Gauff brought back to earth in Luxembourg

Published by AP / Reuters

Coco Gauff (Getty Images)
A few days after capturing her first WTA title, 15-year-old Coco Gauff wins just four games in a first-round exit in Luxembourg.

Coco Gauff has lost her opening match at the Luxembourg Open in straight sets, just three days after winning her first WTA title in Austria.

Eighth-seeded Anna Blinkova of Russia beat the American 15-year-old 6-4 6-0 in 58 minutes in their first-round match on Wednesday.

Gauff won just eight points in the second set and Blinkova clinched the victory with a forehand winner to set up a second-round meeting with Tatjana Maria.

Gauff became the youngest player to win a WTA tournament since 2004 when she beat 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the final in Linz on Sunday.

“I know she’s a great player and I knew she was coming off a WTA tournament win, so I was well prepared,” Blinkova said.

Ostapenko, meanwhile, won her first-round match in Luxembourg 7-5 7-6(3) over Caty McNally to set up a meeting with top seed Elise Mertens.

Wawrinka progresses in Antwerp

Stan Wawrinka was made to work hard at the European Open ATP event on Wednesday as the Swiss veteran outlasted Feliciano Lopez 6-7(4) 6-4 7-6(4) to reach the quarterfinals in Antwerp.

The 34-year-old Wawrinka, seeking his first ATP trophy since he lifted the title in Geneva two years ago, served 17 aces – one fewer than Lopez – and converted one out of four break-point opportunities to edge the tight match.

Up next for the world No.18 is unseeded Gilles Simon, who moved past French compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4 7-5.

Wawrinka has beaten Simon four times in seven meetings but the Frenchman prevailed in straight sets the last time they played each other on the hardcourts of Shanghai in 2016.

Argentina’s Guido Pella joined the duo in the last eight after beating South Korea’s Kwon Soon-woo 7-5 7-5 to set up a clash with Ugo Humbert or second seed David Goffin.

In first-round action, American Frances Tiafoe overcame Germany’s Yannick Maden 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 while Pablo Cuevas beat Hugo Dellien 6-4 6-3 and will take on Briton Andy Murray next.

Bencic’s bid for WTA Finals continues

Belinda Bencic has won six of the last seven games and beat Polona Hercog 1-6 6-3 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals at the Kremlin Cup.

The 10th-ranked Bencic needs to reach the final in Moscow to overtake Serena Williams and Kiki Bertens for the last WTA Finals spot.

After Wednesday’s win Bencic will next face Kirsten Flipkens, who stunned in-form No.5 seed Dayana Yastremska in three sets.

In another upset, Karolina Muchova swatted aside fourth seed Donna Vekic to set up a meeting in the last eight with Ekaterina Alexandrova, who defeated Anna Kalinskaya 6-1 6-1.

In the men’s event in Moscow, second seed Karen Khachanov survived Philipp Kohlschreiber 3-6 6-3 7-6(7) to reach the quarterfinals, where he joins No.4 seed Dusan Lajovic, seventh seed Adrian Mannarino and Italian veteran Andreas Seppi.

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