Coco Gauff with her biggest win of the year so far. The American teenager reached the quarter final in Rome with a straight sets victory over Madrid winner Aryna Sabalenka 7-5 6-3. Coco made a hash of a great opening four games when she stuttered in the eighth game to make the scores 4-4. Picking up at 4-3(0-30 Sabalenka), Coco’s shot selection was suspect here. Playing the slower forehand cross court was not the ideal shot but going down the line would have done the trick. Turning point of the set came at 4-4(Deuce advantage Sabalenka). The rally ending with Aryna hitting a forehand deep into the left corner of Coco’s side of the court which was adjudged to be in. You may ask why HAWKEYE(The robot for making line calls) is not used on clay? Well the markings of course. But this leaves room for errors, you know the eye and the brain at times may not in sync. Fortunately this was not one of those times. Coco did break eventually and served out the match with competence of a veteran to love 7-5.
On to the second set we go. Saba never really challenged Coco save for the opening game of the set which was textbook. Watch 40-0 Sabalenka up, The forehand with top spin is the was sublime with Coco in no man’s land high toward the net. You know , the sweetest points to win are the ones where you are on the defensive for the majority of the rally and then boom you win the point with a winner. Watch 2-1 Sabalenka who faced game point 30-40 on Coco’s serve. Aryna a little bit hasty in coming to the net here and Coco choosing her spot for the forehand winner. The hunger to win this one shone through for the American in the later part of the set. She won 65% of her points on her second serve which was monumental in showing her desire to win. She would get two breaks of serve to win 6-3 and set up a mouth watering quarter final with Ash Barty.