Gauff fells Frech to reach first Melbourne quarter-final

January 21, 2024 4:39 pm

[Source: Reuters]

Fourth seed Coco Gauff reached the Australian Open quarter-finals for the first time with a 6-1 6-2 victory over Pole Magdalena Frech.

The U.S. Open champion, who has yet to drop a set at the Melbourne Park major this year, broke the unseeded Frech in the opening game at a chilly Rod Laver Arena and never let her settle into a rhythm.

With Australian great Rod Laver watching in the crowd, Gauff wrapped up the match in just over an hour to seal a last eight berth against unseeded Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk or Russian qualifier Maria Timofeeva.

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“There’s no better court in Australia than Rod Laver Arena and it was an honour to play in front of you, so thank you for coming to my match,” the 19-year-old said.

“Luckily when I noticed he came I was up a lot, so I wasn’t too nervous. You guys were clapping and I was like ‘I know it’s not for us’ then I saw the screen … There’s a lot of legends in the box there.”

Gauff, who successfully defended her Auckland title before the year’s first Grand Slam, looked flawless from the baseline and in her forays to the net as she went 5-1 up and sealed the opening set when the 69th-ranked Frech made a forehand error.

The American found the going a little tougher in the next set as the 26-year-old Frech looked to lengthen the rallies but she broke for a 3-1 lead and pushed home her advantage to extend her unbeaten run in 2024 to nine matches.