Victoria Azarenka edged out Coco Gauff in the quarterfinals of the Guadalajara Open on Friday. The previous world no. 1 needed two hours and 44 minutes and three sets to defeat the American, 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-3. This was the first time that Azarenka and Gauff faced each other.
Gauff had 10 aces and nine double faults during the match, while his opponent finished with zero aces and eight double faults. Gauff also put up 75% of his first serves to Azarenka’s 67%, but won only 60% of his first serve points to his opponent’s 64%.
Azarenka also won 46% of points on her second serve and 63% of points on Gauff’s second serve return.
Guadalajara Open: Victoria Azarenka will close ’22 in style
After the match, Azarenka talked about playing Gauff.
She said, “I was thinking, ‘Coco is… the same age as my career,’ so it felt pretty interesting. She is a great athlete and I can’t wait to see how far she will go. It was very much about the first ball, trying to serve smart and trying to put a lot of pressure on the return.
She served very well, she was mixing a lot so I was just trying to fit in when I had opportunities. She had quite a few and couldn’t convert them, so I tried to stay consistent and find another one, and not get discouraged.”
This is the first time Azarenka has made it this far in a WTA tournament. Looking to reach her first final of the 2022 season, the 2012-13 Australian Open champion will play Gauff’s compatriot Jessica Pegula.
Third-seeded Pegula put in a dominant performance against fellow American, Sloane Stephens, in their quarterfinal match. Pegula needed just 61 minutes to post a 6-2, 6-2 victory. Meanwhile, fourth seed Maria Sakkari also reached the semi-finals at the Mexican 1000 event.
The fourth-seeded Greek dispatched eighth-seeded Veronika Kudermetova 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 in two hours and 25 minutes. Sakkari’s semifinal opponent will be Marie Bouzkova, who advanced to the semifinals after her quarterfinal opponent, Anna Kalinskaya, withdrew midway through the match.
The Czech was leading 5-2 at the time. Maria Sakkari reaching the semifinals of the Guadalajara Open also meant that she became the eighth and last player to qualify for the 2022 WTA Finals.