today. I had practiced earlier, went back to the hotel, and then got a phone call, and was back on court 40 minutes later.
— WTA Linz (@WTALinz) October 8, 2019
“I didn’t know too much about my opponent; I found out a little how she plays through word of mouth, but most of it was me improvising.
“This is my first WTA win indoors. I live in Florida, so we don’t get a chance to play indoors that much, but I enjoy it.”
Second seed Bencic lost in three sets to qualifier Anna-Lena Friedsam, but Donna Vekic – seeded fourth – cruised past Polona Hercog 6-1 6-1.
Barbora Strycova lost 6-4 6-4 to Alize Cornet, while Julia Goerges and Kristina Mladenovic were among the other victors.