Gauff battles past Svitolina to defend Auckland title

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Wilson Blade 9

In a thrilling showdown at the ASB Classic final in Auckland, Coco Gauff successfully defended her title against a determined Elina Svitolina with a 6-7(4) 6-3 6-3 victory.

After squandering a 5-3 lead and two set points in the first set, Gauff managed to seize the momentum at the start of the second set and solidified her dominance with a double break lead. The American’s first-serve percentages soaring from 46% in the first set to 83% in the decider proved instrumental as she wore Svitolina down with a balanced blend of defensive prowess and offensive play.

The third set remained on serve until 4-3 when Gauff broke Svitolina for a 5-3 lead. The world No.3 then fought off a break point in the next game before holding her serve to claim her seventh career Hologic WTA Tour singles title.

The 29-year-old Svitolina, honored as the WTA Comeback Player of the Year in the previous season, has showcased remarkable resilience and form since returning from maternity leave merely nine months ago, swiftly ascending back into the Top 25 rankings. With an outstanding 17-4 career win-loss record in Hologic WTA Tour finals, Svitolina has been a force to be reckoned with on the biggest stages of women’s tennis.

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