Miami Open 2023: Coco Gauff flies past Rebecca Marino, enters round of 32

With her best Miami Open performance to date, she advanced one stage further last year and reached the Round of 16.

Coco Gauff in a file photo. (Image: Twitter/WTA)
By Nilavro Ghosh | Mar 24, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Beginning her 2023 Miami Open campaign, Coco Gauff defeated Rebecca Marino on Stadium Court in the second round with a score of 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday. Gauff, who is from Southeast Florida, won her local Hologic WTA Tour match in 1 hour and 12 minutes to advance to the third round for the second consecutive season. With her best Miami Open performance to date, she advanced one stage further last year and reached the Round of 16.

Gauff defeated Marino of Canada on Thursday, winning both of their previous meetings. She converted five of her nine break points and twice rallied from a break down in the second set. In order to reach her first Grand Slam singles final at Roland Garros last year, Gauff also defeated Marino. In her tenth career matchup against Top 10 competition, Marino was once more denied her first Top 10 victory. Last year, Marino came very close to winning a Top 10 match, taking both Maria Sakkari and Caroline Garcia to three sets in 2022.

Gauff lost a break early in the first set when Marino came back on serve at 4-3 after slamming back-to-back forehand winners. The American teen, however, was unfazed and hit her sixth ace of the set to hold at 5-4 before breaking Marino twice to win the first set. In the second set, Gauff rallied from breaks down at 2-1 and 3-2 before taking control for good with a deep service return that forced an error and put her in the lead 5-3.

The next game saw Marino gain a break point, but Gauff levelled up and won with three consecutive strong serves that were all returned into the net. Gauff’s third-round opponent will be Anastasia Potapova, the No. 27 seed. At the 2019 US Open, Gauff defeated Potapova in a difficult three-set match; in 2021 Montreal, Potapova was defeated when she retired with a 5-0 deficit.

Mertens gets past Kasatkina in first round

Elise Mertens defeated Daria Kasatkina 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the second round of the Miami Open, breaking her unfavourable trend against the No. 8 seed. Mertens had only ever won once before in the second round of the 2017 New Haven tournament, giving Kasatkina a 4-1 head-to-head advantage going into the match. After losing the opening set after leading 3-0 double-break, the Belgian lost all three sets they played in the following matches.

Read More – Miami Open 2023: Elise Mertens breaks six-year curse to beat Daria Kasatkina in second round

Kasatkina, who required a medical time-out towards the end of the second set, started to feel sick, but Mertens recovered. She had made 28 unforced errors in the first set, which cost her the lead. However, she significantly tightened up in the second, giving up only four points on serve. Mertens decreased her error total to 17 over the course of the second and third sets combined.

The result was Mertens’ 10th career Top 10 win, and first since she defeated Simona Halep in the third round of Madrid 2021. As she attempts to make it to the Miami last 16 for a second time, she will next play either No. 29 seed Petra Martic or Wang Xiyu.

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