Adelaide International 2: Coco cruises, Peterson upsets Sabalenka

11 January 2022, by Matt Trollope

American 17-year-old star Coco Gauff performed brilliantly on Tuesday night to dominate tricky Czech Katerina Siniakova at Adelaide International 2.

Gauff completed a 6-1 6-2 win over Siniakova in just 62 minutes to set up an intriguing second-round match with fellow teen Marta Kostyuk, who beat Shelby Rogers.

Earlier on in the day, Swedish qualifier Rebecca Peterson eliminated a wayward Aryna Sabalenka at the first hurdle.

In other results from Memorial Drive Tennis Centre, No.4 seed Tamara Zidansek beat qualifier Heather Watson in a final-set tiebreak to set up a second-round clash with Australian wildcard Maddison Inglis, who scored a 6-4 1-6 6-2 win over Danka Kovinic of Montenegro.

Gauff said she learned from last week’s three-set loss to eventual Adelaide 1 champion Ash Barty, a match in which she had a point for a 6-4 5-2 lead before the world No.1 stormed back to win.

On Tuesday night she rarely let her focus slip, powering a 19th winner to bring up match point and advancing when Siniakova sprayed her 28th unforced error.

“I’m super happy with how I played. She’s not an easy player to play, she gets a lot of balls back and is always fighting,” said Gauff, whose unforced error tally was just 13.

“But tonight I think I came out, learned from my loss last week, and made some improvements, and did well.”

Peterson notches biggest career win

Peterson, who won two matches in the qualifying rounds to take her place in the main draw, will target her fourth straight victory in Adelaide when she faces Madison Brengle for a place in the quarterfinals.

“Honestly, it was like the weirdest match I’ve ever played,” Peterson, 26, said of her Sabalenka win.

“It was tough staying in focus; I know she was struggling a lot. To just kind of be in my own world to know how to play, like it was really difficult. But I’m happy that I managed to win.

“It’s always tough playing her because she’s fighting until the end, no matter how it feels. I’m sure she will come back way stronger.”

Sabalenka, much like in her first-round loss to Kaja Juvan at last week’s Adelaide International 1 tournament, struggled with her serve throughout.

The world No.2 served 21 double faults, 11 of those coming in the first set alone.

She fought admirably, as she always does; Sabalenka twice rebounded from a break down in the first set, and after the disappointment of the second, built a 3-1 lead in the third.

But overall, she lacked rhythm and confidence against the steady Peterson, who went on to record her first career win over a top-five player.

“I’ve had some tough years, so I’m just really happy to start off the year with some matches, some wins, to boost my confidence,” said the 93rd-ranked Peterson.

“So that’s definitely helping in a good way.”

With Sabalenka’s loss, the tournament has now lost its top two seeds; on Monday evening, Elena Svitolina went down in straight sets to a resurgent Madison Keys.

Also progressing on Tuesday were eighth seed Liudmila Samsonova over Mayar Sherif, and Tereza Martincova, who beat former top-25 star Dayana Yastremska to set up a clash with Keys.

Italy’s Jasmine Paolini overcame Australian qualifier Storm Sanders, while Lauren Davis and Anhelina Kalinina joined her in the last 16.