Coco Gauff and Jil Teichmann yesterday advanced to the Adelaide International semi-finals after three-set wins on the Memorial Drive hard courts.
The 16-year-old Gauff beat Shelby Rogers 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, and Teichmann defeated Anastasija Sevastova 6-4 ,6-7 (8/10), 7-5.
Gauff has won five straight matches in Adelaide, including two in qualifying, since her second-round loss to fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina at the Australian Open.
She and Rogers had an extended rally in the ninth game of the third set, which Gauff won after setting up game point with a cross-court return.
Gauff next faces second-seeded Belinda Bencic, who beat Storm Sanders 6-2, 6-4.
Teichmann had five match points in the second-set tiebreaker against Sevastova, but was unable to close it out. The 23-year-old Swiss player was then forced to save two match points while trailing 5-4 in the third.
“It was a roller coaster and what I felt was nerves,” Teichmann said. “It was a very tense match, very long rallies every time. Anastasija is a tough player and you have to play every point and every game, doesn’t matter if you’re serving or returning.”
French Open champion Iga Swiatek advanced to the semi-finals when American opponent Danielle Collins retired with an undisclosed injury while trailing 6-3, 3-0.
Collins appeared to wince in pain during her service action in the final point before retiring.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t finish,” said the fifth-seeded Swiatek, who will next play Teichmann. “Hopefully Danielle is going to be well soon.”
On Wednesday, Ashleigh Barty’s Australian summer of tennis ended in disappointment, with the local hero falling at the first hurdle to Collins.
World No. 1 Barty exited after a 6-3, 6-4 loss to Collins and took a defensive swipe at the Australian public for having unrealistic expectations of her.
“You know that there are no easy matches going into any tournament,” Barty told local media.
“You can’t win every single tennis match, but you can sure as hell approach it the right way,” she said.
Barty pulled out of her next planned stop in Qatar with a left leg injury, organizers said, but the Queenslander did not offer that as an excuse for losing to Collins.
Having led 3-1 in the first set and 4-1 in the second, Barty did offer a surprising explanation for losing to the American, who she beat in all three of their previous matches.
“The court was exceptionally quick, probably the quickest I have ever played in Australia, and it took some time to adjust,” said Barty, who was given a wildcard into the tournament and gifted a first-round bye.
Australians had high hopes Barty would end their 43-year wait for a home winner at Melbourne Park after she beat Garbine Muguruza in the final of the Yarra Valley Classic warm-up.
Despite playing in the comparatively weaker half of the draw, Barty was pushed out in the quarter-finals by Karolina Muchova after taking the first set 6-1.
While Naomi Osaka picked up her fourth Grand Slam title with victory at Melbourne Park, the 23-year-old remains second behind Barty in the world rankings due to a rejig by the WTA after last year’s season was suspended amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Barty has held the world No. 1 ranking since September 2019, a period in which she has made one Grand Slam semi-final, and skipped the French and US Opens.
Tennis fans and pundits have criticized the rankings for being out of sync with reality.
Barty said that in Adelaide she had not decided where she would next compete for points, although her statement about the Qatar Open indicated she was looking forward to competing at Miami next month.
“I will have that discussion with my team in the next day or so to work out as best we can what we will do moving forward,” the 24-year-old said.
“Obviously it’s an ever-changing world that we’re living in now,” she said.
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