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Coco Gauff returns to take the win amid issues with the opposition’s slow pace

Coco Gauff returns to take the win amid issues with the opposition’s slow pace

ESPN News ServicesAugust 28, 2023 at 10:40 p.m. ET3 minutes to read

Coco Gauff beats Laura Siegemund to avoid a first-round upset

Coco Gauff defeated Laura Siegemund in three sets in the opening round of the US Open.

New York — Coco Gauff had already dropped a set on the first day of the US Open when she found herself locked into a marathon of 30 points and 25 minutes to start the second set.

Sure, there’s still time to get back on Monday night at Arthur Ashe Stadium, but that looked pivotal.

The 19-year-old from Florida had lost her last two Grand Slam matches, including a first-round exit at Wimbledon last month, and she didn’t want to leave quietly or quickly this time around. With the anger of thousands of fans increasing at that moment, Gauff, the sixth seed, managed to take advantage of her eighth break point in that match, and ended by defeating German qualifier Laura Siegemund 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 and reaching second place. Flushing Meadows Tour.

Once she got the lead, Gough’s biggest frustration was the way Siegmund made her wait to play the next point. Sigmund repeatedly took her time, and at the start of the final set, referee Marijana Veljović warned her. Brad Gilbert, one of Gauff’s coaches recently, shook his head at how long it took Veljović to step in, his reaction making Gauff smile.

But serving while leading 3-0 in that set, Gauff had had enough and went on to prove her case.

“She’s never willing when I serve. How is that fair?” Jove told Filovitch. “I’m walking at a normal pace. Ask any referee here.. I was calm the whole game.. Now it’s ridiculous. I don’t care what you do on the serve, but [on] My dispatch, she must be ready.”

Gauff ended up dropping that game – but then never lost another game. Later, Sigmund had a point deducted for the delay, which put Goff up 5-1. This prompted Sigmund to discuss her case with Veljović – “I can’t go to the towel anymore?” – and caused some jeers from the audience.

There was another snag for Goff near the end: she served for the match at 5-2 in the third game but double-faulted three times. It was her only double fault in the two-hour, 51-minute match.

In the end, it held out, and it was Gough’s 12th win in 13 matches since the disappointing showing at the All England Club. This latest round includes the two biggest titles of the American’s career and a win over No. 1 Iga Swiatek. Goff and Swatik may meet in the quarter-finals next week.

When asked during her on-court interview with ESPN’s Pam Shriver to describe what it was like to play a game on Monday, Goff answered deadpan: “Slow.”

Former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, were in the stands at Arthur Ashe Stadium to watch Goff’s first-round victory.

After that match, Michelle Obama took to the court to take part in Billie Jean King’s 50th anniversary tribute to the US Open, which became the first major sporting event to pay equal prize money to women.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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