Coco Gauff beats Marketa Vondrousova in heated clash

Coco Gauff beat Marketa Vondrousova in a tense three-setter in the opening round of Dubai Open

Coco Gauff beat Marketa Vondrousova in Dubai

American teen sensation Coco Gauff rallied past former French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova in an unexpectedly heated clash.

Gauff defeated 12th seed Vondrousova 3-6, 6-0, 6-4 in the opening round of the Dubai Open for her fifth career top-20 win.

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The contest took on an edge when 16-year-old Gauff complained to the umpire about how Vondrousova was catching her ball toss with her racquet instead of letting it bounce or capturing it with her hand, which she believed to be against the rules.

The incident sparked some tension between the pair as the match unfolded.

“I was asking when you toss the ball, are you allowed to catch it with your racquet,” explained Gauff regarding an on-court disagreement.

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“I thought you had to catch it with your hand or let it bounce first. The umpire said it’s allowed if it’s not a motion. It wasn’t meant to make her upset, it was just asking the question. I left it there but I could tell she was a bit frustrated by that.”

At one point Gauff aimed directly at Vondrousova’s body on a drive volley at the net and did not apologise. The Czech also forewent the courtesy apology when she claimed a point via a lucky net cord.

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During one change-over, Vondrousova was seen gesturing with her hand, suggesting Gauff was being very vocal on the court, as the American jogged past her without paying any heed.

“My personality, I fight fire with fire,” Gauff later said of the incident. “I lost those two points that game, and she had wild screams, and I like to scream, so I screamed back.”

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Gauff, who hit a career-high ranking of 38 last week, is hoping to continue her impressive rise with the goal of being seeded at the next Grand Slam.

The American has now played 25 three-setters in her 60 WTA main draw and qualifying matches, including her last seven straight.

She will play Czech qualifier Tereza Martincova in the round of 16.