US Open champion Coco Gauff shook off an indifferent first-set performance to glide into the women’s quarter-finals of the China Open with victory over Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova in Beijing on Thursday.
The world number three triumphed 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 to set up a quarter-final tie with either Greece’s Maria Sakkari or homegrown talent Wang Xinyu.
Gauff roared into a 3-0 lead in the first set but was pegged back by an aggressive Kudermetova and had to save four set points to stay in it.
But she forced a tie-break and stole the set when the world number 16 double-faulted — producing a howl of frustration — before planting a forehand wide.
Set two was a much more comfortable affair for Gauff with the 19-year-old quickly notching a double-break and wrapping up the win when Kudermetova shovelled a forehand long.
Sakkari and Wang go head-to-head later Thursday, as does world number one Aryna Sabalenka who faces Jasmine Paolini of Italy.
Earlier, world number 10 Caroline Garcia progressed to the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-2 defeat of Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina.
Garcia will play second-ranked Iga Swiatek in the next round after the Pole swatted aside compatriot Magda Linette on Wednesday.
The China Open is taking place for the first time since 2019 after Beijing did away with its long-standing zero-Covid policy.
The men’s draw culminated on Wednesday when Italy’s Jannik Sinner downed world number three Daniil Medvedev to take the trophy.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – AFP)