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Gauff gets past Garcia, awaits Badosa in Indian Wells third round

Coco Gauff won her first-ever match in Indian Wells when she battled past Caroline Garcia in three sets on Saturday. Paula Badosa also prevailed in three and they will face each other in the third round.

Despite being only 17 years old, Coco Gauff has already been around on tour for multiple seasons — but not long enough to have ever played at the BNP Paribas Open prior to this fortnight.

Making her debut in the desert, Gauff wasted no time picking up her first win at this 1000-point event as she defeated Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-1 on Saturday afternoon. The 15th-seeded American needed two hours and 10 minutes to advance.

“It’s really special to come out here to a crowd so welcoming,” Gauff said afterward. “Honestly I just kept telling myself to keep going for my shots. Even in the second set, I had a lot of opportunities…and I just told myself to keep going for my shots. It ended up working out.

“Playing matches with nerves, it’s not easy to put on a face. I know it seems like I’m calm sometimes, but I’m really freaking out. I try to not let you guys see, or most importantly, let my opponent see, and I think that got me through. I always say the crowd makes a difference in a match…and I’m happy this crowd loves me. It’s my first time playing in front of you guys…and I like you back.”

Badosa beats Yastremska to set Gauff showdown

Up next for Gauff on Monday is a first-ever meeting with Paula Badosa, who held off Dayana Yatsremska 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. Badosa.

They are joined in the last 32 by Gauff’s compatriot, Amanda Anisimova. Already with two wins under her belt this week, Anisimova followed up a 6-1, 6-1 rout of Katrina Scott by upsetting No 30 seed and Montreal champion Camila Giorgi 6-4, 6-1.

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