Teenager Tauson takes the title in Lyon, Gauff saves match points in Dubai
Clara Tauson will climb into the WTA top 100 for the first time after the former top junior completed a perfect week in Lyon.
Danish teenager Clara Tauson landed a first WTA Tour title as the former junior world number one triumphed at the Lyon Open on Sunday.
The 18-year-old beat Swiss opponent Viktorija Golubic 6-4 6-1 in a final contested by two qualifiers, achieving her breakthrough win in an hour and 29 minutes.
Golubic saved five match points but eventually was put away by Tauson, who has spent most of her senior career to date on the second-tier ITF tour.
She caused a major shock at the French Open in September by beating US Open semi-finalist Jennifer Brady in the first round, and Tauson should now become a more familiar presence at the higher level.
The win carries the youngster into the WTA top 100 for the first time (she rises from 139 to 96), and it completed an impeccable trip to France that saw Tauson win all seven of her matches, including two qualifying rounds, in straight sets. She even saved her best shotmaking for the final, executing this pitch perfect tweener before hammering a forehand winner in the third game of the match.
Absolutely SENSATIONAL 🧚
— wta (@WTA) March 7, 2021
“I think when I play like this, like I’ve been the whole week, I think I can beat some really good players,” Tauson told the media after her triumph.
“Of course it’s not every week I play like this for seven, eight matches, I don’t know, so I think this week was, I don’t want to say it’s easy because I’ve worked so hard for this. That it’s coming now is more surprising I think. When I came here was a qualifier. I just tried to win as many matches as I could, I didn’t expect this of course, so yeah, I’m very happy with this, and looking forward to the next.”
FIRST EVER WTA TITLE
— wta (@WTA) March 7, 2021
Tauson shocked Russian top seed Ekaterina Alexandrova in the first round at the start of the week in Lyon, and lost just 27 games in her five main draw matches in Lyon.
Gauff saves two match points and survives in Dubai
Alexandrova lost to another teenager on Sunday as the Dubai Tennis Championships began. The world number 33 was handed a tough draw against American Coco Gauff, who scraped through 7-6 (7-3) 2-6 7-6 (10-8) in a match lasting two hours and 41 minutes.
Gauff served 12 double faults, including seven in the deciding set, but found a way through to the second round, after saving two match points in the final set.
Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ons Jabeur and Alize Cornet were among the other winners on day one. The top eight seeds, who include Iga Swiatek, Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina and Petra Kvitova, have all received byes to round two of the WTA 1000 event.