Guadalajara Open: Victoria Azarenka bests Coco Gauff; glory for Maria Sakkari

Victoria Azarenka upset Coco Gauff in the Guadalajara Open quarters on Friday. The former world no. 1 needed two hours and 44 minutes and three sets to oust the American, 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-3. This was the first time Azarenka and Gauff were playing each other.

Gauff had 10 aces and nine double faults across the match while her opponent finished with zero aces and eight double faults. Gauff also put in 75% of her first serves to Azarenka’s 67% but won only 60% of her first-serve points to her opponent’s 64%.

Azarenka also won 46% of her second-serve points and 63% of points on return on Gauff’s second serve.

Guadalajara Open: Victoria Azarenka to sign off ’22 on a high

Post-match, Azarenka spoke about playing Gauff.

She said, “I was just thinking, ‘Coco’s… the same age as my career,’ so it felt pretty interesting. She’s such a great athlete and I can’t wait to see how far she’ll go. It was a lot about the first ball, trying to serve smart, and trying to put a lot of pressure on return.

She served really well, she was mixing a lot, so I was just trying to adjust when I had opportunities. I had quite a few and I couldn’t convert them, so I tried to just stay consistent and look for another one, and not get down on myself”.

This is the first time Azarenka’s reached this far in a WTA tournament. Looking to make it to her first final of the 2022 season, the 2012-13 Australian Open champion will play Gauff’s compatriot, Jessica Pegula.

The third-seeded Pegula put up a dominant showing against fellow American, Sloane Stephens in their quarter-final match. Pegula needed only 61 minutes to post a 6-2, 6-2 win. Meanwhile, fourth seed Maria Sakkari also reached the semi-finals in the Mexican 1000 event.

The fourth-seeded Greek dispatched the eighth-seeded Veronika Kudermetova 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 in two hours and 25 minutes. Sakkari’s semi-final opponent will be Marie Bouzkova who advanced to the semis after her quarter-final opponent, Anna Kalinskaya retired mid-match.

The Czech was leading 5-2 at the time. Maria Sakkari reaching the Guadalajara Open semis also meant that she became the eighth and last player to qualify for the 2022 WTA Finals.

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