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Gauff through, Serena and Halep triumph as big stars start in Melbourne on Monday

In a day marked by the comebacks of Serena Williams at the Yarra Valley Classic and Simona Halep at the Gippsland Trophy, Cori Gauff began her week well with a tie-break victory in the final set against Jil Teichmann.

Coco Gauff Abu Dhabi Coco Gauff Abu Dhabi

The return to competition of Serena Williams (against Daria Gavrilova) and Simona Halep (against Anastasia Potapova) headlined the WTA action on Monday February 1 with two events the Melbourne Summer Series in preparation for the Australian Open. Overnight, there were wins for Coco Gauff and Elina Svitolina at the Gippsland Trophy, and for Karolina Pliskova in the round of 32 at the Yarra Valley Classic. Francesca Jones of Great Britain, however, lost in straight sets to Nadia Podoroska, 6-1, 6-3.

The three things you need to know: Gauff through, easy for Serena and Simona, seeds Wang and Vekic out

– Gippsland Trophy: the fight of Cori Gauff, Halep wins

There was lots of drama at the Gippsland Trophy, with tenth seed Wang Qiang crashing out to world No 97 Jasmine Paolini of Italy (3-6, 7-5, 6-4). The Chinese star got two match points at 5-2 then 5-3 in the second set but couldn’t take either.

It was an easier ride for the USA’s Cori Gauff, seeded 14th, but she still took it to a deciding tie-break, winning that 7 points to 5 against the Swiss Jil Teichmann (6-3, 6-7, 7-6).

There were no problems at all for Elina Svitolina who cruised past Andrea Petkovic 6-1, 6-4 after a first-round bye, or 16th seed Laura Siegemund of Germany, beating Monica Niculescu 7-5, 6-4. There was also a win for Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko, who beat Danka Kovinic 6-4, 7-5.

And Simona Halep wrapped up the day with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Anastasia Potapova in an entertaining encounter.

– Yarra Valley Classic: Vekic out, Serena through

Ninth seed Donna Vekic is the first seed to be knocked out at the Yarra Valley Classic, losing to Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova (1-6, 6-4, 6-2), who continues her good comeback to the competition marked by her quarter-final at the US Open 2020.

Other than that, it was plain sailing for the big names, with all the seeds going through, and only Petra Martic requiring a third set to get past her opponent Vera Lapko, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Karolina Pliskova, seeded third, beat Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-3, 6-2, Marketa Vondrousova took less than an hour to beat Varvara Gracheva 6-4, 6-0, Danielle Collins of the USA defeated Nina Stojanovic 6-2, 6-1, and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat Misaki Doi 6-1, 6-4.

It was a straightforward win for Serena Williams in the night session too, dismissing Daria Gavrilova 6-1, 6-4.

Great Britain’s Francesca Jones, who impressed with her shock qualification for the Australian Open, put up a fight but was beaten in straight sets by Nadia Podoroska of Argentina, 6-1, 6-3.


  • The day session starts at 11:00am Local Time (12:00am London Time / 7:00pm New York Time)
  • The night session starts at 6:30pm Local Time (7:30am London Time / 2:30am New York Time)

Also read: Australian Open build-up: Events, players, details for Melbourne Park events

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