In the match between first-time finalists at a WTA 1000 tournament, seventh seed Coco Gauff battled past Karolina Muchova 6-3 6-4 to win her fifth career title at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.
The world No.17 Muchova twice recovered from a break down in the first set, but wasn’t able to hold serve for 4-4 as Gauff secured another break. Gauff then proceeded to consolidate her advantage with an impeccable love game, decisively securing the set at 6-3. Despite putting an impressive 81% of her first serves in play, Muchova struggled to convert those opportunities into points won, evidenced by her modest 48% success rate on first-serve points.
Just as it seemed that Gauff was cruising to victory, on the verge of winning her fifth consecutive game while serving for the title at 5-2 in the second set, Muchova displayed remarkable tenacity by staving off three championship points, thus extending the contest by successfully executing a break of her own. However, the American teenager finished the job in her next service game.
Gauff has now won 11 of her last 12 matches, including her this month’s title run at Washington DC. Besides Muchova, her list of victims in Cincinnati included Mayar Sherif, Linda Noskova, Jasmine Paolini, and most importantly world No.1 Iga Swiatek, whom she defeated for the first time in their eight career meetings.
By reaching the final, Muchova has ensured her Top 10 debut after Cincinnati. The Czech will move to No.10 on Monday, which is also her birthday. Gauff will rise one spot, to No.6. (photo: Jimmie48)