Seven losses in the head-to-head. Coco Gauff (USA, World No. 7), who had been dwarfed by the WTA World No. 1, Iga Cibionte (Poland), has finally overcome her nemesis. As a bonus, she reached her first WTA 1000 Series final.
Gauff defeated Sibyontek 7-6(2) 3-6 6-4 in the women’s singles quarterfinals of the 2023 West & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, on Monday (September 19).
The first set was a different story. Knowing that she needed to take control of the rallies with a fiery attack to improve her chances of winning, Gauff was at her most focused in the first set. She turned up the intensity on her own side of the court with three service aces and an 86% first-serve percentage.
After a tiebreak, Gauff took the first set. It was the first time in two years, three months, eight matches and 15 sets since their first meeting at the 2021 Rome Open that Gauff had won a set against Sibyon Tech. Gauff had lost all seven of his previous meetings with the Frenchman, going 0-2.
Despite dropping the second set to Cibiontech, Gauff capitalized on his lone opportunity in the third set. In the seventh game, with the score at 3-3 and Cibiontech on serve, Gauff managed to break. Gauff’s wide defense was a little too much for Cibionte. Uncharacteristically, she made an unforced error at the net, a backhand crosscourt sideout, which gave Gauf the serve.
Gauff took a step forward and maintained the gap until the end of the match. A final half-volley from Sibiontech that went sideways again sealed the victory for Gauff. Gauff jumped up and down in celebration.
“I don’t mean to attack Gael Montpellier,” said Gauff. But I didn’t want to end up like Montpith and Novak Djokovic (19 losses against Montpith). I wanted to end the losing streak as soon as possible. I’m even more happy that I did it against a Grand Slam champion like Sibyon-Tech,” he said in an on-court interview.
With the win, the 19-year-old also reached her first WTA 1000 Series event final. She reached the French Open final in 2022, but her best singles result in the WTA 1000 Series, a tier below the Grand Slam, was a fourth-place finish. Gauff is ranked as high as sixth in the live rankings.
Her final opponent was French Open runner-up Karolina Muhova (Czech Republic, world No. 17). In her opening match, Muhova came from behind to defeat Arina Savalenka (Belarus, World No. 2) 6-7(4) 6-3 6-2. It was her first return match since the French Open quarterfinals.
Mujova reached the final three months after the French Open. She jumped up to No. 10 in the live rankings to reach her highest career ranking (previously No. 16).
This is also her first WTA 1000 Series final. Mujova will return to the top of the WTA Tour for the first time in four years at the 2019 Korea Open.토토사이트
This will be the first time Gauff and Mujova have met in a WTA event. The women’s singles final of the 2023 West & Southern Open will be played on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. local time (2:30 a.m. ET).