Tuesday, November 28, 2023

“Girl is on fire” – Jessica Pegula, Victoria Azarenka & tennis world reacts to Coco Gauff winning her first WTA 1000 title in Cincinnati

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Coco Gauff beat Karolina Muchova in convincing fashion to bag her maiden WTA 1000 title at the 2023 Cincinnati Open. With her title victory, the World No. 7 became the youngest champion in Cincinnati since the inception of the elite tournament.

Having triumphed at the Washington Open two weeks ago, Gauff had failed to go all the way at the Canadian Open last week as she fell to fourth-seeded Jessica Pegula in the quarterfinal.

The American, however, found redemption during her week in Cincinnati, winning the 1000-level title for the loss of just one set. The American’s breakthrough victory was immensely praised on social media by her peers.

Jessica Pegula expressed admiration for her frequent doubles partner’s form as she insisted that she was “on fire.”

“Girl on [fire emoji]”

Jessica Pegula congratulated her frequent doubles partner Coco Gauff on her maiden WTA 1000 title in Cincinnati
Jessica Pegula congratulated her frequent doubles partner Coco Gauff on her maiden WTA 1000 title in Cincinnati

2023 Wimbledon quarterfinalist Chris Eubanks, meanwhile, went as far as to assert that the 19-year-old was “special.”

“You are something special kid, Coco. I’m so happy for you,” the 27-year-old wrote.

2-time Cincinnati champion Victoria Azarenka was also full of praise for Coco Gauff’s campaign at the WTA 1000 event this week.

“Too good Coco, congratulations,” she wrote, followed by a trophy emoji.

Here are some of the other reactions from prominent figures in the tennis world. This includes her current coach Brad Gilbert, famous coach Darren Cahill, former player Patrick McEnroe, and Cincinnati doubles champions Alycia Parks and Taylor Townsend.

Taylor Townsend's Instagram story
Taylor Townsend’s Instagram story
Alycia Parks' Instagram story
Alycia Parks’ Instagram story

Coco Gauff will be looking to go deep at the 2023 US Open

Coco Gauff wags her finger at the 2022 US Open
Coco Gauff wags her finger at the 2022 US Open

Coco Gauff has had a good season in 2023, accumulating a healthy 38-12 win-loss record on the Hologic WTA tour. The highlights of her season include winning the 2023 Cincinnati Open, the 2023 Washington Open, and the 2023 ASB Classic.

Interestingly, the 19-year-old has triumphed at all three levels of WTA tournaments this season. She also reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros and BNP Paribas Open in March and last week’s Canadian Open, losing to Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka, and Jessica Pegula, respectively.

Gauff will now be eager to do well at the 2023 US Open, which will kick off on August 29. The American teen did well at the New York Slam last year. She defeated compatriot Madison Keys and China’s Zhang Shuai to make the last eight — where she was defeated in straight sets by France’s Carolina Garcia.

The 2023 Cincinnati Open champion will be looking to improve on her last year’s performance at the Flushing Meadows. Having said that, she has a tough road ahead of her since she is ranked outside of the WTA’s top four.

Gauff will likely have to beat either one of Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka, Jessica Pegula, or Elena Rybakina to reach a career-first semifinal at the US Open.

While Coco Gauff trails Swiatek and Pegula by a margin of 1-7 and 1-2 in the head-to-head respectively, she does have a healthy record against Sabalenka (3-2) and Rybakina (1-0). In that context, she will be pretty confident about her chances at the final Major tournament of the year.

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Edited by Akshay Saraswat

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