Coco Gauff to face Elina Svitolina in WTA Auckland Classic final
AUCKLAND: Top seed Coco Gauff will continue her defence of the Auckland Open title in Sunday’s final after the U.S Open champion brushed aside fellow American Emma Navarro 6-3 6-1 in the Australian Open warm-up event on Saturday.
The world No. 3 made light work of Navarro in progressing to the decider, where she will meet number two seed Elina Svitolina Elina Svitolina on Sunday. The Ukrainian needed two medical timeouts for a back injury before beating China’s Wang Xiyu 2-6, 6-4, 6-3
“Definitely a good start to my 2024, Emma’s an incredible player,” Gauff said. “(I wanted to be) aggressive in my serve and return; we played a practice set here before the tournament started and she was playing really well so I knew I had to be at my best if I wanted to win.”
Gauff made a commanding start and held a 4-2 lead in the opening set when rain, which has fallen regularly throughout the tournament, briefly stopped play.
The 19-year-old American continued her strong showing, extending her lead upon the players’ return to the court and eventually winning the first set with few concerns.
Gauff then tightened her grip when she broke her compatriot’s serve in the opening game of the second set and consolidated that lead further after a Navarro miss-hit in the fifth game that gave her an unassailable lead.
Svitolina played with discomfort from the outset and needed treatment to her lower back 20 minutes into the match.
The 29-year-old took another timeout straight after clinching the second set before emerging to play her best tennis in the closing stages. Agencies